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Jacob Ben Avraham

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About Jacob Ben Avraham

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  1. TISHA ‘ B’AV, WHY? HOW? …Tisha ’B’Av, or the “9th of Av” this year, falls on August 10th, and since it falls on a sabbath, it is called “Shabbat Chazon” or a “Sabbath of vision and revelation”. It is a time of sadness, sorrow, and remembrance. The question begins with “Eiha? (how) and “Lamah” (why?). The book of Lamentations begins with “Eiha” (how) “How alone she sits, the city (Jerusalem) once great with people….” …..The voice of Yirmeyahu (Jeremiah) after the destruction of the 1st Beit HaMikdash (Temple) and the city of Jerusalem by the Babylonians in 586 B.C.E the destruction culminated on the 9th of Av, (Tish’B” Av) This date marks the tragedies of many destructions in the history of Am Israel. Here’s a list, the destruction of the 1st temple is the first. …..70 A.D. the Roman emperor Titus, destroys the second temple and murders millions of Israel’s inhabitants and 100,000 taken captive to Rome, those taken captive to Rome are used as sport in the arena, and others served as slaves. Many others from Jerusalem fled the country, going to Europe, Africa, and other parts of the world. …..132 A.D. Bar Kochba revolt against Rome. The Jews lost and may Jewish lives were lost to the Eagle of Rome. …..1095 A.D. Crusades, started by the church in Europe, the main goal to kick the moors out of Jerusalem, any crusaders were anti-Semitic, during this time, 40% of Europe’s Jew’s were destroyed, one important event happened in Mainz, Germany. There were 700 Jews living in that city at that time. They sought refuge in a large church to be protected from the crusading murderers. The Bishop at that time was kind and accepted to hide the Jews in the church. The Jews had given the Bishop all their valuables in exchange. To no avail. The crusaders entered Mainz, discovered their hiding place, murdered all of them including the Bishop. Some say that the Jews there committed suicide rather than falling into the hands of the crusaders. …..1290 A.D. Expulsion of the Jews from England. Confiscation of property. …..1478 The start of the Spanish inquisition by Pope Nicolas, many Jews had to renounce their faith and accept Christianity, if not, they would be tortured and killed. This, of course, is not “real Christianity” rather “Pseudo or false Christianity. Those who were genuine/real believers and followers of Jesus would never do such atrocities against God’s anointed people. …..1492 The expulsion of the Jews from Spain on the 9th of Av. Many went to England and to other countries in Europe, later on, many came to the Americas and settled in Mexico, Central, and South America. By that time, many families had lost their Jewish identity, but now, many are finding it again. …..1635 “Pogroms” or persecutions against the Jewish people starts in Poland. …..1914. WW1 began and some 120,000 Jews lost their lives in the armed forces. …..1939 The “holocaust” or “Shoah” begins in Nazi Germany. Result? We all know, 6,000,000 Jewish people were killed by forced labor, starvation, and just “shot or gassed” in the concentration camps, just for being Jews. …..1942. Deportation from Warsaw Ghetto to Treblinka Concentration/death camp. …..1978 11 Palestinians land in a small Kibbutz in Israel by sea. They hijacked a bus, killed the driver and drove towards Tel Aviv. On the way to Tel Aviv, they used weapons fire and threw hand grenades out the windows at people on the street, and the result was 38 Israelis killed. …..1994. Bombing of the Jewish Community Center in Buenos Aires, Argentina resulting in 86 persons killed and 300 wounded. …..2012 A rabbi in Rutherford, N.J. was at home during the night with his wife and 5 children. An Arab boy outside threw a Molotov bomb through the living room window to kill the family and burn down the synagogue that was part of the house. (Molotov bomb: a glass bottle filled with gasoline and a rag, the rag is lighted and the bottle is thrown). There are probably many more events that occurred during the time of Tisha”b” Av, these are just some of them. During the time of Tisha B’Av many will sing this sad song; “Look from the heavens and see, we have become an object of scorn and contempt among the nations. We are regarded as sheep to the slaughter, to be killed, beaten and destroyed. But despite this, we have not forgotten your name, we beg you not to forget us!” …..We regard this time as a time of sadness and grief, but we must also remember this time as a time of survival, and a time to get out of “spiritual exile” It is a time to “return home to Abba” a time of “Teshuvah”. Our ancestors in ancient Israel committed spiritual adultery, going after pagan gods, went away from the ways of Torah, despite the warnings of God, God looked down and warned our people, finally, the punishment ensued yet Elohim has not and will NEVER reject his people, the remnant that survived is now in the millions, in every nation of the world. It is time to return, return to G-d, return to the ways of his Torah, return to the “Living Torah” Many Jewish people celebrate Tisha B’Av during the evening, sitting on the floor of their homes and under candlelight, read the book of Lamentations, many also fast although the only Biblically mandated fast day is during Yom Kippur. A fast during Tisha B’Av is more tradition than a commandment. Another question is how is the book of Deuteronomy and Tish’B’Av related? Is there are a relationship between the two? Well, we can look at it this way. Before giving up the ghost, Moshe announces from Mt. Ebal and Mt. Gerizim both blessings and curses to Israel. In a few words, blessings if they obey G-d and follow His Torah, and curses if they disobey G-d and disregard His Torah. Of course, all of Israel say “Amen” and wish to receive blessings, yet once dead, a few generations afterward, they departed from the ways of Adonai and from the Torah. They went after false gods and corrupted themselves, bringing upon Israel the curse. The tragedies of Tisha’B’Av were part of the curse. There are some that say that because the “Jews nailed the Messiah to the cross” that these tragedies came forth, but this is far from the truth. Adonai had Calvary planned since the beginning of time. It would be the payment for sin for ALL of us. But for departing from the Truth, from the way of the Torah, for rejecting Messiah (not for crucifying Him) came all these events ( and probably more events not listed). Our Heavenly Father loves Israel, always has and always will. Yet there are blessings and curses for all decisions made, and Israel is not exempt from them. Pray that more of “Am Israel” will come to Messiah Yeshua and will follow the Way the Truth and the Life, receiving “Yeshuah” by faith. Shabbat Chazon Shalom… Rabbi Ben Avraham. PIC: bringing the Word of God to basic trainees at the Salvadoran Army Training Base, (Fuerzas Armadas de El Salvador) July, 2019
  2. Parashot: “D’varim” DEUTERONOMY 1:1-3:22………ISAIAH 1:1-27………JOHN 4:1-5:47 We start the final book of the original 5 books of the Torah, in which Moshe wrote down all the statutes, commandments, precepts, details, etc. that Adonai dictated to him to write. We must remember that Am Israel received the first 10 commandments directly from the mouth of Adonai, written down in stone, and given to the people, as a form of “Ketubah” or “marriage contract. Later, Adonai called Moshe back up to the mountain and there, dictated the rest of Torah, the rest of the 603 commandments which he wrote down on the scrolls. 603 were written down by Moshe, yet dictated by Adonai, and 10 dictated and written by YHVH himself. All in all, we must conclude that ALL the TORAH comes from YHVH, whether directly or indirectly written. This book of Deuteronomy is the last. Moshe began writing it, and it was probably finished by Yehoshuah (Joshua) or another leader. A Hebrew rendition of this book is “Mishna Torah” or “A repetition of the Torah” can one say a “Second Torah?” Well, no, it is the same Torah, but Moshe is repeating it to Am Israel, to remind them. Perhaps like a father will repeat lessons and advice to his son before leaving home. Many of the same commandments are mentioned, but also, some new ones, including the most famous one, the “Shema” The book relates the travels and experiences that “Am Yisrael” took and went through in 40 years’ time. Moshe retells the experience somewhat as a father would relate to his son. Let’s say that father and son travel across the USA for 6 months, then, perhaps 10 years later, the father would remind the son of their trip by remembering their “experiences” “Remember son, the time when we were traveling through Texas and, well, you insisted on exploring that abandoned house, even when I said it would NOT be a good idea…….” The father tells both the good experiences and the bad experiences, the times when the son obeyed and the times when the son disobeyed. Moshe is doing the same thing. This is similar to last week’s parashah “Masei” (journeys) in which Moshe relates the journeys of Israel. We must remember that the old generation is now dead and buried, the sons and daughters of that generation are going into the promised land. They need some good advice, and they need to be reminded of past failures, the failures of their fathers and of their own. An interesting Midrash is the difference and similarity between two words; “D’varim” (words) and “D’vorim” (bees) One could say that the words that Moshe spoke to the Israelites were like the “stings of bees” and after giving this message, a little later on, Moshe went up Mt. Pisgah a died, just like when a bee stings, it leaves the stinger in the victim and dies. What can we learn from the beginning of D’varim? Are we mature enough to receive rebuke? From elders? From others who are in authority? When a believer or even a non-believer is rebuked, it is for his or her own good, either to bring that person to the knowledge of Messiah Yeshua or to turn that person from error to walk in harmony with the Torah. Moshe tells the people the words of Adonai: “You have dwelt long enough in this mountain…turn you and take your journey…. (1:6) they were right at the border of Moab and Canaan; the Jordan River separated the two nations. It was time to leave their “comfort zone” and “cross over” and conquer the pagan peoples, and lay claim to the land! They had fought giants before, you know, the bigger they are, the harder they fall, especially if Adonai “falls” them. Remember that it all starts in Egypt (Mitzraim) the land of “restriction”, Moshe leads them out, symbolizing a sort of Messiah, leading them to Mt Sinai, they receive the Torah, for 40 years they undergo instruction, go through both “good times” and “bad times” sometimes, “very bad times” when YHVH chastised and killed many of them for disobedience and rebellion. Yet now, it is time for the promise to be fulfilled, the “Promised Land” We go through the same thing in our lives. We start out being liberated from our “Egypt” we are liberated from the “lost world and the ways of the lost” by accepting Yeshua as our Messiah and LORD. We grow in faith, in spiritual maturity, or…perhaps fail in our relationship with YHVH, going through valleys and dark places, yet always emerging into the light of Torah again. Sometimes we get comfortable in one place, or doing one thing, yet, God is saying…” turn now and take your journey” or “continue your journey and continue to grow in faith, expose yourself to different “stuff” “situations” yet always trusting in HaShem ISAIAH 1:1-27 The prophet has a difficult calling, he tells Israel of their unfaithfulness, sinfulness, how they wander away from God, and Adonai has to put up with the sacrifices, celebration of “new Moons” the High Holy Days. Etc. not that there is anything bad in celebrating them, BUT…. when these are done in the “flesh” and not with the heart, and because these are “things that you just have to do” then, God wants NONE OF THESE! Many people that adhere to “religion” go through “rites and traditions” just because they are used to “doing them” this in no way pleases Adonai, HOWEVER…when we do things with a pure heart, and with a spirit of “worship and praise” then…Adonai welcomes it. The LORD says through the prophet; Come now, let us reason together, though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow, though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool… IF…ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land” It is all CONDITIONAL! We have the same choice IF we choose to love and follow the LORD, by accepting HIM as LORD and Savior, then follow and do his commandments, following in his footsteps, THEN… we will reap the rewards, first is eternal life in Heaven, second will be spiritual blessings and perhaps even physical blessings while we are on earth, and even more, in Heaven. Again, the choice is ours to take. JOHN 4:1-5:47 This tells the story of the woman of Samaria, who comes to the well to draw water, and she receives even a better blessing. She gets her water and even more, the “Living Water” She meets her “Messiah”. It is very interesting that she is the first person who Yeshua reveals himself as Messiah, without riddles, just in plain words; The woman said; “I know that the Messiah is coming, and when he comes, he will teach us all things” (John 4:25. Yeshua responds saying; “I AM the one who speaks to you” in Aramaic it’s “Enah-na damalel na amehee” as this was the common language of the street then. Or one could rephrase and say, “It is I, (the Messiah) who speaks to you” No doubt she had a life-changing experience, she went to tell the others about Yeshua. Isn’t that what we are supposed to do? Receive Yeshua as LORD and Savior, then, go tell the world, go and teach others to respond to the calling of Adonai in their lives. Is HE part of YOUR LIFE? PIC: Bringing God's Word to "Our Lady of Peace" Catholic Church, "Bosques de la Paz" San Salvador, El Salvador, July, 2019
  3. PARASHIOT “Matot v’ Masei” (Tribes and Journeys of) Numbers 30:1-32:42, 33:1-36:13………Jeremiah 1:1-2:3………John 1:1-51 We need to be careful upon making “vows” Adonai takes serious “promises” that we make, especially using “His” Holy Name (YHVH). We might have said in times before words like; “I swear to God that I’ll…or… “I promise that I’ll” …or … “Next week by this time, I’ll…! But how do you know that you will still be in the land of the living by next week to fulfill your promise? We take “making promises too lightly”. If we remember the Israelite “Yephtah” who, upon winning a war against Israel’s enemies, “vowed” a vow and said, “Whatever comes out first from my house to meet me, I will offer it up as a burnt offering”. I am sure that he was probably thinking of some animal, be it a lamb or a goat, yet when he got home, his only “daughter” came out to meet him. The WORD of God says he “kept” his vow, yet how can we imagine that God would accept human sacrifice? The WORD does not say, but there is a possibility that he DID offer up his daughter, yet not as a burnt offering, but perhaps a servant to the Levites in the tabernacle, What did Yeshua say about vows? “Let our YES be YES, and NO, be NO” without more words. We might have good intentions, yet only the LORD manages our time on earth. If we say that we will do something, and we use God’s name, and we end up NOT doing it, we will have taken HIS HOLY NAME in vain. So, what words can we say when we want to do something, without “vowing”. ”If God permits, I will try to…” or “I am not sure if I can, but, I will try to…” these words seem better, because it leaves the option “if God permits”. We can make plans for the future, but the future is always in the hands of Adonai. In this parashah, we look at a woman vs a man making and keeping vows. If the woman is married, then, as long as the husband agrees to the vow, it is OK, and she must make it good, however, if he doesn’t agree to the vow, then, the vow that the woman makes is annulled. The same thing if the woman is under her father’s roof, (or tent). If the father agrees, all is well, if not, all is NOT well, the vow is nullified. How do we take this today? When making vows or promises, and really, it is better NOT to promise, but if so, it should first be discussed between the husband and wife, or between father and daughter, and an agreement reached, whether or not such promise, vow, or decision, is to be made. It is good to serve Adonai and be involved in ministry, but it should be agreed upon when it involves families. Chapter 31 speaks about the “slaughter of the Midianites” when we read this, we shudder, such bloodshed, yet it was because of the influence of Balaam, that the Midianite prostitutes caused sin to enter the camp, thus bringing a “curse” upon Israel. It was necessary to wipe out the Midianites so as to prevent further sin, yet we see that the soldiers bring back captive women and children, which was common practice in Bible days as well as the rest of the “loot” such as livestock, silver, gold, etc. Problem is that the “women” were the cause of the sin which was brought upon Israel. That is why Moshe was so upset, so he ordered the “women who knew men” to be killed as well as the male children, but why the male children? What harm can a little boy do? Perhaps nothing at that time, but in time, these “little boys” would grow up and seek vengeance against “those Israelites who killed daddy!” Today in modern warfare, we do not see soldiers “looting” houses and people’s property, but they do capture weapons, war equipment, etc. Question! What is to become of all that “drug money” which is captured in drug busts, which is a form of war? Isn’t that “loot?” Well, yes, it is, and, what is to be done about it? Well, this is just my opinion, and mine alone. I would say, divide up the “loot” and give some of it to the soldiers, officers, agents involved in the drug busts, because they put their lives on the line, the rest, divide it up among clinics, hospitals, half-way houses that deal with drug-addicts and their treatment and recovery. But again, my opinion only. Chapter 32 deals with the settlement of the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and half of Manasseh in Gilead, on the east side of the Jordan River. Was it a bad thing that they settle on that side? Moshe was of the opinion that if they build shelters for their children, wives, and cattle first and then, join the other tribes to conquer the land of Canaan, then, after the wars and conquest, they could go back to their families. When we see the land of Israel and then look around at the other nations, there are many more Jews living “outside” of the land of Israel than “inside”. However, we are ALL “Am Echad” (One people) even though divided by oceans and continents. Chapters 34 to the end of B’Midbar, deal with the journeys of the Israelites during their time in the desert up to the death of Moshe. They journeyed to many different places, yet ALWAYS guided by the RUACH ELOHIM (God’s Spirit). We also journey a lot in our life. One could say that our lives can be considered “journeys and stops” perhaps there are 8 different journeys and stops, the journey of “childhood” which enters later “adolescence” then goes to “young-adulthood” then to “education and career” then to “marriage and family” then to “Senior-adulthood” then to “retirement and rest” then to “eternal rest and Shalom” at death. Each can be a “journey” but are we letting Adonai lead us during these journeys? Or are we doing our “own thing?” The Book of Numbers ends with; “These are the commandments and the ordinances which YHVH commanded to B’nei Yisrael through Moshe in the Plains of Moab by the Jordan opposite Jericho” Thus, we see that ALL the Torah mitzvoth come from Adonai, the first Ten being spoken directly to the People of Israel, and the rest, through Moshe to the people. The Torah leads us all to a knowledge of Yeshua, to accept Him as our Savior and LORD, through faith and faith ONLY. “Masei” (journeys) A Torah Midrash over NUMBERS 33:1-36:13 ” Masei” or “journeys” or “stages” in some translations, describes the encampments of the Israelites starting in “Mitzraim” (Egypt) which comes from the root word “Mtzr” or “m’tzar” meaning “restricted” and ending at last in the promised land, giving the division of “Eretz Canaan” between the different “matot Israel” (the tribes of Israel. In Numbers 33:1,2 it reads; “These were the wanderings of B’nei Israel who went out of the land of Egypt under the leadership of Moshe and Aaron. Moshe recorded their DEPARTURES, stage by stage as directed by YHVH; and these are the stages of their DEPARTURES. We see in these 2 verses that the word “departures” is mentioned twice, once at the beginning of the verse, and then at the end. One way we can look at this is that we can either look back to where we came from, or we can look forward to where we are going, or both! We can say “we departed from… or we can say; “We departed towards…” It is important to remember where we come from, how we were raised, perhaps even our shortcomings, our mistakes, yet NOT to DWELL ON THEM! But concentrate on what the LORD has ahead for us, our goals, family goals, work goals, and ministry goals. Don’t let our lives in Egypt depress us, look forward to our land of Canaan. We can’t just look at this from a superficial view, saying, “well, so what, they traveled here and there and they finally made it home, they would have made it a lot sooner if they hadn’t complained so much! I mean, they listened to the spies, etc.”. We need to look into the moral, spiritual, and symbolism. It is much more than just, “going from place to place physically” They started out “restricted” to a place called “Egypt” and that is what “Mitzraim” means from the root word, m-Tz-r, (mem, Tzadik, resh) using the Hebrew letters, “Mitzraim” sounds more plural, so it could also mean “restrictions”. What was restricted? Their FREEDOM! They were surrounded by pagan idolatry, they couldn’t leave! Because they were slaves to Pharaoh. It took the power of Adonai-Elohim the great I AM-YHVH, to get them out using his chosen servant Moshe. They left on the 15th of Nisan, the morning after Passover. The Word says they left with a “high hand” in some translations, “Boldness” with all “confidence” “fearless” with “valor”. It is interesting that the word “Masei” in Hebrew is spelled, “mem, samech, ayin, yod” if we could see this word in the ancient Hebrew spelling, the symbols would look like, “water, leaning on a short staff, an eye, and a hand connected to the arm” So, what could this word symbolize? What does “journeys” mean? Well, here is one idea; the “multitudes march forward, leaning on the staff in sight of the hand!” huh? OK, sooo what does THAT mean? Look at it this way, Moshe lead the way, he walked with a staff, as the custom of all leaders back then, the people kept Moshe in sight, and as he leaned on his staff, they followed, the “hand” leans on the “staff” but who gave Moshe the staff? It was YHVH! As they journeyed, the kept YHVH in sight! The staff also symbolizes leadership, we lean on HIS leadership, and we have the “hand” in our sight, the “hands” that were pierced with the nails on Calvary. “Journeys” are not only physical but also spiritual! The Israelites left Egypt, crossed the Red Sea, now, they left “restrictions” behind, the sacrificed lambs of Passover symbolized Yeshua, the sacrificial lamb, who conquered the curse of sin and death, of HaSatan. Now they are on their way to a new life, just as we begin a new journey starting from the cross of Calvary. The Israelites experienced “bitter waters” at Marah, yet they experienced an oasis at Elim. We experience both bitter times, and times of “refreshing cool waters”. Good times and bad times are part of our wanderings, or “life’s journeys” They encamped at Mt Sinai, to receive the Torah, to become officially united as a nation. “Am Echad Elohim” (One united People of God) We receive Yeshua as our Messiah and LORD, and we receive his WORD, his Torah to guide us through the “wilderness of life”. Then comes a list of all the places where they stopped, camped, and continued when the Glory Cloud lifted. All these stopping places took place during a period of 40 years. The number “40” symbolizes “testing” The LORD was “trying, testing” his people. Each place they stopped at, they learned new things, they experienced the sacrificial offerings once the Mishkan (tabernacle) was fully erected. Yes, they complained, and Adonai chastised, yet forgave his children. He was with them all through the 40 years of journeys, and He brought them into the promised land through their new leader “Yehoshua” who took Moshe’s place. Our journeys through life will take us to many “stops” and “settlements” one might consider a “new job” a kind of “Stopping to settle down for a while” just like moving from “house to house” or “apartment to apartment” or “mobile home to mobile home”. Another “journey” in life is the “marriage journey” then there are the “childhood, adolescence, teenage, young adult, middle age, and Senior” journeys. In each journey, we learn and experience different things, “bitter waters” as well as “refreshing new waters” all the time being led by “the LIVING WATER! There will be enemies to fight, the worse kind being “spiritual enemies from the Kingdom of Darkness” who will put traps in our way, stumbling blocks, bad attitudes, issues, carnality, etc. But all these are part of the journeys in life. Aaron’s journey lasted 123 years. Methuselah’s journey lasted 969 years, while Abel’s journey was very short, maybe his journey ended when he was a teen. Enoch’s journey lasted 300 years. We know not how long our journey will last, it is in God’s hands. What is important is that we learn from our experiences during our “stops” along the way, especially the “education stops” Education is a life-long stop, it should continue all of our days. We have our secular education and our Torah education. Sometimes there are conflicts between them, and we must adjust our ways, to the TORAH ways, not the other way around. The last stop is the “Canaan” stop, “death” is our trip across the Jordan River that will bring us to the River of Life in the World to Come, In the New Jerusalem, we will receive our share of our inheritance, issued out to us by Our LORD and Messiah, Yeshua HaMashiach, (Jesus the Christ) Then, in the New Jerusalem, begins our “new journey” which will never end. How can we imagine a journey without end? We really can’t, not with finite minds. “Time” as we know it will be meaningless. Perhaps 100 years on earth will be like 10 seconds in heaven. As Elohim says, “One day is likened unto a thousand years and a thousand years as a day” It is said that the “Jew is always wandering/traveling” Is this really true? The Jewish nation was sent out of the land to foreign lands, yes, they were cast out, expelled, but for what eternal and divine purpose? To take the belief in One God, in Adonai-Elohim, Adonai-Echad, YESHUA! To the pagan peoples. Many look at the expulsion as a punishment, yet the big picture is “evangelism”. Rav Shaul (Apostle Paul) was a traveling Jew, He founded many “Kehilot Meshiachit” (Messianic congregations) in many different areas of the middle east and southern Europe. ” Ashkenaz” was a descendant of Japheth, son of Noah, who “journeyed” to what is now Germany, and his descendants to East Europe and Russia (probably after the fall of “Babel”), and “B’nei Israel” (the Children of Israel) in their “journeys” met with the “descendants” of Ashkenaz, intermarried, and thus spreading the belief of ONE GOD to Germany and East Europe, thus we have the “Y’hudim-Ashkenazim” (The Ashkenazim Jewish peoples). Some say that the desire to “travel” and “journey” is inbred into all Y’hudim, perhaps not all, many Jewish families have stayed in one place for centuries, others, are on the move. I personally like to travel, go to different places. I have traveled to many states in the USA and to about 12 countries in my “life’s journeys” I hope that the LORD will allow me to live to walk across Spain on the “St James Way” (Camino de Santiago) when I reach 66 years old. And of course, to return one last time to Eretz Israel to spend some time with the IDF again . As we physically journey from place to place, remember that we are also “journeying” spiritually, being guided (hopefully) by God’s WORD, through his Holy Spirit. May you prosper in your journeys through life, “Buen Camino Peregrino!” (Have a good walk pilgrim!) JEREMIAH 1:1-2:3 The calling of Navi Yirimyahu (the prophet Jeremiah) As we see in the beginning, God says, “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you!” A great statement, a great truth that flies in the face of abortionists, those that say, “a fetus is not yet human”. If God is saying that EVEN BEFORE” being formed in the womb, He had Jeremiah in mind. Where are we before being formed in the womb of our mothers. No one seems to know; the WORD does not say. Some believe that we are in Spirit form and that we await bodies to go into, and that when a man and woman unite together in love, when the sperm meets the egg, there is a guardian angel that is sent to be with that person, and either God or the angel takes the spirit and puts it inside the tiny microscopic body. Well, who knows if this is true, but it might just be that way. Everyone has a calling in life, we just have to find out what it is. Our first calling is to “get right with God” and accept Yeshua as our Messiah, LORD, and Savior, that act of faith will secure our eternity in Heaven. Then we must search out hearts and ask the LORD what our calling will be. It may be a full-time ministry, it may be a secular job joined with a ministry. The gifts of the Holy Spirit will enable us to do many things. Jeremiah was called to a difficult task, to “wake up” the nation of Israel that was seeded deep in sin, his calling as “Prophet” (or spokesman) was for him, he accepted it, and we have his book to prove it. Prophets declared the words of Adonai to the nations, today we have the complete written word of God. Everything we need to know is written in the Bible. His entire WORD is in 66 books. Can God speak through individuals today with “special words?” Sure, but those words will NOT contradict what is already written in the Torah. If you are called to teach and expound God’s WORD, (which was the mission of the prophets of old in a general way) STUDY to show thyself WORTHY, a WORKMAN that needeth not be ashamed, but rightfully dividing the WORD of TRUTH! JOHN 1:1-51 ” In the beginning, was the WORD, and the WORD was with God and GOD was the WORD” This opening statement clarifies that YESHUA was part of the creation, in the beginning, Yeshua has many names; Son of David, The Second Adam, Son of Man, the WAY, the TRUTH, the LIFE, the LIVING WORD, and many more. WORDS are alive, and with words, Elohim created the heavens and the earth, bringing into being all that is in existence today. There are the things that were “created” (Bara) and those things (such as man) that were “Made” (Asah) “Asah” is used when things are “made” from pre-existing material, such as Adam (man) from earth, dust, water, and the spirit was put inside the body. The title of Yeshua “The Living Word” in Hebrew is “HaD’bar Chayim” the word “Dabar” which is “word” consists of three Hebrew letters, “Dalet, Bet, and Resh” when we look at this from an ancient Hebraic perspective, we see the symbolism in these letters which can say; first door to the house” We are “households” and when Yeshua knocks on our “doors” do we open our door to let Him in? the word in Hebrew for “door” is “Delet” which can mean in the ancient Hebrew symbolic letters “instruction is the door to the covenant” God’s instruction through the Torah points us to Yeshua who is the “covenant” of our salvation. In time, GOD was manifested in human form as YESHUA, who is the “Living WORD” He fulfilled the covenant of the cross to pay the price of sin, to crush the head of HaSatan, to teach the Torah, heal the sick, we as followers of Yeshua are called to share and teach his WORD to all who will listen. Are you fulfilling YOUR CALLING? Shabbat Shalom………Rabbi Ben Avraham Home again in Houston. Sure miss those 7-foot waves, wish I had a surfboard
  4. PARASHA: “Pinchas” NUMBERS 25:10-29:40…………I KINGS 18:46-19:21………… LUKE 23:1-24:53 Question. Can bloodshed achieve peace? This is a question that can be answered by looking back in time. There have been wars, always. In the USA, The Revolutionary War, the Civil War, then the world wars. WW1, WW2, the Korean War, Viet Nam, etc. Has peace really been achieved? One could say that perhaps, temporary peace, yet in human hearts, there is always the sin nature, the spirit to take vengeance. This Torah portion talks about Pinchas, who was zealous for God, who spilt blood, and eased the anger of Adonai. Another prophet who did the same was Eliyahu Ha Navi, Elijah the Prophet, who showed Israel who the real God was (and still is). Brought fire down from Adonai to consume a sacrifice, then had 400 prophets of Baal slain with the sword. Peace was achieved, the people returned to the worship of the true God. But for how long? Pinchas, the grandson of Aaron was a Levite, and during the time of the “weakness and falling away of the men of Israel, He took matters into his own hands, and slew Zimri and Cozbi, who were committing fornication in the sight of all Israel, yet Adonai rewarded him for this and gave him an “everlasting covenant of peace and an everlasting priesthood” because he was “Zealous” for his God, because he made an “atonement” for “b’nei Israel”. to understand this, we must go back to Parashah Balak. King Balak wanted Balaam to curse Israel, yet Adonai did not do this, as Adonai prohibited this. Israel was already blessed by Adonai, and who Adonai has blessed, no man can curse. However, as many past rabbis and sages believe, what happened afterwards was indeed a tragedy. Even though the Torah does not record this, because of the events that followed, we can conclude that this is what might have happened afterwards. Perhaps, Balaam went to Balak and told him that even though he could not curse Israel, the children of Israel could bring a curse among themselves by disobeying God’s commandments and going after other gods. The Torah says that b’nei Israel went after the Moabite prostitutes and went to worship their god “Baal-Peor” thus bring down the wrath of YHVH. The result was a plague that killed 24,000 Israelites until Pinchas took action and took a lance and thrusted it through the bellies of Zimri and Cozbi, thus “staying” the plague. As Adonai called it, “making an atonement for the children of Israel’ “Blood” for “blood” We find this a very “rash” thing to do, yet, we need to understand that Israel was under a “theocracy” and not a “democracy”. Their ruler, King, commander-in-chief was YHVH himself. God calls the shots, makes the rules, and decides outcomes. Under our “democracy” we have presidents, kings, senate, governors, etc. who make rules and vote on rules and outcomes. Try being “zealous” for God today the same way Pinchas did would land us in prison very quickly. But we must also view the action of Pinchas in the following manner. His faith and love for the Torah and for God was backed by “action”. We could take other examples. A cat lover walks by a group of mean kids that are teasing a cat, pulling its tail, and just giving it a hard time. The cat lover could just say; “poor cat” and start to cry over it and continue walking…or…the cat lover could run up to the mean kids and push them aside, grabbing the cat and taking it to safety. The cat lover not only showed love and compassion for the cat, but also showed an active and positive “action”. The same can be said about protesting against the murder of the un-born through abortions, many people will write letters and let their voices be heard, instead of just feeling sorry for the un-born who are murdered inside female wombs. Back to the question. Can the shedding of blood achieve peace? Everlasting peace? Yes, it does. 2000 years ago, Yeshua our Messiah shed his blood on the Cross of Calvary, and with his shedding of blood, achieved peace between a sinner and Adonai. This is an inner peace which enters the soul of one who accepts the one time sacrifice of Yeshua, who shed his blood for our sins. His shed blood stilled the wrath of God against sinners, who gave us all a chance to redeem ourselves, but not on our own accord, but by the intervention of Mashiach. Pinchas stilled the wrath of God by shedding the blood of two rebels, Yeshua stilled the wrath of God by shedding his own blood, with everlasting results. Later on, in this Parashah, we see that Moshe intercedes for Israel when Adonai tells him to go up Har Abiram and take a look around, because he will die there. Adonai appoints “Yehoshua” as Moshe’s successor, to lead the people into the promised land. We see two leaders now, “Pinchas” who is granted the title and inheritance of “High Priest” for his action, he symbolizes the “Kana” (Zeal) for Adonai, and Yehoshua, who is given the “Ruach Elohim” to lead the people. Yehoshua is the same as “Yeshua” for HE is the one who leads US in our lives today. Yeshua also showed “Kana” when he drove out the money changers in the temple, he used a bit of violence, yet not for “religious” reasons, but for the “love” of HIS father and for respect for HIS HOUSE. Today HIS HOUSE consists of all “Kehilot” (assemblies) of born-again believers all over the world, not buildings There are other ways one can show “zeal” for YHVH today; Loving his Torah, obeying his commandments, teaching his Word to those who would listen, loving our neighbors, supporting our local body of believers, voting for government officials who also uphold biblical standards. Pointing out sinful ways to sinners (in a loving, not condemning way) and pointing them to a personal relationship with Yeshua our Messiah. Chapters 28 and 29 deals with the review of the sacrifices and offerings that the Israelites would offer to YHVH. Remember that they are about to cross over the Jordan to possess the promised land. There they would be “permanent residents” and the fight would continue to cast out the Canaanites (another reason for the census) to see how many “fighting men” the nation consisted of. Each and every element of the offerings and sacrifices illustrates who YESHUA is and what he stands for; 2 lambs per day, fine flour with oil; Yeshua who is the Lamb of God, who is the BREAD of Life, who has the Ruach HaKodesh (The Holy Spirit) within him. The oil symbolizes the Spirit of Elohim, and the “anointing by the Spirit on ALL believers. Wine was also used to pour over the sacrifices, the “wine” symbolizes the blood of Yeshua that ran down the cross, out of his veins for an atonement for all who believe and accept his sacrifice for sin. Bullocks were also sacrificed, the bullock symbolizes “strength” as the ancient symbol of the letter “Alef” was in the form of a bull. Adonai is “strength” yet he allowed himself to become “lower than the angels” to walk as man and be a willing sacrifice for sin. The goats remind us of Yom Kippur, one was set free and the other sacrificed, reminding us that our sins were “cast away” from us as well as dealt with on the cross. The sacrificed rams remind us of the “ram” that was in the thicket when Abraham offered his son Isaac as a sacrifice. That ram was sacrificed instead of Isaac, just as Yeshua was offered as a blood sacrifice in our place. I KINGS 18:46-19:21 In this study, we see a second example of “zeal” for Adonai. Israel was again, bowing down and worshipping Baal, and Eliyahu really had enough and decided to do something about it. He initiated a contest between YHVH and Baal. Whoever answers the prayers and brings down fire to devour the animal sacrifices, that “god” would be GOD, who the Israelites would worship from then on. Of course, we know who won the contest. Yet as soon as Jezebel, the queen and wicked wife of king Ahab, heard this, and was told that Eliyahu had the 450 priests of Baal slain, she sent a “death threat” to Elihayu. Well, he ran all the way to Mt Horeb in Saudi Arabia, hundreds and hundreds of miles away. There he hid out for a while. There are times when a “man of God” or a “woman of God” can pretty much tired out, exhausted, and they really need a rest. Eliyahu was no different. Adonai understood that. He allowed him to rest, he sent an angel to cook for him, and reassured him that there were 7000 Israelites that did not bow the knee to Baal! Elihayu’s mission wasn’t quite over yet, he still had a job to do before being taken up to Heaven in a chariot of fire. Now that was quite a hot exit! When we serve the LORD, we work to the best of our anointed abilities, yet we need to know when to rest. Not quit mind you. Quitting and resting are too different things. Serving Adonai in ministry is a life calling, ending only at death! So, continue to serve YHVH, in this way we show our zeal. LUKE 23:1-24:53 We have seen in the above cases, “zeal” for YHVH, yet in this case, we see YESHUA himself, who the zeal was directed to, in his case, he was the “lamb to the slaughter”. Remained silent in front of his accusers, before Pilatus and Herodus. There is a time for a believer to protest, to speak out, and there is a time to remain silent. For this reason, Yeshua came into the world. Not to claim kingship then, yet the whole earth was his to rule. His mission was to teach Torah, heal the sick, and to die for our sins. Yes, there were times when he got incensed, angry, there were times when he showed his power, yet on the final day of his earthly life, it was a time to be silent, yet a time to forgive his accusers, to accept the nails, and to say; “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do!’ “Aba, Sh’vook l’hoon la ge’ir yadeen mana av’deen” (Aramaic) and “It is finished” “ha m’shalam” (Aramaic) seems like the translation is saying “the peace’ (is restored) Zeal can come in two forms, aggressive, and passive, we need to know when to use them. shalom……. Ben Avraham One more week in El Salvador, then we return home to Houston, Great ministry experience here, many warm hearts, hungry for Torah
  5. PARASHAH: “Balak” NUMBERS 22:2-25:9………………. MICAH 5:6-6:8………………. LUKE 22:1-71 This is the famous story of Bilam, who was asked to “curse” Israel, and instead, “Blessed” Israel, yet before this, his donkey spoke to him. The name “Bilam” or Balaam” might be a shorter version of the name “Baal-haAm” (lord of the people). Some believe that he was a true prophet of G-d, others believe he was a false prophet or a corrupt prophet. Seems like he was the later, yet YHVH used him for the purpose of blessing HaAm Israel. There is a place in Jordan called Deir Allah, and there, an 8th century stone was found bearing an inscription about Bilam calling him ¨¨A seer of the gods¨¨ so there is a source outside of the Bible which proves that Bilam was really a pagan seer who cursed for pay. So, he was definitely a prophet who worked for a ¨non prophet¨ organization, resulting very unprophetable. Bilam had the spirit of cursing, yet, he was still used by G-d to accomplish HIS plan. There are those and also, there were those who have or have had the ¨Ruach Bilam¨ (the spirit of Bilam) that of helping to destroy Israel. The counselors of Pharaoh, who advised to throw the new-borns into the river, those who have planned the destruction of Israel, the Nazis who came up with the ¨Final Solution¨ all had the Ruach Bilam¨ yet Israel still exists and will always exist, inspite of all the Bilams in this world The princes of Balak, king of Moab, offered money to Balaam to curse Israel, so, Balaam consults Adonai as to what he should do. Elohim gives the answer; “Thou shalt not go with them, thou shalt not curse them for they are blessed” (Num 22:12) What the LORD has blessed, stays blessed, what the LORD has cursed, stays cursed UNLESS the LORD himself lifts the curse and changes the curse to a blessing. Balaam tells the princes, “I cannot go with you” yet Balak is stubborn, and wants Israel cursed, he offers more money, and fame, re-sends his princes and asked them again to propose to Balaam; “Stay here tonight and I will see what the LORD will tell me” says Balaam. But hey, didn’t Adonai already say NO? what more is there to ask again? or…is there a hidden reason? Maybe a money reason? We can see perhaps a greedy prophet trying to see if “God will change his mind”. Just a little curse for a lot of money? However, Adonai says; “Go with them, but only say what I tell you to say”. So, the word of God says that in the morning, Balaam saddled his ass and went with the princes of Moab, BUT…God was angry because he WENT! There is a problem here, didn’t Adonai already give his permission for Balaam to GO, yet he was angry because he WENT! What is the root of interpretation here? Adonai gave his permission for Balaam to go PHYSICALLY with the princes of Moab, Yet, Balaam in his heart was GOING ALONG WITH THE IDEA, to curse for money, greed was in his heart. One thing is to GO, another is GO ALONG WITH THE IDEA, or be in unison to do evil. This is why the anger of the LORD was kindled, Balaam had in his heart the IDEA or the DESIRE to GO CURSE ISRAEL for riches. It was all about the “inner motive” of Bilaam, Adonai knows the heart above all things. We can all “go” places, but if our hearts carry evil intentions, then, the “going” will bring a curse upon yourself. Here is some info about the names Bilam and Balak. Balak means ¨wasted¨ and Bilam means ¨not of my people¨ So, we are talking about two guys, one was already wasted, and the other who was not of Israel, both trying to destroy Israel, Yeah right! Not a chance. Now Adonai used Balaam’s donkey to “wake him up” as to what is happening. Then, “Malach-YHVH” the (Angel of the LORD) stands in the way, the ass avoids him, three times, until Balaam strikes his donkey three times for going off the road. Finally, the LORD opens the mouth of the donkey and the donkey is made to speak; “Why have you smitten me these three times?” Wouldn’t you wonder that Balaam would have been impressed that an animal would speak? Hebrew at that? Even the Angel spoke; “Why have you smitten your donkey these three times?” Some wonder about the number “3” does it have meaning? There are “3” entities in Elohim, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Yeshua was in the ground for 3 days, there are 3 parts of the Bible, the Torah, the Prophets and Hebrew poetry, and the Brit HaDASHAH (New Testament) Yeshua asked Kefa 3 times “Do you love me?” The Angel of Elohim gave “3” warnings to Balaam, yet he did not SEE, or perhaps, did not WANT to see or heed the warnings, until his donkey, “alerted him” Another thing we can see is that God is concerned for the treatment of animals. Those who have pets should treat them with love and tender care, not mistreat them, for if the angel saw the donkey being struck and called Balaam’s attention on that, the LORD sees how YOU are treating your pet, (hopefully no one has a pet crocodile running around the house, yet there was a case of a family that DID have indeed a PET CROC in the house) Balaam meets Balak, and again, they go to “3” separate places to view Israel, and Balaam orders “7” altars to be built. 7 bulls and 7 rams would be sacrificed. “7” is the perfect number,. We can see that there were 7 people in the Bible who built altars (probably more) Abel, Cain, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses (only Cain brought the wrong sacrifice). Balak orders Bilam to curse, yet all three times, Balaam opens his mouth to BLESS Israel, Whom YHVH has blessed, no man can curse. Even in the third blessing, Balaam echoes the blessing of Abraham; “Blessed be everyone that blesseth thee and cursed be everyone that curseth thee!” What can we learn from all this? We must always support and bless Israel, bless our brothers and sisters in our congregations, do not let money be the main interest in our doing “good” if we wish to bless our neighbor, with our prayers, labor, favors, etc., let it not be guided by monetary gain, but our sincere desire to bless and be a witness to Yeshua our Messiah. Oh yes, and treat your cats, dogs, birds, tropical fish, etc. with TLC! Adonai is watching! But let’s look at the blessings that Bilaam said to Israel, and Yes, Balak was fuming! This is to show that G-d even works among heathen prophets, to shower blessings to his people; (23:8-10) We see various things of interest here: Bilaam states: “How can I curse whom Elohim has not cursed?” “It is a people that shall dwell alone, and shall not be reckoned among the nations” “Who hath counted the dust of Jacob or numbered the stock of Israel” “Let me die the death of the righteous, and let mine be like his” Adonai did not curse Israel, but later, Israel brought upon itself a curse because the Israelites hooked up with the prostitutes of Moab and entered into the pagan rites of the Moabites (persuaded by Bilaam) He must have said to the king that God can not curse them but they can bring a curse upon themselves though! Israel is unique, no nation like Israel. The word for “unique” is “Yachid” and is different from the rest of the nations, because Israel believes and worships only “One G-d” YHVH! The rest of the nations at that time, were pagan idolatrous nations. Why is Jacob/Israel compared to dust? Can anyone count “dust?” yet dust will last forever. The desire of all is to “die like a Tzadik!” a righteous person, but Bilaam did not die like a Tzadik, he died like a pagan prophet who was, unwillingly, used by YHVH. The next blessing is from 23:19-24. “God (EL) is not a man that He should lie, Neither the Son of man that He should repent” The word for God in this verse is “El” (the strong one who leads and instructs) and through the Torah, Adonai shows us the way to Mashiach! Yes, God is NOT a man, He is Spirit in the pure essence of His being, yet He became flesh, in Yeshua, to die for our sins, and Yeshua never needed to repent of anything since He was and IS sinless! ‘None hath beheld iniquity in Jacob nor seen perverseness in Israel” Yet didn’t YHVH want to wipe Israel from the earth for past sins and rebellion? Yes, BUT, Moshe interceded for them like Yeshua intercedes before the Father on our behalf. YHVH was looking at Israel through Messiah Yeshua, He sees Israel as if Israel had never sinned, being righteous! Are we any different? Our flesh is black like sin (figuratively) because our flesh is dead and dying, yet inside us lives our soul-spirit, and it is white as snow, purified through the Blood of Yeshua. The third blessing is from 24:3-9. “How goodly are thy tents O Jacob and thy dwellings O Israel” This is the beginning of one of our daily prayers. The tents and dwellings symbolize the whole people of Israel, the ones who dwell inside the tents. The ones who will worship Adonai in HIS tent of meeting There is something special about this verse, In the original Hebrew we see some interesting words Ya akov b´haOhelim v Mishkonatekha. Jacob is an… Ish Tam.. which means he is pure and righteous. He lived in a tent, yet in Genesis when it talks about Jacob, a dweller in a tent, the word is plural….Ohelim… why? Perhaps it is a future prophecy of the descendents of Jacob who live in …tents…which surrounded Moab in the millions. No wonder Balak was fearful. The other word for tent or dwellings is…Mishkonatekha… which comes from the word…Mishkan…Where have we seen this word before? Yes, it is the TABERNACLE .. it is the MISHKAN… So, … Ohelim and Mishkanim…. Dwelling places for the people of Israel. One is the place where we sleep and eat and live our lives, the other is the place of worship. So, Thy dwellings, is the place where Israel met with G´d. “Water shall flow from his branches, and his seed shall be in many waters” Yeshua is the “Living Water” (Mayim Chayim) many waters can symbolize the “multitudes” of peoples, since the Hebrew letter “Mem” symbolizes both ‘water’ and the “masses” (of people) His is the “Seed of faith” which has been scattered among all the nations of the world. The blessing ends like the promise of Abraham, “blessed be every one that blesses thee, and cursed be everyone that curseth thee” and in HIS SEED shall ALL the world be blessed, “HaZeman Yeshua” (the seed of Yeshua) the seed of “Faith” MICAH 5:6-6:8 ”and the remnant of Jacob shall be in the midst of many peoples….” thus, begins the Prophet Micah’s message. We can witness this account today. In every nation of this modern world we see the Jewish people. In almost every large city, there are Jewish neighborhoods, communities, Jewish Community Centers, The mission of Israel in the diaspora was to be a “light unto the nations” the nations thousands of years ago were dwelling in idolatry; the worship of pagan deities permeated their lives. Israel’s mission was to “introduce the worship and love of “One God” Adonai-Elohim, yet even in Israel idolatry was to be found, Elohim would have to “cut off” the worship of graven images, witchcrafts, Asherim, etc., ” Oh, my people, what have I done to thee?” (6:3) Adonai has a right to ask this question. Did HE not take them out of Egypt? Bring them into a new land, He was to be their king, yet they fell into idol worship. ”and what does the LORD require of thee? only to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with thy God” (6:8) And that is what it is all about, If Yeshua loved mercy, did what was just and right, and lived a humble lifestyle, shouldn’t we do the same. Following in HIS footsteps is a meaningful goal in our lives. LUKE 22:1-71 The final and last day of Yeshua on earth is here. He is celebrating the Pesach with his Talmidim. This is very meaningful as it illustrates what the “bread and the wine” symbolize. ” This is my body which is being given to you” “the cup is the New Covenant ratified by my blood which is being poured out for you”. During the time of Pesach, and every time we take communion, which is like a “mini Pesach” we are reminded of our Messiah, who was beaten, whipped, torn apart, spat upon, and nailed to a cross, all because HE loved us SO MUCH. He, God in the flesh, loved his creation, a creation that was once sinless, became flawed by sin, wanted a new relationship once again. The Matzah which is marked by little holes, illustrates the nail holes, and he hung by those nails until his life paid our sin debt in full. The New Covenant is ratified, by HIS BLOOD, the blood of bulls, sheep, and goats did NOT, and NEVER did have the power to remove sin, the animal sacrifices only SYMBOLIZED what Yeshua would do in the future. That is why the New Covenant is a better covenant, because the blood of Yeshua, symbolized by the wine we drink, had and has the power to forgive, atone for the sin of mankind. Man, only has to ACCEPT this sacrifice in a personal way, only then, can Messiah’s death on the cross benefit the person. So, if you have never accepted Yeshua as Messiah and LORD, do it now! Shalom………. Ben Avraham my eBook ¨God Tales, an Anthology¨ still available at Amazon
  6. PARASHA: “Korach” (Korah) NUMBERS 16:1-18:32………….1 SAM 11:14-12:22……………LUKE 19:1-20:47 This study is about a Levite named “Korach” and a few of his friends; Dathan and Abiram, and they got together with 250 other guys and they “Rose up in the face of Moshe”. Now, this for sure is NOT a friendly gathering, they did not come to Moshe to say; “Yo Moe, Wuz Up?” No, is was a REBELLION! Pride and arrogance had filled the hearts of these men and now they questioned Moshe’s authority. We can’t seem to understand why, after Moshe led them through the wilderness, went up Har Sinai, received the commandments, interceded for the whole people on various occasions so that God would not destroy them, now want to question Moshe’s leadership calling. Guess we can call it just that, “blind arrogance and the will to do “their own thing.” They came against Aaron and Moshe with the following words; “Ye take too much upon you, seeing all the congregation are holy, every one of them, and YHVH is among them; wherefore then lift ye up yourselves above the assembly of YHVH?” (16:3) The words “congregation” and “assembly” are one in the same “Kahal” (Qof, Hey, Lamed) “behold there is holiness in instruction” That is what every single congregation should be all about, be the congregation a Sunday honoring church or a Sabbath honoring Messianic Synagogue, we are all ONE body in MESSIAH YESHUA, dedicated to receive instruction from the Torah through Adonai’s chosen vessels. “Holiness” or “Kodesh” means we are “separated” unto YHVH by our life-styles and through our acceptance of Yeshua as our LORD and Savior. Studying the Word of God and applying it to our lives increases our maturity in the faith. Now, here’s a question, was Korah right by saying that “all the congregation are holy, and that YHVH was with them?” Yes, he was absolutely right! “You shall be unto me a holy nation and a kingdom of priests” (Exodus 19:5) There was nothing wrong with that statement, because it is a TRUE statement. Today, every born-again believer is as a “priest” we have access to the Throne of Grace, just like the priests of old went before the people in the Tabernacle and later on, in the Holy Temple to make intercession before YHVH. Through Yeshua, we have intercession before a Holy God. What was WRONG, was that they questioned Aaron and Moshe’s authority by saying; “wherefore lift ye up yourselves above the Kahal of YHVH?” The truth is, that they did NOT lift themselves up over the “Kahal Yisrael” it was ADONAI who lifted THEM UP! It was YHVH who ordained them as leaders to lead the flock of Israel. In every organization, there has to be a leader or leaders. In every business, there is an owner, president, a manager, assistant managers, shift leaders, and the workers. All of them have “value” yet they need to be led by leaders, or the business will topple over, and the workers scatter like sheep without a shepherd. In the church/synagogue setting, there has to be a pastor or rabbi, assistant pastor and associate rabbi or rabbis, then, we have the Sunday School teachers, Torah teachers, youth workers, children’s ministry, music and worship leaders and assistants, secretaries, finance officers, etc.… ALL have MUCH VALUE in ministry, for that reason, we are given the spiritual gifts to make the Body of Messiah work and run like a well-oiled machine. YET, when rebels come and want to disrupt the congregation, disaster can happen, and that is what the enemy “HaSatan” wants, yet before that happened, YHVH had to step in and deal with the situation at hand. In all, we have 250 plus Korah, Dathan, and Abiram that are causing the rebellion. A rebellion that could have spread to a few million Kahal members, “Kol HaKahal Yisrael” (to ALL the congregation of Israel). YHVH has them to bring their censors and put incense and fire in them and bring them before the Mishkan. YHVH will settle the matter once and for all. Remember that the censor, incense, and fire symbolize our prayers that ascend to Adonai. Moshe in a way is saying; “LORD, YOU decide who you want to lead, and be high priest!” Adonai answered in a very frightening way. But before that, Moshe pointed out to Korah that he was already appointed to serve in the tabernacle, intercede before the people, yet, Korah was not satisfied, he wanted even MORE, to be priest, and perhaps even “High Priest”. There could have been a way of asking about a “promotion” (sort of saying) Korah could have approached Moshe and have Moshe ask God about perhaps promoting him to priesthood, in a humble and respectful way, yet Korah was defiant. As we read on, the “earth opened up” and swallowed up Korah and his household. HOWEVER, God did not punish the righteous members of Korah’s family. Remember that the “Sons of Korah” wrote some of the Psalms. He had some sons that were against their father’s rebellion, and they were saved. Just as we remember the plea of Abraham concerning Sodom and Gomorra, “Far be it that YHVH should destroy the righteous with the wicked” so Adonai sent an Angel to take Lot and his family out of Sodom, but just as Lot’s sons-in-law and his wife perished, saving only Lot and his two daughters, some of the sons of Korah were saved, and the rest of the family went down into Sheol. Then we see that Adonai wipes out all the 250 rebels, cleans the slate! No more rebels, may that be a lesson for those who would want to challenge Adonai or his appointed ones. However, is there a time when God’s leaders can be challenged? I would say that if a leader or leaders are teaching lies, false doctrines, and leading the people AWAY from God, teaching that there are “many ways” to God, and that Yeshua is NOT enough, THEN…that leader needs to stop and think what he or she is doing, if others of the Kahal bring this to their attention, it should be done in a humble, respectful way, not in a rebellious way. We ALL have a place in ministry, we are all vessels of VALUE. Yet all vessels have a maker, and that maker is YHVH, and he always chooses a certain vessel or vessels to lead the others, we must all come under that leadership, lift up that leadership, uphold those hands of leadership through support and prayer. Who knows, maybe Adonai will choose YOU as an appointed leader! 1 SAMUEL 11:14-12:22 We see in this study, that the same thing happens. In the previous story, Korah rejects or questions Moshe’s authority, here, in Samuel, the people want a human king over them. Even though the Prophet pleads with the people, Adonai speaks up and tells Samuel, “They have not rejected you, but me” Adonai gives the people what they want, a human king, a king with weaknesses and strengths, the first king was a bad choice, the people looked at Shaul’s physical appearance, yet as we read on, he failed to serve Adonai, disobeyed God’s instructions through Shmu’el. Finally, another king was selected, David Ben Jessie. This time, a king was selected whose heart was with God. Be very careful what we ask for, we might get it and then not want it. Rex Humbard once said it like this: “God may give you want you want, but you might not want what you get!” LUKE 19:1-20:47 The passage starts out with Yeshua entering Jericho, Zacchaeus was there but since he was small in stature, he climbed up a Sycamore tree. Yeshua saw him and gave him the order; “Zacchaeus, come hurry and come down, for today I must stay at your house” Now Zacchaeus could have refused, and told Yeshua to go someplace else, or might have thought himself not worthy to receive the Messiah in his house, but we know that he DID come down and he DID open the doors of his house to receive MASHIACH. Yeshua responds with these words; “Today YESHUAH has come to this house” And it was a fact indeed, “Yeshua” did come into his house, and as a result, Zacchaeus repented of his ways and wanted to right the wrong he had been doing, so, “Yeshuah” (Salvation) DID come to his house (a little play on words). God will ask us, (not so much tell us) “May I come into your house and be your LORD and GOD?” If we decide to open the doors of our heart, mind, and soul and invite HIM IN, then, HE will come IN and be OUR SAVIOR AND LORD. A repentant sinner shows signs of repentance, changed heart, changed ways, and you, have you come down from your “tall tree” and humbled yourself and have opened the door of your flesh and spirit house to allow HIM to come in? Shabbat Shalom……Rabbi Ben Avraham From El Salvador From P.S. The Sycamore tree is still there according to the tour guide in Israel. I know, because I was there in Jericho in 1999. The tree is very thick around, the only one that is big enough to be about 2000 years old. I picked up some of the Sycamore seeds and I still have them in a class container
  7. PARASHAH: “Shelach’l’ha” (send for yourself) NUMBERS 13:1-15:41………………. YEHOSHUA 2:1-24………………LUKE 17:1-18:43 Most of us know the story of the 12 spies that were sent to spy out the land of Canaan, sent by Moshe by the word of YHVH. But let’s look at the story carefully and see what we can dig out of the sand pile, we might find some valuable stuff hidden in the sand. One thing is that the word ¨spy out¨in the Hebrew comes out to be ¨¨tu'ru¨¨ which is similar to ¨¨tour¨¨ so Adonai is saying ¨¨take a tour of the blessing which I have given you¨¨ it also means to ¨´loosen what is tied¨¨ so the spies upon walking up and down the land of Canaan, are ¨¨loosening the land¨¨ because it is ¨¨tied up by the pagan peoples which inhabit that land. The word of Moshe to the 12 tribes, that they might select from each tribe a leader to represent that tribe, so the list is read. Among those selected, we are going to concentrate on two of the leaders; “Kaleb” son of “Yephuneh” from the tribe of Y’hudah, and “Hoshea” son of “Nun” from the tribe of Ephrayim”. The story goes as follows as we read the Torah. The 12 are sent out on a “reconnaissance” mission to “spy out” the land. What do we mean by that? Any time an army is going to invade a territory, the army needs to know how many men the enemy has, what they have, where they live, their fortresses, etc. This is a common battle strategy, nothing new. Adonai has already “promised” them the land, done deal! Yet they still have to go into battle, but the battle already has the outcome, Israelites win! This is what Adonai sees looking up the “finite” time line in the “finite” dimension” and we must remember that HE sees ALL THINGS from the “infinite” time line, the things that have already come to pass, even before they “pass” They travel throughout the land of Canaan for 40 days, they see many things, the fruit of the land, grapes, pomegranates, figs, date palms, etc. It is indeed a land flowing with “milk and honey” (figs and dates). Yet the beginning of verse 28 starts with BUT! And then follows all the negativity, the people are strong, the cities are walled, the “giants” (and not the team from New York) I mean “the big tall guys” It is very easy to spread discouragement among the people, (vs 32) “and they gave the children of Israel an evil report of the land”. Imagine that your father promises to give you a brand-new Mercedes Benz for your birthday, and he says; “go to the Mercedes dealer and check it out son!” so you go and look at it, you look into motor, inside, then come back and say; “Hey pop, this is going to eat up a ton of gas, the insurance is going to be high, it might get stolen… Well, dad might say, “OK son, forget it then, if you feel that way!” The only ones that saw the promise of YHVH were Kaleb and Hoshea, they looked to the promise, but the rest of the leaders set their eyes on the “circumstances”. Going back to verse 16, it points out something interesting; Moshe changes the name of “Hoshea” to “Yehoshua” this is very interesting and sheds light on internal symbolism. The name “Yehoshua” contains two names in the Hebrew language “YH” (Yah) and YESHUA! When we look at the full name “Yehoshua Ben Nun” from the ancient paleo-Hebrew letters and their symbolism, one could get the following message; “Behold and let the eye see (that God, the All-consuming fire) extends the hand to receive the nail, to give (BEN) life to the house (to families) and by the nail, (His) life was given up so that (we) might have life!” (NUN) When we look at the name “Kaleb Ben Yephuneh” from the ancient Hebrew symbolism, we could get this message: “The house is anointed for instruction” (Kaleb) and “behold let it be made that from the mouth comes forth instruction” (Yephuneh). I guess it depends on how one looks at the letters, perhaps another rabbi would come up with something different, but this is how I personally look at the names from the ancient perspective. Another thing that we can see is that Caleb is from the tribe of ¨Yehudah¨ with the name of Joshua being ¨Yehoshua¨ and Caleb being from the tribe of ¨Yehudah¨ we have the names ¨Yeshua who is YHVH (which is derived from YeHVdaH) The result was that panic and discouragement spread throughout the camp, and it wasn’t just a few thousand Israelites, rather a few million, discouraged by 10 negative leaders. And 10 out-vote 2! Even though Kaleb and Yehoshua tried to encourage the people, the negatives won over. As the saying goes, you can put a few rotten apples in a barrel of good apples, and the good ones will never correct the rotten ones, but the rotten ones will infect the good ones with rottenness. The result, the Israelites had to stay in the desert wilderness for 40 years, 1 year for each day the spies were in Canaan. Then, to make matters worse, they tried to go into the land without the blessing of Adonai, and they were beaten back. YHVH wanted to destroy them all, yet Moshe intercedes for them, and Adonai listened to Moshe. This is the same way Yeshua intercedes for us to the Father, on our behalf when we “get rotten” (miracle we’re still in the land of the living? Or no?) Going to chapter 15, we read something interesting from verses 38 to 41, about making and wearing “Tzitziot” or “fringes” on our garments. There are many “traditions” in Judaism, such as the wearing of “Yarmulkes” (head coverings) and some Ashkenazim dressing in black and white, even the lighting of two candles comes from “tradition” Tradition isn’t bad, as long as we understand the meaning behind the tradition. But one should NEVER teach “tradition” as “commandments” there is a world of difference between the two. However, the making and wearing of Tzitziot, IS a commandment, however many do not follow it, I guess it is up to each individual. One can read it and say; “God says it but I won’t follow it” or “God says it and I will do it” We all have the choice to do or not to do. Whatever the Holy Spirit convicts us to do. No one knows how the original Tzitziot were made, none have survived 3000 years. Today, there are many different styles and “knot tying” and “wrappings” of the thread when making Tzitziot. One only has to go to YouTube and look up “Tying Tzitziot” and you will have quite a few videos of instructions of “how to” that is the way I learned, from watching a few YouTube videos on “making Tzitziot”. But what do the Tzitziot symbolize? The scripture tells us in verse 39, “to remember the commandments”. The blue cord reminds of the “blue sea” where the Israelites crossed, and the “blue” of the heavens from whence our Messiah and LORD will break through to return to earth. Today, we use 4 long cords, one of which is blue and is the longest. This cord is used to do the wrappings, and all 4 are used to make the knots. When one ties the knots, it is customary to say, “BaShem Mitzvah Tzitzit” (in the name of the commandment (of making) the tzitzit. There are 5 knots, symbolizing the 5 first books of the Torah, the number “5” also symbolizes “grace” then there are the windings of the blue thread. The 4 cords are folded over so as to give the appearance of “8” cords, “8” is the number of a “new beginning” which we all have when we are “born-again” The windings go as follows (but to get a good view and idea, you need to go to YouTube and view the Tzitziot tying videos) 7 windings, then knot, then 8 windings, then knot, then 11 windings, then a knot, then 13 winding, then the final knot. Why the 7, 8, 11, and 13 windings of the blue thread? Well, these spell out the name Y H V H using numbers. “7” being the “perfect number of God, then 7+8=15 which are the sum of the letters Y + H (Y=10, H=5). 11 = “V +H” (V=6, H=5) so now we have the infallible name Y H V H. “13” is the sum of the word “ECHAD” (oneness of God) Alef=1, Chet=8 and Dalet=4. 1+8+4=13, it also symbolizes the 13 attributes of Adonai found in Exodus when Moshe asks to “see God” and his “Spirit passes before him” JOSHUA 2:1-24 This is the other “Spy Story”, involving “two” spies. I remember from back in the 1960s watching “Man from U.N.C.L.E” on TV, involving two spies. Yehoshua sends them out to spy out “Jericho” they arrive at the house of “Rahab” a prostitute, she hides them and expresses her faith in the “unseen God of the Hebrews” from verses 9 to 13 we read of her faith. She hid the spies because the king of Jericho somehow found out that they came to her. She risked her own life and the life of her family by hiding them on the roof. “our lives for yours” were the words of the spies when they left through the window by a rope. (vs 14) but faith needs action, (faith without works is dead) to show her faith, she needed to tie a scarlet cord in the window, so that when the Israelite army came, Rahab and her family would be saved. This reminds us of Passover, that when the angel of death saw the “red” (blood) on the doorposts, the angel would “pass-over” all who were in the house. In the case of Rahab and her family, they were saved from destruction, by obeying the mandate “bind this line of scarlet cord in the window…” (2:18). Read chapter 6:25. Rahab and her family were taken from Jericho to the Israelite camp, just like the Israelites were taken from Egypt to (eventually) the promised land In our case, Yeshua is saying “My life for yours” what do we have to do? “Just believe and accept his one-time only sacrifice” for all of our sins, past, present, and future. And we pass from the “camp” of sin, to the “camp” of Adonai. LUKE 17:1-18:43 Yeshua teaches here that “stumbling blocks” are inevitable, they will come in our lives, we will fall, yet we will get up again, that is part of the life of a believer. Our lives are like riding “roller-coasters” at times we are “up” and at times we are “down” because we are in our sinful bodies, yet it will only be “up” when we get into our “new bodies” in Heaven. Yeshua also speaks of forgiveness, which at times seems hard to do, especially when a person commits the same sin against us time after time, after time. YET we are COMMANDED to forgive. This can not come from the carnal man, only from the spirit filled man (and woman). Yeshua also speaks of “servanthood” why do we do the things we do? To get special treatment or rewards? Or…because that which we do is expected of us from the Master? Yes, we are HIS servants, and because we ARE we do what we do using our spiritual gifts. YET Adonai has already promised rewards in heaven, but we shouldn’t do what we do because of the future rewards, but out of love for what HE has done for US on Calvary’s Tree. Shalom I am in El Salvador¡ now, not so much time to send out these parashot, but still busy in ministry
  8. I don't know if this is the correct place to put this announcement, I don't know where else I could put it, if someone in the staff thinks it would be more appropriate in another part, you can move it. For the past seven years, I have been working on an eBook entitled "God Tales, An Anthology" it is an eBook with 20 creative writing stories that are about both Biblical characters and non-Biblical characters and their faith issues, also, there is a section on poetry which I have written, then a section on my own memories of the past and my faith connections with those memories, and lastly, a few pages of insights under some pics which I took. I have uploaded this ebook to Amazon/Kindle, so, if you would like to support this writing ministry, feel free to go to the following site/link; https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07S9TX9NL J. Ben Avraham, from the Hebrew roots forum page
  9. PARASHA: “B’Midbar” (in the wilderness) NUMBERS 1:1-4:20………HOSEAS 2:1-22……. LUKE 11:1-12:59 We start the new Torah Sefer called “Numbers” in English because it talks about “numbering” the tribes of Israel. We wonder why the reason for “numbering the people?” for this reason, we need to go back to the beginning to see. In Egypt, Israel was a hodge-podge of undisciplined slaves working for Pharaoh, In Adonai’s timing, He sent Moshe, a “Messiah Type” to lead the people out of slavery to freedom. Once out of Egypt, came the task of taking Egypt out of the Israelites. They came to Har Sinai, ready to become a nation united under YHVH. The Ten Commandments served as the document in stone, a “Ketubah” to solidify the covenant. Now, the United Tribes of Israel under YHVH is established. But this is only the first part. Each Shavuot, we remember the giving of the “Torah in Stone” in the midst of thunder and fire. Now that the nation is established, YHVH takes a count, why the count? As a nation, as every nation in the world has, the Nation of Israel needs an army! So, the count is taken to form the very first IDF (Israel Defense Force). I am sure that many of you that are reading this have served in one of the branches of the Armed Forces of the USA, or of other countries. I myself served in the US Army from 1972-1984. I met many people and learned many things. It was a great experience and a special time in my life. Quite a few of my family members also served in the Armed Forces, the first being an ancestor of mine, Richard Ellis, who served in the Massachusetts Militia in 1640. YHVH takes up the count and “enlists” every man who is 20 years old and older. They will serve in the armies of Israel. All those who are …”20 years old and upward who are able to go to war.” After the numbering, part of the daily life would have been practicing and learning how to use different combat weapons, back then would have been swords, spears, bows and arrows, and slingshots. Every soldier has a job to do. Today we call these jobs MOS, (Military Occupation Specialties) One of mine was that of chaplain assistant. I was to assist a Catholic chaplain who everyone called; “Father McCarthy” who had a bulldog named “Gus” who also went to chapel with him. 11 of the 12 tribes were called to be fighting men yet the tribe of Levi, was called to be the “chaplain tribe” They were exempt from combat duty, they would attend the Tabernacle and services. There were the kohanim (the priests) who would be the “chaplains” and the “Levites” who would serve as the “chaplain assistants” sort of speaking. So, you are thinking, what does this numbering have to do with us as born-again believers in Messiah Yeshua? We need to again, go back and look at our lives before and after Messiah Yeshua. Before we were just a bunch of “hodge-podge lost sinners in the camp of HaSatan, until Yeshua took us out of that camp by shedding his blood on the cross of Calvary, when we accepted his sacrifice, we were officially “out” of the camp. Yet, there would still be a lot of “HaSatan and worldly influence” still in us, so, like the Israelites, “Egypt” was still in us. When we accepted Messiah Yeshua as our Mashiach and Goel (Redeemer) we were added to the Commonwealth of Israel, now part of the Community, the “Adat” which began at Sinai 3500 years ago. We are the “olive branches” that have been “grafted into” the Olive Tree. Now that we are members and citizens of “HIS People” we also are considered “soldiers” and in the LORD’s Army. However, we fight a different type of war. In this world, armies fight with RPGs, M-16s, Kalashnikovs, Berettas, M-60s, etc. We fight against, “spirits and principalities of darkness” it is a spiritual war against HaSatan and his demons. Only through the Ruach HaKodesh (The Holy Spirit) and the power of His WORD can we overcome the onslaughts of the enemy. He realizes he has lost the war, yet still continues to fight a losing battle, which was won at the cross 2000 years ago. As the Cohenim ministered and had jobs to do, and also the soldiers had their jobs to do, we believers also have jobs within our “Kehilot” and “Adat” (congregations). That is why the Holy Spirit has given gifts of the Spirit so that we might all serve in different capacities in the body of Messiah. In this way, the body grows and prospers. Some of us are rabbis, pastors, who also serve as teachers, also we have ministers in music and praise, finances, maintenance, prayer intercessors, counselors, and the list can go on. The twelve tribes of Israel encircled the Tabernacle, with the tribe of Levi next to it. The “Mishkan” was at the center of the People. So also, YHVH should be the “Center” of our life. The whole purpose of our life is to serve our God and Creator, while loving and supporting our brothers and sisters in the faith, reaching out to others who are lost and teaching Torah to those who have ears to hear and learn. We are “numbered” in the eyes of Elohim, HE knows who we are, He has numbered the hairs on our head, and there is no such thing as “retirement” in the work of YHVH, well, there is…. It is called d-e-a-t-h. Another detail which I would like to add to this Midrash. When Adonai numbered the people, he chose leaders out of each tribe. In all groups of “chosen,” there are “leaders”. They can be pastors, rabbis, Sunday school teachers, Torah teachers, counselors, etc. But every group needs a leader or leaders. If not, we have a lot of sheep running around without shepherds. We see the names of the leaders. Many ask about the meanings of the names. Well, here they are as follows. Starting with chapter 1, verse 5; “Elizur’ = My God is the rock;” Shelumiel” = At peace with God. (I know, it sounds like “Schlemiel” but it isn’t. “Zurishaddai” = My Rock is Shaddai; “Nahshon” = Serpent, “Amminadab” = The (Divine) kinsman is generous ; “Nethaniel” = God hath given; “Eliab” = God is Father; “Elishama” = God hath heard, or God hears; “Ammihud” = The (Divine) kinsman is glorious; “Gammaliel” = God is my reward. In later times, it was the name of many famous rabbis, like the rabbi of Apostle Paul; “Pedahzur” = The Rock hath redeemed; “Abidan” = The Father hath judged; “Ahiezer” = The (divine) Brother is a help; “Ammishaddai” = The People of Shaddai; “Pagiel” = The lot (or fate) is given by God; “Eliasaph” = God has added; “Deuel” or “Reuel” = God is a friend; “Ahira” the (divine) brother is a friend. HOSEA 2:1-22 How would you react if God spoke to you in a dream or vision, and you knew that is was really HIM, and he told you, “Hey_________ I want you to marry a prostitute!” Weeelll, you would think, was it really God who spoke to me, or was it the pizza I ate last night giving me nightmares? Hosea was told to marry a prostitute, a “wife of harlotry” and…he obeys! Even though he knows that she will be unfaithful to him. He still loves her, in spite of her unfaithfulness. This mirrors the love of God toward his people. Israel was unfaithful to YHVH. They went after false gods and committed “spiritual adultery” yet…the love of our LORD and Savior is beyond measure, and he forgave them, Yes, there was punishment, as all fathers will chastise and punish their sons and daughters, so Israel suffered captivity, banishment from the land, dispersion among the nations, yet we have not been forgotten, we are being gathered together and being brought back to the roots of our faith. Will be unfaithful to our God? Every time we break the commandments, we are in a way, being unfaithful, we are being disobedient sons and daughters, but we have a forgiving Father, King, Savior. If we wander away, let us return to the bridegroom, who awaits the return of his bride. LUKE 11:1-12:59 This portion has quite a few themes. One of the most important is the “LORD’s prayer”. Many people “pray” this in a robotic way, a series of words in repetition, many “pray” this without really thinking, “What am I saying really?” Yeshua wanted his talmidim to do more than just “pray” the words, but to “think and meditate on what the words are saying; OUR FATHER…only believers can call God “Father” it is a special relationship, to a lost person, God is their creator and will be their judge in the future, to a born-again believer, there is a “father-son/daughter” relationship….IN HEAVEN…He lives in the heavens (plural) in Hebrew it is always plural “HaShamayim” He is in the New Jerusalem, in Outer Space, in our atmosphere, in our back yard, in our front yard, in our living room, and living inside of us. KADOSH BE YOUR NAME. His name “YHVH” is HOLY, and being Holy, His name should be spoken with reverence, whether we call him Yod Hey Vav Hey, or Adonai, or HaShem, or Adonai-Yeshua, Is our comportment as believers reflecting the holiness of HIS name? YOUR KINGDOM COME. His kingdom is already here! His kingdom is his activity on earth. His activity began with creation. There will be a political Kingdom that WILL COME down to earth in the future, and we will all be part of it…. YOUR WILL BE DONE ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN… We should always ask for and expect his PERFECT will for our lives. There is his “permissive will” and his “perfect will” We want to be in his “perfect will” as He wants the best for us All the time. GIVE US THIS DAY OUR DAILY BREAD… We ask for our daily needs be met, and when we are in his will, our needs will be met, and many times, our wants as well. HOWEVER, be careful about what we ask for, since sometimes “He will give us want we want, but we won’t want what we get! If you catch the drift! Sometimes, when we don’t ask for much, he gives us that, and much more, and sometimes, he gives us just a “little at a time” to keep us humble. FORGIVE US OUR SINS AS WE FORGIVE THOSE WHO SIN AGAINST US. How can our Heavenly father forgive us if we hold grudges against others who have offended us? Sometimes, forgiveness is hard, but our Father commands it, and only through the Holy Spirit can we do it Hosea forgave Gomer, his harlot wife, just like YHVH forgives us, LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION BUT DELIVER US FROM THE EVIL ONE. But wasn’t Yeshua tempted? Yes, and he called upon the Father for strength. When temptations come our way, and they will, we should ask that we not succumb to the temptation and pray for an escape route. The enemy preys on our weaknesses, our eyes, our mind, our ears, however, if we have our sight on Yeshua, our mind tuned to HIM, and our ears to hear his WORD, we will overcome temptation. Shabbat Shalom
  10. LEVITICUS 26:3-27:34... JER 16: 19-17:14;... LUKE 9:10:41 This Parashah week brings the book of Leviticus to an end. When we read these final chapters, what YHVH is saying is; IF…you follow my torat (teachings, laws) and faithfully observe my mitzvoth (commandments) I WILL…. It is ALL CONDITIONAL, there is nothing without a condition. If we want Elohim’s blessings and good favor, we will follow HIS WORD, accept HIS LIVING WORD (Yeshua) into our life. Yeshua said; “If you love me, ye will obey my commandments” not only the commandments that he spoke about during his life on earth but also, the ones which he gave to Moshe when HE was with the FATHER as part of ELOHIM. Blessings and curses are part of life. The world calls them as “good luck and bad luck” there is no such animal! All things that happen in our lives are a result of blessings, curses, and testings. Do we want to best of our Mashiach? Then, follow HIS Word, follow HIS mitzvoth, not to bring us salvation, that we already have, but as a RESULT OF our salvation (Yeshuah) And if you haven’t accepted Yeshua (Jesus) as your LORD and Savior, and Messiah, NOW is a perfect time, remember, we are NOT promised tomorrow, we are only one HEARTBEAT away from eternity. B’Chukotai (in my statutes) LEV 26:1 -27:34 (a deeper look into this same Parashah) Returning to this same parashah before continuing into the next book of the Torah “B’Midbar” (Numbers) It would be good to go back a few verses and read the beginning of chapter 26; “Do not make idols for yourselves and do not put up a carved image or a pillar for yourselves, and do not place a stone image in your land to bow down to it, for I am YHVH your Elohim. Guard my Shabbats and reverence (respect) my sanctuary, I am YHVH. This is a repetition of two of the most important commandments that were given to us on Sinai. “us” being that all believers are part of the extended community of Israel which had its beginning there at the foot of Mt. Sinai about 3000 years ago. Do we really go out and make ourselves idols? To bow down and worship? We would probably say “no”, yet what is an “idol”? It is anything that comes before our worship, service, and dedication to our ONE and Only God, Adonai-Elohim. Many people cease going to church or synagogue because “they don’t have time” or there are other “distractions”, or “work calls”. One can put so much importance to things like sports, jobs, making money, leisure, relatives, that the things of God are left behind, if this is the case, then we ARE making for ourselves idols, and in an indirect way, we are bowing down and worshipping them. Better cease or our heavenly father just might “remove” that obstacle from our midst! Like it or not. Another reason for not making idols and statutes of the so-called “likeness” of God is because that would be like reducing our LORD God, who is “everywhere” to fit inside of that “thing” that is made in that “so-called” likeness. We see all over, pictures of Yeshua (Jesus) in different forms, some have him knocking at the door, others have him as the “good shepherd” holding a lamb, others just show a portrait. Others still have him hanging from the cross. Even though we might not bow down and worship these images, they are still “images” indeed, or so-called “likenesses” of what is supposed to be our “Mashiach”. No, they are not carved images, yet they are still images, is it a good idea to have them? Only you can decide. “Guard/keep my sabbaths” when we “guard” something, we make sure that the thing we are guarding is protected from a violation. The Sabbath day is a day to rest and come to worship our LORD and Savior. As Messianic believers we come to worship on Saturdays, as churchgoers, we come to worship on Sundays, even though the correct day has always been the seventh day, Saturday. Yet whether we come to worship on Saturday or Sunday, or even “both” days, (which is even better) It is important to set aside that day to rest in the LORD and avoid tasks and jobs which can be left for the weekdays. Many families go out to eat on the weekends, so as to give the wife a day off, or two days off from cooking in the kitchen. That is a good thing. Another good thing to do is to visit others and share God’s word with them, perhaps some that can not get out to go to church/synagogue. “Reverence my sanctuary” How is that done? When we go to worship, how do we go? In what frame of mind? Are the cell phones turned off? Are we dressed for the occasion? If the president of your country invited you to dine with him, how would you go dressed? In beach clothes or in a suit and tie? I am sure you would dress the best you have. You are going to meet with the KING of kings and LORD of Lords, with “your creator” the one you will spend eternity with. Are your kids in check? Or are they running up and down the hallway looking for the bathroom? Is there idle conversation while the message is being taught? Or are all eyes and ears on the pastor/teacher/rabbi? We can either “show reverence/respect/honor” to our place of worship, or we can show “lack of” the choice is ours. JEREMIAH 16:19-17:14 YHVH is my strength, my stronghold, and my refuge, in the day of distress the gentiles will come to you from the ends of the earth… The main reason why Paul the apostle, Peter, and others went outside of Israel to preach and teach was to undo the “wrong teaching” of false gods among the heathen nations. The original meaning of the word “goy” or “gentile” was “idol worshipers and heathens” and these were the “nations” that surrounded Israel in ancient times. Some Jews that left Israel (many by force and captivity) were engulfed into the cultures of the nations, some left and forgot their heritage and their worship of Elohim. The apostles brought back the worship of the one “true God” and preached “Yeshua” to those who would have ears to hear and open minds to accept the gospel. “Heal me, o YHVH, so that I am healed, save me so that I am saved, for you are my praise” is the final verse in this portion of the Haf Torah. Adonai has indeed healed us, because by “HIS” stripes, we are ALL healed, healed of the deadly infirmity called the “curse of sin” a disease that affects both the soul and the body, and we ARE saved through the sacrifice of YESHUA on Calvary’s cross, we have gained YESHUAH through YESHUA so, therefore, “Tehilati atah!” (you are my praise) LUKE 9:1-10:41 The feeding of the 5000 has always been a great story to look over. The number that is repeated is the number “5”, in symbolism, the number “5” is the number for “grace”. Yeshua had the crowd get into groups of “50” and also, there were “5” loaves of bread and “2” fishes. Our Messiah had love and grace for these people. He would feed them both physically and spiritually. He would fill their stomachs and souls. The number “2” stands for “union” and “division” it takes “two” to make a covenant, we see the example at Sinai, Elohim made a covenant between himself and the people, two entities. The people that were fed were both “divided up” (into groups) yet still together in unison. We can look at the bread as “Yeshua” who is the “bread of Life” and of course the fish as the early symbol of the first-century believers. The believers were made up of both Jews and Gentiles “2” groups of people. When we add 2 + 5 we get “7” which is the perfect number of God. We are all made perfect through HIM, who gave up his life for us ALL. Shabbat Shalom… Ben Avraham
  11. PARASHAH: “B’Har” (on the Mountain) LEVITICUS 25:1-26:2…… JEREMIAH 32:6-27………LUKE 7:1-8:56 “Give it a rest! Will ya?” I am sure you have heard that expression before, or “Give it a rest already!” People tend to say that when one continues in some theme or argues over a point which is not really worth it, HOWEVER, this is what God is saying when He sees the earth, soil, ground being over-worked; “Give it a rest!” just as people need to rest and take their “Shabbat rest” so does the land which really belongs to HIM, we are just using it. This parashah deals with the giving the land rest after six years of planting and harvesting, on the seventh year the land shall rest. This, agriculturally, is very sound and comes from the mouth of the creator of all the earth. The reason is quite simple to understand. Crops, such as corn, wheat, barley, vegetables, etc., when they grow in the soil, take in nutrients, quite like us, when we eat, we absorb nutrients from the food we eat. Imagine the land after 6 years of planting and harvesting, all those nutrients, minerals, chemicals from the soil, are being absorbed by the crops sown, if the land does not have a chance to rest and renew itself, it will soon become useless, quite void of nutrients…so… a year’s rest will give the soil enough time to replenish itself. We can apply this commandment today, to allow the land to rest after six years of planting and harvesting, even families that have little vegetable gardens in the back of their houses. May they enjoy six years of vegetables and then in the seventh year, just dump compost in the soil, food that goes bad, moldy bread, etc., don’t put it in the garbage, bury it in the garden, do that in that seventh year, and then the next year, plant and harvest again. We can look at ourselves in a similar way. How do we count our lives? By a 365-day year? Or by sabbaticals? If we were to count our years by the day, we could say we have many days and years ahead of us! Really? Do we know tomorrow? (didn’t think so). However, if we were to count our years on earth by counting by sevens? How many “sabbaticals” have we lived? How many “might” be left? If I were to count my sabbaticals, I would have to count starting in 1954. 1954-1960 first seven years, 1961-67, the second sabbatical. I would have to ask myself, what have I done or accomplished in each of these periods of seven years? Anything of importance? Have I influenced other lives? If we count by sabbaticals, we will find that we really don’t have many sabbaticals to live. What do we do in our “seventh year?” wouldn’t it be wonderful to “rest” a whole year? Or just dedicate that “seventh year” to full-time ministry work? That would be quite hard to do for those of us that work for a living, and those who depend on a salary. Don’t think the boss would be very happy to hear us say; “Boss, I want to take off for this year, it is my “sabbatical” I’ll come back next year at the same time!” (Yeah, uh-huh, weeelll, you might not find your job waiting for you after a year) but we do have the summers to rest. If we could divide the year into seven parts, we would end up with more or less 1.7 months of time. Why not minister during 1.7 months? Share God’s Word, teach the WORD to others, for those who can take off a year without compromising their jobs, take every seventh year and just take that time to rest, travel, minister, hike, walk, leave behind gospel tracts, visit different churches and/or Messianic synagogues, and may ADONAI supply ALL of your needs. 26:2 “YE SHALL KEEP MY SABBATHS! AND VENERATE MY SANCTUARY. We can look at this in the spiritual realm as well. We are like the crops, which are planted, by Adonai, on this earth, to grow in HIM, reach maturity, yet there comes a harvest time, when we will be harvested to go back home, to our eternal Sabbath’s rest, to enjoy our “Yovel” our time of “Jubilee” to reap what we have sown, souls that have come to YESHUA through our testimonies, believers who have grown to maturity through “teachers of the WORD” it is not enough to give out the WORD of God, there must be the ones who teach it, like seeds that are planted and watered. For this reason, the spiritual gifts are given, and among those are the “teachers of the WORD” the ones who water the seeds so that they may grow, mature, and in the end, harvested. The parashah also talks about slaves and servants. An Israelite could not be considered a slave, but a servant, yet a foreigner could be considered a slave. Yet both treatments of the slave or servant had to be humane, and they had to be released during the time of Jubilee, every 50 years. Normally, a slave or servant would be released at the end of 6 years, however, if the slave or servant wished to remain with the master, the time with the master ended at the time of Jubilee. The word "Jubilee" comes from the Hebrew "Yoveil" which means "Ram" A ram's horn was sounded every 50 years on Yom Kippur to announce that all would revert back to the original owners. What this portion of Torah is saying is that ALL possessions, both material, animal, human, belong to Adonai. We have each other, our material blessings for only a season. We should enjoy each other and the blessings that the LORD has given us, for a season, employers should treat their employees with respect and with honor (they would be like the slaves and servants in Biblical times) Employers have their employees, just for a season. Someday, when we stand before our Heavenly Father, we will be accountable for all the things we have been given, both human, animal, and material things. For the season in which they were given to us, how did we treat them? In the time of Jubilee, how will we stand before Yeshua? Something to think about. JEREMIAH 32:6-27; 16:19-17:14 The prophet, before his people went into exile in Babylon, buys a piece of property, Why? Because Adonai has promised him that he will, to buy and sell again, build houses, plant vineyards, AFTER a period of 10 periods of 7 years each. Israel did not honor the sabbatical years, and now, the land will rest for 70 years. However, the prophet was promised that Israel would return and repossess the land. We see in reading this parashah that Adonai is a God of judgment, but at the same time, a God of forgiveness. Many times, we break HIS commandments, and many times, suffer the consequences for our actions, but there is forgiveness, after the time of suffering and tears, YHVH will never forget HIS PEOPLE. We might go under, but we will never be annihilated. ISRAEL is 4-ever. In chapters 16 to 17, the same thing is being said, YHVH sees all, “For my eyes are on all their ways, they are not hidden from my presence” Who can hide from a Holy God? Yet the prophet says; “O YHVH, my strength and my stronghold, my refuge in a day of trouble” He continues to trust in Adonai, even though the rest of Israel goes into captivity. We might live in the midst of idolaters, lovers of the world, yet still, we must trust HIM. LUKE 7:1-8:56 We read about the miracles of Yeshua, Even the faith of a Roman Army officer whose servant was sick unto death, and the servant was healed. What is required of receiving a miracle? Faith! Not blind faith, but faith in the healing powers of Adonai, The Roman believed being far away, yet his servant was healed. He did not see Yeshua, yet he believed. Yeshua said, “blessed are those who do not see, yet believe. Yochanan the Baptizer was recognized by Yeshua, as one of the best “talmidim” since he endured imprisonment, and even death, for the sake of the truth. Could we do that? Do we even dare to answer? Time will tell. Ben Avraham
  12. PARASHAH: “Emor” (say.) LEVITICUS 21:1-24:23……… EZEKIEL 44:15-31…… LUKE 5:1-6:49 In this parashah study, we see more details on the sanctity, Holiness, and comportment of priests. When we read in chapter 21, we read that YHVH is very particular and pays much attention to the physical. We might think that God only looks upon the heart, but thousands of years ago, the physical appearance was important, some with any kind of imperfection; like a broken foot, blind in one eye, hunchback, dwarf…It doesn’t say that they could not serve in the tabernacle or later on, the temple, but they couldn’t offer sacrifices. We must remember that the priest was a kind of mediator between the people and YHVH, Today, YESHUA the Messiah is our mediator, between us and the Father, and Yeshua was/IS without sin, perfect in all ways, both inside and outside. We may not know what he looked like physically, but we can know that he didn’t have any physical deformities, being God in the flesh. We read about the priest; “offering the food to Adonai” and many regulations in reference to “food”. It is talking about the animal offerings that were offered on the altar, yet the Hebrew word for “food” in this case is “Lechem” (bread). The priest had to be in perfect physical condition because he represented a perfect G-d. To be any less than “perfect” would have probably been a distraction. Today, Adonai does not look at our physical bodily conditions, as many people are born with physical defects. Adonai looks at the heart and into our spirit being. Before the priests would offer up the “lechem” (food, bread) to Adonai, 2000 years ago, the “Bread of Life” was offered up for US! Today, what could be the “bread” which we could “offer to Adonai?” One could say that we offer up our service and spiritual gifts to HIM, through exercising the spiritual gifts of the Holy Spirit, by teaching others, preaching the Word, evangelizing, giving to others, etc…we are in a way, giving back “bread” to HaShem. He has given to us, and we give back to HIM through serving others and being faithful “priests” on earth. We can take note of Leviticus 22:31 and apply this to our lives as “Yeshua’s priests.” Therefore, you shall keep my commandments and perform them: I AM the LORD. You shall not profane my Holy Name, but I will be “Kadoshed” among “B’nei Yisrael” I AM Adonai who sanctified you.” Of course, we can not keep ALL of the commandments set down in ancient times, yet many still apply to today’s life. We should learn them and take heed to them, and teach others HIS Torah! In doing this, we ARE hallowing HIS Holy Name. We also see regulations on marriage, touching dead things, etc.…the priest was in a class of his own. The priest was “God’s man” his “representative” on earth, so, as the priests had a higher calling, their expectations were much higher than the regular “Joe Israelite” There is a repeated phrase: “You shall not profane my Holy Name, I am YHVH (Yod Hey Vav Hey) “ when we act contrary to His commandments, expectations as “b’nei Elohim” (children of God) we ARE profaning HIS Holy name, be it in words, or deeds. If the Israelites were observed by God through a looking glass, then the priests were observed by God through a microscope! If you get my drift! How are WE seen by our HOLY, SINLESS, GOD? Our standards are based on the Torah of Adonai. HIS standards should be OURS as well, yet we always come up lacking, because of our inborn sin nature. Thank Adonai for YESHUA, who bridged the gap caused by sin, to be our “high priest” before a Holy God, although our sin in dark and ugly, and we should see ourselves as such, because it is reality, through YESHUA, Our Heavenly Father sees us as “white as snow” or “white a wool” and now, under the new covenant, we are all “high priests” in his eyes, should not our expectations be as a “higher calling” just like the priests of old? We must also take into thought the phrase “Kiddush HaShem” which is “honoring/blessing/Holiness to the Name of Adonai” There are two Hebrew words which are almost the same; “Halel” and “Chilul” “Bless/praise” and “profane” in Hebrew, they are just three letters. The difference is the first letter; the “Hey” and the Chet” the difference between the two is just a line which is about one millimeter. What can we say? There is just a fine line between “blessing” the name of God, or “profaning” the name of God. We must be careful of our words, and deeds, lest we “bless” with one breath, and then take another breath and “profane”. The idea of the “priests being holy, for I AM Holy” is there in this parashah. The difference in the words, “Kadosh” (Holy) and “Kadoshim” (holy ones) is that when YHVH talks about HIS Holiness, the word “Kadosh” has the “vav”, the letter “o” that letter symbolizes the “nail” whereas our “holiness” lacks the “vav” since we did NOT receive the “nails” only YESHUA did, who received them in our place! Chap 23: “HaMoedim of YHVH” (The feasts of the LORD). Here the special days of worship and assembly are mentioned, the first being the “Sabbath Day” it is a “day of Rest” a time of worship and coming together to worship Adonai and learn from HIS Word through His teachers, pastors, rabbis, evangelists, etc. The Sabbath day was NEVER changed to Sunday. Not that it was bad to come together on Sundays, any day of the week is a good time to come together. It just became customary for the believers in the first century to come together on the “first day of the week” like it is mentioned in Acts, to fellowship and eat together, but the believers ALWAYS considered Saturday, the Sabbath, the special and the official appointed day for rest, worship, and Bible study. For me, Sabbath and Sunday are both special days to worship God and study his word with other believers. The Passover and days of unleavened bread, symbolize Messiah Yeshua in our lives as the “Lamb of God” who took away the sin of the world, and who is also, the “Bread of Life”, who was “roasted in the fires of judgment for our sins, whose blood was shed for our sins, once and forever. The “matzah” bread without leaven symbolizes Yeshua as the Bread of Life, without sin (leaven). And his blood is symbolized by the wine. The Feast of First Fruits and Shavuot; counting 50 days from the time of Passover, to celebrate the blessing of a good and fruitful harvest of grains, (wheat and barley, the main crops). On Shavuot or “Pentecost” two leavened loaves of bread were made, each weighed about 5 pounds, were “waved” by the priest before the LORD in a special ceremony. These loaves symbolize the blessings of YHVH, they could also represent Israel and the Nations, “2” is the number of “unity” and “division” we are all “united” to YHVH by Messiah Yeshua and have been “divided” or “separated” from the lost world of sin, YET, we still have our sin nature, noted by the leaven in the loaves of bread. It was also on “Shavuot” that the Torah was given on Mt. Sinai The Feast of Trumpets, “Yom Teruah” symbolizes the start of the “days of Awe” when we reflect on our own relationship with Adonai. How do we measure up to God’s standards? Lacking? Fall short? I would say YES. 10 days later, comes “Yom Kippur” the day of “covering” or “Atonement” which was when the high priest came into the Holy of Holies, once a year, to commune with Adonai. This day points to Calvary, when Yeshua’s blood “atoned” for our sins, past, present, and future. It is a day of fasting, repentance, and soul searching. It is a day when we are accustomed to dressing in white. Feast of Tabernacles, or “Sukkot” is a joyous festival, when the “harvest” is in, kind of like “Thanksgiving” in the US of A. The time when God came to earth in human form as Yeshua, born in Beit Lechem, being raised learning carpentry and Torah, a teacher of Torah, healer of diseases, a raiser of the dead, and a sacrifice for our sins. This festivity was for 7 days, “7” the perfect number, and a special “8th” day “Hoshanah Raba” when the customary reading of the Torah starts over again from Genesis. It also symbolizes when the Israelites lived in tents, “temporary dwellings” as our bodies are “temporary dwellings” for our souls and for the Holy Spirit dwelling within us. Chapter 24: The Menorah, the lamps were lit from dusk to morning, the menorah was made of gold, which symbolizes perfection. The flame/light symbolizing Yeshua who is the “Light of the World” and the “all-consuming fire” and also, all believers are the “lights of the world” reflecting the SON light! “Table of Shewbread” which was in the Holy place across from the Menorah. Has 12 loaves of unleavened bread, representing the 12 tribes of Israel, again, Yeshua the “Bread of Life” Hey, maybe that was where the idea of the “bagel” came from, bread with a hole in the middle, who knows! Maybe! This bread was for Aaron and his sons. So, why such high standards for priests? BECAUSE They symbolized the presence of a Holy, Perfect, and Righteous God! EZEKIEL 44:15-31 In this prophetic book, the Prophets sees into the future, the future priests of the third temple, (to be built in the near future) the descendants of “Zadok” will be the priests in the millennium, the same high standards are for these priests as well. It also states the job of the priest: “And they shall teach My people the difference between the holy and unholy, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean” This should also be the goal of every Torah teacher, rabbi, minister, pastor, etc. to teach the WHOLE TORAH in their place of worship and study, so that their sheep might follow their shepherd wholeheartedly and secure. LUKE 5:1-6:49 Yeshua speaks to the people, from a boat. After teaching, He and Kefa go out a way out on the lake and the result is a boat-load of fish. Kefa hears, yet protests, “We fished all night and caught nothing” yet still obeys and “reaps the harvest” many fish, the take home to sell and eat. The other incident when Yeshua caused his talmidim to catch a boat-load of fish, the number of fishes caught summed “153.” Why is this number recorded? Is it significant? Perhaps Yeshua is making a statement through the fishes caught. The statement in Hebrew “Ani Elohim” ( I AM Elohim) sums “153” in gematria (using the “vav” in “Elohim”) With simple obedience through faith, we can all reap the blessings that YHVH has in store for us. A little bit of faith, trust, and obedience will bring in a big catch. Now, Kefa is promoted to be a “fisher-of-MEN” rescuing men’s souls from the grasp of HaSatan and bringing them into the Kingdom. Are you a fisher of men (and women) or are you still content with the small “fishy” things of life? You decide! Yeshua also, after the blessing of many fish, healed three people; one who had “Tzara ’at” (some sort of skin disease) a person who was paralyzed, and a person who was “worldly minded.” To the first He said; “be cleansed” to the second one He said; “Your sins are forgiven you” to the third, (Who was Matthew) He just said; “Follow me!” In all three cases, we have changed lives. When our sins are forgiven us, through repentance and accepting Yeshua as Messiah and LORD, we are “cleansed” (internally) and even at times, physically. And then, we “follow Him” which should be the logical reaction. “I have not called the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (Luke 5:32) We must understand that everyone who is “righteous” (in right standing) similar to “Kadosh” was at one time “a sinner” (living a lifestyle of sin and rebellion). So, it is a change for the better, from a lost sinner to a “righteous” one who has been “born again.” The lost sinner needs to be instructed by the Torah unto righteousness, and the righteous need to be instructed by the Torah to “stay guided in the Path of Righteousness” Shalom; Rabbi Ben Avraham
  13. PARASHAH: “Achrei Mot” (after the death) and “Kadoshim” (holy ones) LEV 16:1-20:27 ; Amos 9:7-15; Luke 2:1-52 This Parashah speaks of the solemn Moed (appointed day) of Yom Kippur. The “Day of Redemption” also known as the “day of Coverings” (Yom HaKipurim). It was the only day of the year when the High Priest could enter into the “Most Holy Place” (Kadosh HaKadoshim) the “Holy of Holies”. This is where the “Aron HaKodesh” (Ark of the Covenant) was kept and where the “Shekinah” (Glory of YHVH) hovered over the “Kaporet” (the covering of the Ark of the Covenant, looking down upon the Mercy Seat. The Parashah starts out with; “” Tell Aaron your brother not to come at just any time into the Holy Place inside the veil, before the mercy seat which is on the Ark, lest he die” Was this perhaps the reason why Nadab and Abihu died? Because the went into the Holy of Holies with their own fire? That is another thought. The high priest had to put on a special tunic, all white, of fine linen. Thus, today it is customary during Yom Kippur to wear all white, symbolic of how YHVH views us through Yeshua our Messiah, but ONLY through Yeshua, can we be viewed as “Holy unto the LORD” The High Priest had to sacrifice a bull and a ram for the sin and burnt offering. The bull could signify the “strength” of G-d, representing also Aaron and his family. and the ram, the reminder of the ram sacrificed instead of Isaac on “Mt. Moriah”. The ram symbolizes YESHUA who took our place on the cross of “Mt. Calvary” Two goats were also present; one served as a “scapegoat” and the other the “sacrificial goat”. We see Yeshua symbolized in both goats. One was sacrificed as a sin offering, symbolizing Yeshua as our “sacrifice of sin” because we are sinners. The other goat carried symbolically our sins and was sent off into the desert, (Azazel) as “Yeshua took our sins away from us”, and as far as the East is from the West, so our sins will be separated from us. Aaron then took a censor of hot coals from the brazen altar, and he took incense and put the incense on the hot coals, then, with the smoking incense, he went into the Holy of Holies and put blood on the Mercy Seat. We see our Messiah Yeshua in all of this. To have fellowship with our creator, we need to start at the cross, where our sins were judged. This is the brazen altar. The incense symbolizes our prayers that go up before our Heavenly Father, through our prayers, we have fellowship with HIM. The blood that is sprinkled on the mercy seat symbolizes the blood of Messiah, that was shed for all of our sins. Under the mercy seat are the commandments that were given on Sinai. These were broken by our rebellion, and the blood of Messiah “covers” the sins of us all, BUT, more than that, they have been REMOVED, once and forever. Chapter 17 speaks on the “HaDam Kodesh” The sanctity of blood. Since blood symbolizes life, then, YHVH has prohibited the drinking of blood. One of the reasons that carnivorous animals are not kosher to eat is because they eat flesh, and flesh contains blood. “You shall not eat the blood of any flesh, for the life of all flesh is its blood” 17:14 Chapter 18 deals with sexual sins, there is no need to go over them since they are self-explanatory, much is common sense, yet in today’s societies, there is a perverse sexual expression, and philosophy of “if it feels good, do it” this is a lie straight from the pit of hell, straight from HaSatan! Sex should be expressed in the bond of matrimony and in this sense, it is entirely holy and sacred, because there is a commitment between the husband and wife, which (should) last a lifetime. And this is where the enemy attacks, Satan hates families, that’s a fact. Chapter 19 starts with the words; “Ye shall be Holy for I am Holy”. When we look at the original Hebrew we read; “Amarta Aleichem Kadoshim ti’hiyu Ki Kadosh Ani” But there is something different in the two words; “Kadoshim” (ones who are holy) and Kadosh (Holy ONE). The word “Be ye Holy” in the original Hebrew has 5 letters, and the word “Kadosh” has 4 letters. The biggest difference is that the “o” in “Kadoshim” is not present, but it IS present in “Kadosh”. If we write these words in English, they would be “Kadshim” and “Kadosh” Why? There is a missing letter “Vav” The “vav” is pronounced as either “v” “o” or “u”. It symbolizes the “nail”. Perfect Holiness without sin is only Adonai! He alone has the “vav” He took the “nail” for our sins. Our Holiness is lacking, we are not perfect as we have the sin nature, therefore, our Holiness cannot carry the “Vav” chapter 19 deals with quite a variety of commandments; “You shall not profane the name of the LORD thy YHVH; You shall love thy neighbor as thyself, I AM YHVH”. All of the 613 commandments of HaShem have to do with honoring YHVH and our relationship with our fellow man. When we honor and love the LORD with all of our heart, we are honoring and not profaning the Name YHVH, and when we honor and treat our fellow man well and try to establish a good relationship with him or her, we are, in a matter of sense, keeping the whole Torah, (in a general sense). When we are a bad witness before our fellow man, when we are an embarrassment because our sins are brought into the light, then, we are profaning the name of YHVH. ” you shall not curse the deaf nor put a stumbling block before the blind” (19:14) When one talks about another in a negative sense or spreading an “untruth” the “other” cannot hear what is being said, it is as if that person is “deaf”. When we misrepresent the Truth of God, teach or spread false teaching whether on purpose or by error, we are in a way a “stumbling block” before someone that does not know Yeshua “The blind” (spiritually). “You shall not sow your field with mixed seed” (19:19) because each plant takes away from the soil nutrients, planting a mixture of crops will very soon deplete the soil of all of its nutrients, making the soil useless. “You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor TATTOO any marks on you I AM YHVH! That is quite a statement. I am of the opinion that if God wanted us to have tattoos on our bodies, we would have been born with them. Why can’t people be happy with the bodies God gave them? Why do they have to alter them with drawings and markings? But such was the custom of the pagan cultures like the Canaanites, Moabites, etc., and it continues today. However, the blood of Yeshua covers cleanses, forgives ALL sin, even the sin of tattooing, yet tattooing is one sin that will leave its mark forever! (unless it is somehow removed) ” uncovering the nakedness of ….” Is another way of saying, “having sex” chapter 20 takes up that topic again along with other topics? Adultery, under Torah command, resulted in the death penalty, if this were effective today, how many couples would be true to each other, really? Perhaps many more than we imagine. It seems like sexuality is a serious issue with our creator. If it is serious with Him, it should be with us as well. When we follow the Torah of Adonai and put his commandments into practice with all of our heart, we are consecrating ourselves to Him, as “Kedoshim and Tzadikim” (holy and righteous ones) however always remember, that “SALVATION” comes ONLY through FAITH IN YESHUA! It is our faith in HIM that makes us Holy and Righteous, and this relationship leads us to Holy and Righteous works, which are obedience to his mitzvoth (commandments) AMOS 9:7-15 Amos Ha Navi (Amos the Prophet) speaks through the Ruach HaKodesh (the Holy Spirit) saying that Yes, Adonai will seek out and punish Israel for their sins, and will search out the kingdoms of the earth where they are at, many will and have been destroyed because of their rebellion, HOWEVER, not all, there is always a remnant which is faithful, and true to the God of creation. Amos looks into the future, and sees that Israel, and all of God’s children, both born as Israelis, and born in the Gentile nations will come together as ONE, (echad), …”Behold, the day is coming says YHVH…” we look into the future millennium and see “paradise restored” and real and eternal peace and Yeshua will be on the throne as KING and LORD of all the world, what a time that will be for ALL of us. LUKE 2:1-52 Do we forward to the future return of Yeshua? In this chapter, Simeon and Anna looked forward and greatly rejoiced to see Mashiach, even as a baby. He was presented at the Temple and was circumcised, Simeon and Anna recognized him as Mashiach, even before he grew up and performed miracles. Simeon said; “My eyes have seen YESHUAH! Who is a LIGHT (HaOr) to bring revelation to the Gentiles? It is God’s perfect will that Yeshua be revealed to ALL PEOPLES, both those of Israel and those outside of Israel, so that HIS BODY might be complete, a “Kehilah Kadosh, Kol HaAm” (A holy congregation of all people) Shabbat Shalom J. Ben Avraham
  14. PARASHAH: “B'shalach” (when he let go) “For the end of the Season of Passover” This Parasha is being read because of the ending of the season of Passover. The week of unleavened bread is finalized. It is day 7 of the counting of the Omer. One may ask why do we read this Torah portion on the last day of Passover season? Is it somehow connected with The exodus from Egypt? All we can do is take an educated guess, given geographical facts. Could it be that the Israelites crossed the Red Sea, (The part of the sea now known as the Gulf of Aqaba) 7 or 8 days after leaving Goshen on the 14th of Nissan, or probably the 15th, the day after the death of the firstborn? Very possible. I measured on a Bible map, more or less, the distance from the area of Goshen to Nuweba Beach, on the Eastern side of Sinai where the Israelites crossed. It measured more or less 200 miles. If the Israelites walked between 20 and 30 miles per day, the trip from Goshen to Nuweba Beach would have been approximately 7 days, around this time, the 7 or 8th day of the Passover season. 20 to 30 are realistic taking into account the young children walking, the cattle, animals moving at a slow pace. They would have walked from sunup to sundown during the light of the day. Let’s just say that there were 10 hours of sunlight, that would mean they would have walked 2 miles per hour to have walked at least 20 miles per day. The Egyptians, on the other hand, when they realized that they weren’t coming back, wanted to get even. It would have taken Pharaoh at least 3 days to organize all his military forces and chase after them, thus given the Israelites a three-day head start. When the sea opened up, Adonai had to stop the Egyptians in order to allow the Israelites to cross over from Nuweba Beach to the land of Midian, which is about a 10- mile crossing. Since we have about 2 million people, plus all the cattle, sheep, (perhaps even dogs and cats), it would take the entire night for them to cross over, thus the darkness kept the Egyptians back until daylight, then, of course, we know the “rest of the story.” EXODUS 13:17-17:16........JUDGES 4:4-5: 31........MATT 26:1-75 We are coming down to the “showdown” where Pharaoh gets his just desserts and gets what he deserves for defying the God of Israel, going back on his word to “let Israel go”, you cannot pursue Israel without getting hurt, and Pharaoh and his army got to drink bitter waters went off the “deep end” received a very fatal “water baptism”. Yet before all this happens, there are some interesting verses to look at. Exodus 17: 18 states that; “The children of Israel went up armed out of the land of Egypt” yet it also states that Elohim did not lead them through the land of the F’lishtim: (The Philistines) because an encounter with them might bring for war, frighten them and cause them to go back to Egypt. But if they had weapons, why would they fear a battle? One can assume that even though they had weapons if they didn’t know how to use them, they would be no good. We can say the same thing about a Bible, it is useless in the hands of one who does not know how to use it, or uses it in wrongful ways, inventing “strange” doctrines, or taking verses out of context. The Israelites were ex-slaves, not men of war. Another question, where did they get the weapons? Were the weapons among the spoils of Egypt? They might have been. But here is another view from a derashic perspective (Moral and spiritual) The word for “armed” in Hebrew which is used is “chamushim” the wise rabbis of old state that this word has roots in the words “chamesh” (the number 5) and “chamishim” (50). So how does this a part in this verse? It is said that it was the 5th generation after Yosef that left Egypt, if a generation is 80 years, it would add up to 400 years. Also, the number 5 symbolizes “grace”. So, the Israelites not only left Egypt with some spears and swords, but they were also armed with the “grace” that Elohim bestowed on them. More importantly, they were armed with the protection, and the blessings, and the leadership of Elohim who lead them out of Egypt. The number “50” also reminds us of the “50 gates of understanding” which the ancient rabbis say that these are 50 questions that Elohim asked Job at the end of “Sefer Job.” Another Midrash is that only 1 out of 5 Israelites left Egypt. Now I ask you if all of Israel was witness to the destruction of Egypt by Elohim, why would they want to stay behind? Other sages say that only 1 out of 5 households put blood on their doorposts. Remember that these are ideas presented by unsaved rabbis. However, I ask you again, if Israel is witness to all the miracles and judgments, why would they NOT want to put lamb’s blood on their doorposts? I would like to answer the question using a question. If we can have eternal life through the blood and sacrifice of Yeshua for our sins, past, present, and future, why do so many people still REJECT Him? The scripture states that ‘Wide is the way that leads to destruction, but narrow is the way that leads to eternal life.’ Another word for “armed” is “equipped”. One can also say that “B’nei Yisrael” went out of Egypt “equipped” with the “5” promises that Adonai gave to His people; 1) Elohim will deliver Israel out from under the burden of Egyptian Slavery; 2) Israel will be REDEEMED by the ARM of Elohim-YHVH; 3) Elohim-YHVH will take Israel as HIS people and will be their GOD; 4) Israel will be brought into the chosen land of promise; 5) The promised land will be an INHERITANCE. There are also 50 words that are part of our Judeo-Christian faith, there is wisdom and understanding each and every one of them. It took Israel also 50 days from leaving Egypt to receiving the Torah in the land of Midian. But let’s look at the Peshat, the literal meaning of the word; “armed” it could also come from the Egyptian word “chams” which is “lance” but I ask you to ponder on this. The Israelites were ex-slaves, not warriors. If they came out of Egypt with lances, swords, etc.… How would they know how to use them? Without training, it would be very difficult to be victorious in a battle. As believers, we have the Word of God, but if we are unskilled in using His WORD, or if we do not know how to interpret it correctly, we could actually do much harm to others, just like a sword in the hands of a child, the child could cut himself, or hurt one of his friends Another thing to ponder upon is that when the word “Egyptians” is used, the word “Mitzraim” is used, which also means “Egypt” (the nation of). Why “Mitzraim” and not “Mitzrim?” One can say that even though “b’nei Yisrael” left Egypt, Egypt still followed them out! They left with the Egyptian culture, ways, language, and all that was part of them in those 400 years as slaves. It took Elohim one day to take Israel out of Egypt, but it took 40 years to take Egypt out of Israel! We are the same way, even though we are born-again believers, we still carry around the garbage related to our “Yetzer-Hara” (sin nature) but little by little, the Ruach HaKodesh takes that from us as we mature in the faith. We might wonder how many Israelites left Egypt, probably about 2 million, plus those Egyptians that “saw the light” plus the sheep and cattle, it was a huge people group that headed eastward across the Sinai Peninsula and then headed south after reaching “Midol” (an Egyptian army base, where weapons were stored). We are told...” and it was told the King of Egypt that the people were fled” ...14:5. What? Didn't he already know that? Of course, he did, he let them go! It was probably a team of scouts that were sent out to track down the Israelites to see where they were going, and they gave their report back to Pharaoh. Now, this took place a few days later, now Pharaoh is sorry he let them go. What? Didn't he remember the plagues? Some people never learn, they love misery. Now Pharaoh musters together his entire army! Another mistake, never send out your entire armed forces, always leave behind reserve units. But Pharaoh was not a wise general. This probably took another few days, thus giving Israel about a week's head start, it would take quite a few days for about 2 million people to cross the Sinai Peninsula. The name “Elohim” and “YHVH” are both used in this Parashah, “Elohim” is used at the beginning of this parashah, in Chap 13:17 meaning the “Strong, powerful God” yet the name YHVH later on, shows the personal name, (coming from “Havayah” meaning “to exist”) shows the personal relationship as “Adonai” which we also say when reading YHVH, anytime the word LORD is used in scripture, it is the name YHVH. YHVH takes them across the Sinai Peninsula to thus entice the Egyptians, to utterly finish destroying them thus ends the powerful rule of Egypt, Egypt never recovered from that defeat, it formed another army years later, but it never had the power it once had with Rameses, Thutmose, Narmer, and other pharaohs of the past dynasties. When the Israelites get to the beach, they get ready to cross, in Hebrew, it is known as “Yam Suf” in English, it is known as “Nuweba Beach” it is a tourist resort today in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula. We see that YHVH goes behind the Israelites to protect them, in the form of darkness to the Egyptians, yet light to the Israelites. To us as believers, Yeshua is our light, for us to follow, but to Satan, Yeshua is the conquering king, without the light of Yeshua, without the light of the Torah, we live in darkness, spiritual darkness. Now YHVH tells Moshe to “lift up your rod and your hand” and cause the sea to part, and it did, divide in two, we read that Israel crossed on “dry land” what with a strong wind to dry up the sea bottom, today this area is known as the “Gulf of Aqaba” they crossed a small stretch of sea bottom, about 10 miles across, to get to the land of Midian, now known as Saudi Arabia, if you go to Google earth, and look up “Nuweba Beach” you can see the area that the Israelites crossed over at. Then, YHVH gives the order to Moshe to raise his hand over the water again, and the waters closed up again and drowned the Egyptian army, the army was half-way across, we see something in the words, “hand” (Yad) and “rod” (Mateh) that make us think. The “rod” is a symbol of authority, of rulership. The “hand” is a symbol of “power and strength” the Torah speaks of YHVH reveling his “Holy Arm” the “arm is connected to the hand” the ancient Hebrew symbol of the “Yod” is the extended “arm and hand” so we can see the message here, “Moshe” is the authority as he shows his leadership by raising his rod, and his hand opens and closes the sea, thus demonstrating his strength and power, but of course, it is not HIS, it is GOD's leadership and strength, being revealed THROUGH Moshe. When the people follow Moshe, it is as if they are following GOD, trusting in his leadership and strength. When we receive Yeshua as Messiah, we trust in HIM as our leader and our strength, and we follow HIM through his WORD, yet many hope that Yeshua will follow THEM! (not going to happen) . Today, you can see on YouTube what is left of the Egyptian chariots at the bottom of the Gulf of Aqaba, they are coral formations that look like mushrooms, probably the axle and wheels of the chariots, look up, “The real Exodus Crossing” When we look at all this from a moral and spiritual insight (Derash) We have been rescued from HaSatan, by our Leader, who is strong, whose “hand” struck the death blow to Satan, whose “hands” bore the nails of Calvary's cross, and who leads us to a new life, we have been “kadoshed” (set apart) to follow HIM for all of our days, (Should we choose to) of course it is a choice, but the “good Shepherd always “looks back” for his lost or misguided sheep, to lead them back to the fold. We see other events that show God's protection and provision for his people, in verses 22-27 we see the “bitter waters made sweet” Moshe threw into the water “a tree” probably cut it down and threw it in, the waters were made sweet, the Torah is also called, “The TREE of LIFE” (Etz Chaim) that changes our bitterness to sweetness, from sorrow to happiness, from lost to saved. In chapter 16, the provision of “Manna” in the desert “Bread from Heaven” (Lechem b'Shemayim) another provision from YHVH, it symbolizes “Yeshua the Bread of Life” and in chap 17, “Water from the Rock” this rock is there today in the Saudi Arabian desert very close to Mt. Sinai, it seems to be about 50 feet tall and has a crack down the middle. Go to “google images” and click on “The water rock at Horeb” Moshe was told to “strike the rock” and he did with his staff/rod” and out flowed water so that the congregation and the livestock could drink. This symbolizes “Yeshua the Solid Rock” (Yeshua HaTzur) and Yeshua who is the Living Water. (Yeshua Mayim Chayim). It also symbolizes that Yeshua was “struck ONLY ONCE for our sins at Calvary, ONLY ONCE meaning “nailed to the cross and died one time” and when Moshe got mad later on and struck the rock again, he was punished by God and couldn't enter the promised land, since he “misrepresented” who God is, JUDGES 4:4-5:31 In this reading, we read about Devorah and Jael, two women of God who played an important role in Israel's history. We read about many “men of God” but very few “women of God” but they are out there, and today, we have many women who are used mightily by God in ministry. Through Deborah and Jael, Sisera and his army was vanquished, just as Moshe was an example as a leader, Deborah was also a leader, and Jael, whose name in Hebrew “Yah-El” means “El (God) is YHVH (Yah) “his Holy Arm revealed” If you are a woman and reading this Parashah, never say “because I am a woman, God cannot use me” Yes, he can, there are ministries for women, mostly, women ministering to other women, reaching out to those who have been abused in marriages, victims of rape, assault, homeless women, etc. YOU, my sister, have a place in ministry. Venture out and discover what it is, just be available. MATTHEW 26:1-75 This chapter deals with Yeshua's final days with his talmidim on earth, His anointing by the generous woman who poured the “nard” perfume on him, the betrayal by “Y'hudah Ish Kariot” (Judas, the man from the region of Kariot) in every group of disciples, there are always a few who are “fakers” We have the final “Pesach” dinner with his disciples and Kefa's denial, But there is a lot we can learn from this, Peter denied knowing Yeshua, out of fear, but Judas openly rejected him by identifying him by a kiss on the cheek. Both sins forgivable, the only difference is that Peter confessed and received forgiveness, while Judas felt remorse, but did not cry out for forgiveness, but went out and committed suicide. There is sin that leads to remorse and a “feeling sorry for oneself” and sin that leads to remorse, and from remorse to confession, and from confession to forgiveness, and from forgiveness to restored fellowship. How many readers out there have chosen the later? We are all sinners and have fallen short of the glory of God, but confession of sins, and receiving forgiveness is something only you can do, I cannot do it for you. Yeshua receives ALL who come to him, no matter how bad or evil you have been, nor what you have done, no sin is beyond forgiveness. Just ask, and turn from your sin, and forgiveness and restoration is yours. Shabbat Shalom .. Ben Avraham
  15. MESSIAH YESHUA IN THE PASSOVER, From Exodus 12:1-13 Vs 2; “THIS MONTH SHALL BE THE BEGINNING OF MONTHS, IT SHALL BE THE FIRST MONTH OF THE YEAR TO YOU” So where does January 1st fit in? It doesn’t! This was an invention of man, to change the calendar that God had already given us. God operates on a lunar calendar, and the Gregorian calendar uses the sun. But if we are going to understand the events and dates that events occur in the Bible, we need to be familiar with the lunar calendar. The month of “Nisan” which usually starts in April, is the “New Year” for us. This year, 2019, “New Year’s Day” was on April 6th. It is also interesting that the original Hebrew word for Springtime is "Aviv" and that used to be the name for this month. After the return of the Israelites from captivity in Babylon, the name was changed to "Nisan" (almost like the name of the car) Vss 3-5; ON THE TENTH OF THIS MONTH, EVERY MAN SHALL TAKE FOR HIMSELF A LAMB......................YOUR LAMB WILL BE WITHOUT BLEMISH...FROM THE SHEEP OR FROM THE GOATS. Something tremendous is about to happen, a joyous occasion, an event of “Thanksgiving” sort of speaking. In the USA we are accustomed to celebrating “Thanksgiving” in November, with turkeys, and we invite all family and relatives over to eat. In Egypt, the Israelites were slaves and were about to be freed. This “Thanksgiving” occasion called for “lambs” perfect lambs without illness, or deformities, one of the names of “Yeshua” our Messiah is the “Lamb of God” who was also, and still is “without blemish” what happened on the 10th day of the month of Nisan two thousand years ago? Yeshua entered Jerusalem on a donkey, to be known as Messiah, to heal the sick, and teach the Torah, to be known by the people, everyone greeted him with palm branches and shouted “Hosanna to the Son of David” and five days later shouted “Crucify him” (well, not all shouted that) many wept and many understood Daniel's prophecy that the “Messiah would be “cut off” (crucified) in Daniel chapter 8. This date is commonly known as “Palm Sunday” in the Christian communities. Vss 6-7; YOU SHALL KEEP IT UNTIL THE FOURTEENTH DAY OF THE SAME MONTH, THEN THE WHOLE ASSEMBLY OF THE CONGREGATION OF ISRAEL SHALL KILL IT AT TWILIGHT. AND THEY SHALL TAKE SOME OF THE BLOOD AND PUT IT ON THE TWO DOORPOSTS AND ON THE LINTEL OF THE HOUSES WHERE THEY EAT IT” A day begins at “Twilight” when the sun goes down, it is the start of a new day. So, five days after the lamb was in the houses, being inspected to see if it had any blemishes, it was slaughtered at “Twilight” and the blood was placed on the two side beams of the houses, and on the top beam. When we see Yeshua in this, we see him in Jerusalem, comes in on the tenth of Nisan, then on the 14th day of Nisan, five days later (ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen, and fourteen) he is crucified on the cross of Calvary, for our sins, once and for all time, The blood on the doorposts and lintel form a “cross” we can imagine the head of Yeshua at the top, wet with the blood from his head where the crown of thorns was, and the two side posts where his hands were nailed, and the blood ran down to the base of the cross. Vs 8; AND THEY SHALL EAT THE FLESH ON THAT NIGHT, ROASTED WITH FIRE, AND WITH UNLEAVENED BREAD AND WITH BITTER HERBS, THEY SHALL EAT IT” We often see this done in parks, on BBQ pits, families bring hamburgers, hot dogs, fajitas, sausage, etc and roast them over an open fire, well in Goshen, the lambs were roasted over open fires on spits, we look at the symbolism of “fire” and we are reminded of “heat, light, destruction, purification, zeal, and judgment. Yeshua was “roasted” on Calvary's cross in the fire of judgment, being judged for all of our sins, past, present, and future. Yeshua is also known by the name “The Bread of Life” who was born in the “House of Bread” (Beit-Lechem) or in English “Bethlehem” it is only fitting that the “Bread of Life” would be born in the “House of Bread” Unleavened bread symbolizes “without sin” leaven symbolizes “sin” as “leaven or yeast” puffs up the dough, and so we get bread made with flour and yeast, sin often makes us “swell or puff up with false pride” . The “bitter herbs” remind us of the slavery that the Israelites went through in Egypt for 400 years. We are reminded of the “slavery to sin” being bound to Ha Satan. We don't know exactly what kind of bitter herbs were used back then, but today, we use horseradish. The bitterness of sin is passed when we come to Yeshua and accept Him as LORD and Savior. Vss 11-13: …...” YOU SHALL EAT IT IN HASTE, IT IS THE LORD'S PASSOVER, FOR I WILL PASS THROUGH THE LAND OF EGYPT ON THAT NIGHT AND WILL STRIKE ALL THE FIRST BORN OF EGYPT, BOTH MAN AND BEAST AND AGAINST ALL THE GODS OF EGYPT, I WILL EXECUTE JUDGMENT, I AM YHVH. NOW THE BLOOD WILL BE A SIGN FOR YOU ON THE HOUSES WHERE YOU ARE, AND WHEN I SEE THE BLOOD, I WILL “PASS OVER” YOU, AND THE PLAGUE SHALL NOT BE ON YOU TO DESTROY YOU WHEN I STRIKE THE LAND OF EGYPT” This is the night when the Egyptians get paid back for all their abuse and cruelty. In one night, Egypt was ruined. And a few days later, Egypt's army found itself on the bottom of the Red Sea. Egypt never quite recovered from the blow. Adonai-Elohim was saying to Pharaoh “I AM the LORD God, and YOU are not ME!” nor were the gods, any kind of gods, if anything, demonic entities. Each plague was against one of the many gods. “darkness” came against “Ra” the sun god. The death of the cattle came against “Apis” a god with the head of a bull. The Nile turned to blood, against the Nile goddess, and so forth. But the “Blood Standard” would “save” all who found themselves behind the closed doors of the houses where the blood was. Even the Egyptians Many who “woke up and smelled the coffee” sort of speaking, who realized they were on the losing side, if they put blood on their doors, they would also be saved. This shows that we serve a just God who is not racist. He accepts ALL people of ALL NATIONS and RACES. Who would trust in the shed blood of Messiah Yeshua (Jesus the Christ) that is why we see a “mixed multitude” that left Egypt together with the Israelites, it consisted of Egyptians and Nubians (people from Ethiopia and Sudan) who were living in Egypt at that time. The LORD would PASS OVER those houses where the blood of the lambs was placed. Today when we trust in the one-time sacrifice of Yeshua (Jesus) who shed his blood on Calvary's cross, we are saved from eternal destruction, eternal death, and separation from our creator. Just as the blood standard was in effect back then, it is still in effect NOW, and always will be. Happy Peach "Hag Sameach Pesach" Rabbi Ben Avraham
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