The Complainer and the Atheist

SHELACH

Portion Summary

The thirty-seventh reading from the Torah is called Shelach(שלח), an imperative verb that means “send out.” The portion is so named from the first few words of the second verse: “Send out for yourself men so that they may spy out the land of Canaan” (Numbers 13:2). The Torah reading tells the tragic story of how the spies returned with a bad report about the Land of Promise and influenced the congregation of Israel to rebel against the LORD. Thus God consigned the generation of Moses to wander in the wilderness for forty years.

Regular Shabbat Readings

  • Shelach (שלח | Send)
  • Torah: Numbers 13:1-15:41
  • Haftarah: Joshua 2:1-24
  • Gospel: Matthew 10:1-14

Note: The regular readings are often interrupted with special readings on Jewish holidays, special Sabbaths, and Rosh Chodesh. Refer to the annual Torah Portion schedule for these special portions.

Portion Outline

  • TORAH
    • Numbers 13:1 | Spies Sent into Canaan
    • Numbers 13:25 | The Report of the Spies
    • Numbers 14:1 | The People Rebel
    • Numbers 14:13 | Moses Intercedes for the People
    • Numbers 14:26 | An Attempted Invasion is Repulsed
    • Numbers 15:1 | Various Offerings
    • Numbers 15:32 | Penalty for Violating the Sabbath
    • Numbers 15:37 | Fringes on Garments
  • PROPHETS
    • Joshua 2:1 | Spies Sent to Jericho

Portion Summary

The thirty-seventh reading from the Torah is called Shelach(שלח), an imperative verb that means “send out.” The portion is so named from the first few words of the second verse: “Send out for yourself men so that they may spy out the land of Canaan” (Numbers 13:2). The Torah reading tells the tragic story of how the spies returned with a bad report about the Land of Promise and influenced the congregation of Israel to rebel against the LORD. Thus God consigned the generation of Moses to wander in the wilderness for forty years.


The spies returned from Canaan with a giant cluster of grapes. The grapes should have encouraged the Israelites. The land was indeed a good land full of bounty, just as God had promised. The ten spies, however, interpreted the giant grapes differently. They used them as evidence that the land was inhabited by unconquerable giants. “What would you expect from the vineyards of giants?” Isn’t it strange how two people can look at the same thing—such as a cluster of grapes—and come to opposite conclusions? To Joshua and Caleb, giant grapes were a good thing. To the other spies, the giant grapes were a sign of despair.

God said He heard the grumbling and the complaints of the children of Israel. He hears our complaints too. The sin of grumbling is related to the sin of gossip. Both are forms of evil speech; both result from a critical spirit.

Gossip destroys others, breaks up friendships and severs relationships. Grumbling destroys your quality of life and that of those around you.

Imagine going to the zoo with a cranky and undisciplined five-year-old. You take the child to see the lions, but he is sulking because you did not buy him candy. You take him to see the zebras, but he is angry because he does not want to hold your hand in the crowd. You take him to see the monkeys, but he is having a fit because he wanted French fries. You buy him French fries, but he leaves them uneaten because he complains that they are soggy. At the end of the day, he did not see lions, zebras, and monkeys, nor did he eat French fries. He has had a miserable day, and so have you. The child transformed what could have been a wonderful experience into a horrible one for no good reason.

As an adult, it is easy to look at a situation like that and realize how foolish the unruly child is being. It’s harder to realize that our own complaints, grumbling and murmuring is just as petty. Adults are usually sophisticated enough to disguise their childish tantrums and inner discontentment. We disguise them as serious adult issues, concerns and complaints. On closer investigation, many of those issues tend to be no more than sulking over soggy French fries. The worst part is that this is not a trip to the zoo. This is your life. If you spend it fussing and sulking, you will never enjoy the good things God is continually doing for you. You will never even notice them.

The Torah teaches that God hears all of our complaints and negativity. That’s why the sages teach that the complainer is tantamount to an atheist. His complaints deny the existence of God as if there is no God to hear his bitter words. (Click to Source)

Weekly Torah Readings: Sh’lah L’kha – from One New Man Bible – Jun 29, 2019

Sh’lah L’kha

Spies Named

13.1. And the LORD* spoke to Moses saying, 2.Send men for yourself, so they can spy out the land of Canaan, which I AM giving to the children of Israel. You will send a man from each tribe of their fathers, each one a leader among them.” 3.And Moses by the commandment of the LORD* sent them from the wilderness of Paran, all those men were heads of the children of Israel. 4. And these were their names: of the tribe of Reuben, Shammua the son of Zaccur;  5. of the tribe of Simeon, Shafat the son of Hori; 6. of the tribe of Judah, Caleb the son of Jephunneh; 7. of the tribe of Issachar, Igal the son of Joseph; 8. of the tribe of Ephraim, Hoshea the son of Nun; 9. of the tribe of Benjamin, Palti the son of Rafu; 10. of the tribe of Zebulun, Gaddiel the son of Sodi; 11. from the tribe of Joseph, of the tribe of Manasseh, Gaddi the son of Susi; 12. of the tribe of Dan, Ammiel the son of Gemalli; 13. of the tribe of Asher, Setur the son of Michael; 14. of the tribe of Naphtali, Nabbi the son of Vofsi;15. of the tribe of Gad, Geuel the son of Machi.

Hoshea Renamed Joshua

13:16. These are the names of the men whom Moses sent to spy out the land. And Moses called Hoshea the son of Nun Joshua. 17. And Moses sent them to spy out the land of Canaan and said to them, “Go up here in the south, and go up on the mountain 18. and see the land, what it is and the people who live there, whether they are strong or weak, few or many. 19. And what the land is that they dwell in, whether it is good or bad and what cities there are that they live in, whether in tents or in strongholds. 20. And what the land is, whether it is fat or lean, whether or not there is wood in it. And be of good courage and bring of the fruit of the land.” Now the time was the time of the first ripe grapes.

Spies Go Out

13:21. So they went up and spied out the land from the wilderness of Zin to Rehob, as men come to Hamat. 22. And they ascended by the south and came to Hebron, where Ahiman, Sheshai, and Talmai, the children of the giants were. (Hebron was built seven years before Zoan in Egypt.) 23. And they came to the brook of Eshkol and cut down from there a branch with one cluster of grapes, and they carried it on a staff between two men; and they brought of the pomegranates and of the figs. 24. The place was called the brook Eshkol, because of the cluster of grapes which the children of Israel cut down from there. 25. And after forty days they returned from spying out the land.

Spies Report

13:26. And they went and came to Moses and to Aaron and to the whole congregation of the children of Israel, to the wilderness of Paran, to Kadesh, and brought back word to them and to the whole congregation and showed them the fruit of the land. 27. And they told him and said, “We came to the land where you sent us and surely it flows with milk and honey, and this is its fruit. 28. But the people that live in the land are strong and the cities are walled, very great! And moreover we saw the children of the giant there. 29. Amalek lives in the land of the south and the Hittite, the Jebusite, and the Amorite live in the mountains, and the Canaanites live by the sea and by the Jordan.”

13:30. And Caleb calmed the people before Moses and said, “Let us go up at once and possess it, for we are well able to overcome it.”

13:31. But the men who went up with him said, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we are.” 32. And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had spied out for the children of Israel saying, “The land, through which we have gone to spy it out, is a land that eats up its inhabitants. And all the people that we saw in it were men of great stature. 33. And there we saw the Nefilim, the sons of Anak (Giant), who come of the Nefilim, and we were in our own sight like grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.”

Evil Report Wins

14.1. And the whole congregation lifted up their voice and cried, and the people wept that night. 2. And all the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron and the whole congregation said to them, “Would that we had died in the land of Egypt! Or we had died in this wilderness! (1 Cor. 10:10) 3. And why has the LORD* brought us to this land, to fall by the sword, that our wives and our children should be a prey? Was it not better for us to return to Egypt?” 4. And they said to one another, “Let us make a captain and let us return to Egypt.”

14:5. Then Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before the entire assembly of the congregation of the children of Israel. 6.And Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, who were of those who spied out the land, tore their clothes,7. and they spoke to the entire company of the children of Israel saying, “The land, which we passed through to spy it out, is an exceedingly good land. 8. If the LORD* delights in us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us, a land that flows with milk and honey. 9. Only do not rebel against the LORD*, neither fear the people of the land, for they are bread for us: their defense has departed from them and the LORD* is with us. Do not be in awe them!” 10. But the whole congregation ordered to stone them with stones. Then the glory of the LORD* appeared in the Tent of Meeting before all the children of Israel.

14:11. And the LORD* said to Moses, “How long will this people provoke Me? And how long will it be before they believe Me, for all the signs that I have shown among them? 12. I shall strike them with the pestilence and disinherit them, and will make of you a greater nation even mightier than they.”

Moses Pleads with the LORD*

14:13. And Moses said to the LORD*, “Then the Egyptians will hear it (for You brought up this people in Your might from among them) 14. and they will tell the inhabitants of this land, for they have heard that You, LORD*, are among this people, that You, LORD*, are seen face to face and Your cloud stands over them, and You go before them, by daytime in a pillar of cloud, and in a pillar of fire by night. 15. Now if You will kill all this people as one man, then the nations which have heard Your fame will speak saying, 16. ‘Because the LORD* was not able to bring this people into the land which He swore to them, therefore He has slain them in the wilderness.’ 17. And now, I beseech you, let the power of my Lord be great, according as You have spoken saying, 18. ‘The LORD* is patient and of great loving kindness, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generation.’ (Exod. 34:6,7) 19. Pardon, I beseech you, the iniquity of this people according to the greatness of Your loving kindness, and as You have forgiven this people from Egypt even until now.”

The LORD* Pardons

14:20. And the LORD* said, “I have pardoned according to your word. 21. But as truly as I live, all the earth will be filled with the glory of the LORD*. 22. Because all those men who have seen My glory and My miracles, which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness and have tested Me now these ten times, and have not hearkened to My voice. (Heb. 3:8) 23. Surely they will not see the land which I swore to their fathers, neither will any of them who provoked Me see it, 24. except My servant Caleb because he had another spirit with him and has followed Me fully, I shall bring him into the land where he went and his seed will possess it. 25. (Now the Amalekite and the Canaanite dwelled in the valley.) Tomorrow turn and go into the wilderness by the way of the Reed Sea.”

Israel Sentenced to Forty Years in the Wilderness

14:26. And the LORD* spoke to Moses and to Aaron saying, 27. “How long will I bear with this evil congregation that murmurs against Me? I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel, which they murmur against Me. 28. Say to them, ‘As truly as I live, says the LORD*, as you have spoken in My ears, so will I do for you: 29. your carcasses will fall in this wilderness and all that were numbered of you, according to your whole number, from twenty years old and upward, that have murmured against Me. (Jude 5) 30. Doubtless you will not come into the land, which I swore to make you dwell in, except Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun. 31. But your little ones that you said should be a prey, those I shall bring in and they will know the land which you have despised. 32. But as for you, your carcasses will fall in this wilderness. 33. And your children will wander in the wilderness forty years and bear your backslidings, until your carcasses are wasted in the wilderness. 34. After the number of the days in which you spied out the land, forty days, each day for a year, you will bear your iniquities, forty years, and you will know My enmity.’ 35. I AM,the LORD*, I have said, ‘I shall surely do it to all this evil congregation that are gathered together against Me, they will be consumed in this wilderness and there they will die.’”

14:36. And the men whom Moses sent to spy out the land, who returned and made the whole congregation to murmur against him by bringing up a slander upon the land, 37. even those men who brought the evil report on the land, died by the plague before the LORD*. 38. Except Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh still lived, who were of the men that went to spy out the land.

14:39. And Moses told these sayings to all the children of Israel and the people mourned greatly. 40. And they rose up early in the morning and went up to the top of the mountain saying, “Here we are and we will go up to the place which the LORD* has promised, for we have sinned.”

14:41. And Moses said, “Why do you now trespass the commandment of the LORD*? But it will not succeed. 42. Do not go up so you are not smitten before your enemies, for the LORD* is not among you. 43. For the Amalekite and the Canaanite are there before you, and you will fall by the sword because you turned away from the LORD*, therefore the LORD* will not be with you.” 44. But they presumed to go up to the hilltop, nevertheless the Ark of the Covenant of the LORD* and Moses did not leave the camp. 45. Then the Amalekite and the Canaanite who lived on that hill came down and struck them, and crushed them to Harmah.

Offerings in the Land

15.1. And the LORD* spoke to Moses saying, 2. “Speak to the children of Israel and say to them,

“When you come into the land of your homes, which I AM giving to you,

3. and will make an offering by fire to the LORD*, a burnt offering or a sacrifice in performing a vow or in a freewill offering or in your solemn feasts, to make a sweet savor to the LORD* of the herd or of the flock, 4. then he that brings his offering to the LORD* will bring a grain offering of two tenths of an ephah of flour mixed with the fourth of a hin of oil. 5.And you will prepare the fourth of a hin of wine for a drink offering with the burnt offering or sacrifice, for one lamb. 6. Or for a ram, you will prepare a grain offering two tenth parts of flour mixed with the third of a hin of oil. 7. And for a drink offering you will offer the third of a hin of wine, a sweet savor to the LORD*. 8. And when you prepare a bull, a burnt offering or a sacrifice in performing a vow or peace offerings to the LORD*, 9. then he will bring with a bull a grain offering of three tenths of an Ephah of flour mixed with half a hin of oil.

10. And you will bring for a drink offering half a hin of wine, an offering made by fire, of a sweet savor to the LORD*. 11.Thus it will be done for one bull or for one ram or for a lamb or a kid. 12. According to the number that you will prepare, so will you do for everyone according to their number. 13. All that are born of the country will do these things after this manner, in drawing near with an offering made by fire, a sweet savor to the LORD*. 14. And if a stranger lives with you or whoever is among you in your generations, and will make a fire offering of a sweet savor to the LORD*, as you do, so will he do. 15. One ordinance will be both for you of the congregation and also for the stranger that lives among you, an ordinance forever in your generations: as you are, so will the stranger be before the LORD*. 16. One Torah and one manner will be for you and for the stranger who lives with you.”

15:17. And the LORD* spoke to Moses saying, 18. “Speak to the children of Israel and say to them,

“When you come into the land where I bring you, 19. then it will be, that when you eat of the bread of the land you will offer up a heave offering to the LORD*.

20. You will offer up a cake of the first of your dough for a heave offering. As you do the heave offering of the threshing floor, so will you heave it. 21. Of the first of your dough you will give a heave offering to the LORD* in your generations.

15:22. “And if you have erred and not observed all these commandments, which the LORD* has spoken to Moses, 23. all that the LORD* has commanded you by the hand of Moses, from the day forward that the LORD* commanded him among your generations, 24. then it will be, if anything has been committed by ignorance without the knowledge of the congregation, that the entire congregation will offer one young bull for a burnt offering for a sweet savor to the LORD*, with his grain offering and his drink offering, according to the manner and one he goat for a sin offering. 25. And the priest will make atonement for the entire congregation of the children of Israel, and it will be forgiven them, for it is ignorance and they will bring their offering,  a fire offering to the LORD* and their sin offering before the LORD*, for their ignorance, 26. and it will be forgiven the whole congregation of the children of Israel and the stranger who lives among them, seeing all the people were in ignorance.

15:27. “And if any person sins by mistake then he will bring a she goat of the first year for a sin offering. 28. And the priest will make atonement for the one who sins ignorantly when he sins by mistake before the LORD*, to make atonement for him, and it will be forgiven him. 29. You will have one Torah for him who sins through ignorance, both him who is born among the children of Israel and the stranger who lives among them. 30. But the person that does anything with a high hand, whether he is born in the land or a stranger, he blasphemes the LORD*, and that one will be cut off from among his people. 31. Because he has despised the Word of the LORD* and has broken His commandment, that person will be utterly cut off: his iniquity will be upon him.”

Working on the Sabbath

15:32. And while the children of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man who gathered sticks on the Sabbath. 33.And those who found him gathering sticks brought him to Moses and Aaron and to the whole congregation. 34. And they put him in custody because it was not declared what should be done to him. 35. And the LORD* said to Moses, “The man will surely be put to death. The whole congregation will stone him with stones outside the camp.” 36. And the whole congregation brought him outside the camp and stoned him with stones and he died, as the LORD* commanded Moses.

Prayer Shawl (Sh’ma, Part 3)

15:37. And the LORD* spoke to Moses saying, 38. “Speak to the children of Israel and bid them to make fringes for themselves in the wings of their garments throughout their generations and that they put upon the fringe of the border a thread of blue, 39. and it will be to you for a fringe, that you may look upon it and remember all the commandments of the LORD* and do them, and that you do not seek after your own heart and your own eyes, after which you used to go astray, 40. so you will remember and do all My commandments and be holy to your God. 41. IAM the LORD* your God, Who brought you out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: I AM the LORD* your God.” (Click to Source)

Torah Commentary – Sh’lach L’cha (Send on your behalf) – The Tourists Connection – SCRIPTURES FOR June 29, 2019

Sh’lach L’cha (Send on your behalf)
Numbers 13:1-15:41
Joshua 2:1-24
Hebrews 3:7-19
The Tourists Connection
If a list were made of the top ten stories the Hebrews are known for during their sojourn in the wilderness, the account of the twelve spies would certainly be found. Many fingers have been pointed at the faithless reports given by the ten spies. Is there a deeper level of understanding regarding the reason behind the difference in the statements shared by the ten versus the two? Could we find another lesson from their experience that can give instruction to us today? Let’s see.
The Hebrew word translated as spies is “tuwr.” It is interesting that the word sounds like our English word “tour”, though it is not the actual root of the word. We can use the comparison to draw a lesson. We can look at these men, not as it describes as “in the Land”, but rather as tourists? At the time, they were travelers, not dwellers. Consider, after all, when they returned to camp they brought back souvenirs of fruit of the land to show off. The fruitful bounty could have been inspiration to take the Land as Yah directed. Yet, it is not what they brought back on their shoulders which truly mattered, instead, it was what was in their hearts.
It is hard to envision the immense feast of produce these men saw or the terror of the massive size of its inhabitants during their “tour.” A few years back a section of the wall of Hevron was found that dates back to the time of Scripture. On one of my trips in Israel I was able to visit that section of unearthed wall. I remember just staring at it. I have always had a connection to Joshua. The haftorah readings for the Torah portion related to my birthday are verses in the first section of Joshua. That day at the wall I just stood and stared as I considered that ancient stone and pondered whether it may have been a spot Joshua had fixed his own eyes upon.
All twelve of the men saw the same sites, ate the same food and walked the same soil, so why the different accounts given upon their return? Most would say it was based on their level of faith which to some measure, I agree with. Going back to our original question whether we have another lesson from the spies experience, let us consider this point of view. I believe we can also reflect on the word “connect”. Joshua and Caleb connected with the Land. They were able to see past the giants inhabiting the area, even the bountiful harvest. It was their King’s Land. He was calling them to possess His promise to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! Their heart connection to Yah instilled a deep passionate connection for His Land, their inheritance. It appears the other ten did not make this connection.
My friend and brother Hanoch Young says it best, if you connect with the Land, the Land will connect with you. For Joshua and Caleb, the Land became a part of their very hearts. Sadly it seems for the others it was just another random handful of dirt.
As with Joshua and Caleb, you and I will fight for our heart’s desires and what and who we are connected to. That connection will manifest itself in actions which may in the end be termed faith, but faith begins with the relationship established in our heart.
What did Joshua and Caleb connect to? The answer is found in Deuteronomy 11:12 which reveals to us that the eyes of Yah are continually on that Land. Eyes do not lead your heart, they follow your heart. What your eyes gaze upon is an outward manifestation of where your heart is.
The eyes and hearts of Joshua and Caleb connected with the eyes and heart of the Father Himself. This is why they were allowed to enter the Land and would later give their very lives to possess it.
What caused Joshua and Caleb to connect with the Land and the others did not? I wish I could give you a complete answer. What makes one person go to Israel and weep while another is engrossed in taking pictures and playing on their cell phone? That is a question I cannot answer, but I am certain it involves the heart.
I have taken hundreds of people to Israel through the years. Most everyone will take pictures, bring home souvenirs and have stories to tell friends and family when they return. For the majority the memories will fade and become like the memories of taking the children to an amusement park. For others, life will never be the same. What is the difference? I do not know. What about the person who has never stepped foot in Israel, but yet the mention of the word brings tears to their eyes? I don’t know.
Joshua and Caleb connected to Israel on that day. They joined to the heart of their Father. This connection gave them the faith to see past giants and other obstacles. Their relationship gave them the blessing to cross over Jordan and enter into the Promise Land!
My prayer as I read this Torah portion is, “Father, I desire a heart like Joshua and Caleb, a heart for what is important to you. Give me the heart that brings forth the faith to see past giants so I too may enter your Land, my destiny!” (Click to Source)

 

Nostalgia for the Familiar – June 22, 2019

Regular Shabbat Readings

  • Beha’alotcha (בהעלותך | When you set up)
  • Torah: Numbers 8:1-12:15
  • Haftarah: Zechariah 2:14-4:7
  • Gospel: Matthew 14:14-21

Note: The regular readings are often interrupted with special readings on Jewish holidays, special Sabbaths, and Rosh Chodesh. Refer to the annual Torah Portion schedule for these special portions.

Portion Summary

The third reading from the book of Numbers and the thirty-sixth reading from the Torah is called Beha’alotcha (בהעלותך), a word that literally means “When you ascend.” It comes from the first verse of the portion, which could literally be translated as “When you ascend the lamps” (Numbers 8:2), a reference to the fact that the priest had to step up to clean and light the lamps of the menorah. This portion is jam-packed, telling the story of the consecration of the Levites, the first Passover in the wilderness, the silver trumpets, the cloud of glory, the departure from Sinai, the grumbling in the wilderness, the first Sanhedrin and the punishment of Miriam.

Portion Outline

  • TORAH
    • Numbers 8:1 | The Seven Lamps
    • Numbers 8:5 | Consecration and Service of the Levites
    • Numbers 9:1 | The Passover at Sinai
    • Numbers 9:15 | The Cloud and the Fire
    • Numbers 10:1 | The Silver Trumpets
    • Numbers 10:11 | Departure from Sinai
    • Numbers 11:1 | Complaining in the Desert
    • Numbers 11:16 | The Seventy Elders
    • Numbers 11:31 | The Quails
    • Numbers 12:1 | Aaron and Miriam Jealous of Moses
  • PROPHETS
    • Zec 2:6 Interlude: | An Appeal to the Exiles
    • Zec 3:1 Fourth Vision: | Joshua and Satan
    • Zec 4:1 Fifth Vision: | The Lampstand and Olive Trees

Portion Summary

The third reading from the book of Numbers and the thirty-sixth reading from the Torah is called Beha’alotcha (בהעלותך), a word that literally means “When you ascend.” It comes from the first verse of the portion, which could literally be translated as “When you ascend the lamps” (Numbers 8:2), a reference to the fact that the priest had to step up to clean and light the lamps of the menorah. This portion is jam-packed, telling the story of the consecration of the Levites, the first Passover in the wilderness, the silver trumpets, the cloud of glory, the departure from Sinai, the grumbling in the wilderness, the first Sanhedrin and the punishment of Miriam.


In Numbers 11:4-9, nostalgia for the food of Egypt sweeps over the camp of Israel. “We remember the fish which we used to eat free in Egypt, the cucumbers and the melons and the leeks and the onions and the garlic, but now our appetite is gone. There is nothing at all to look at except this manna.” (Numbers 11:5-6)

The same often happens to us after we take on a life of discipleship. For a while, it is fresh, new and exciting. It is invigorating, and each day is filled with new discovery. But after a period of time, the novelty wears off. We begin to miss the old vices and entertainments. We begin to feel nostalgic for ways of life that we have turned our backs on. When this happens (and it is normal that it does) we must press on all the harder in pursuit of our righteous Savior. It is normal for the heart to yearn for straying, but it is not normal to stray after the heart. We know better. If we will only press on, we will discover further joys, greater depths and new thrills in the pursuit of God.

Believers who begin to keep the commandments of God come from a variety of denominational and religious backgrounds. Typically, when they do, they commit to a life of Torah which they pursue with a proselyte’s zeal.

Everything changes. Your calendar, your holidays, your day of worship, your friends, your rhythm of life, the places you go, your style of worship, the entertainment you watch—everything is different—even the food you eat. It is normal to, at a certain point, long for some of the old things you have left behind. Believers in the Torah movement often feel bewildered by the strangeness of the new world they have entered. They reflect back on the simpler days when a Sunday morning worship service was nearly the full extent of their expression of faith. They long for the simplicity they once knew. “We remember the fish which we used to eat free in Egypt, the cucumbers and the melons and the leeks and the onions and the garlic…” (Numbers 11:5) But the manna on which we now feed is the one who has descended from heaven. He is the bread of life, and He beckons us to eat of Him alone, and to follow Him alone. This is the way to life. (Click to Source)

A Memorial

For the Jewish people, Passover is a day of remembrance of the exodus from Egypt, but disciples of Yeshua have another important aspect of Passover to remember.

Portion Summary

The sixteenth reading from the Torah is named Beshalach(בשלח), which means “When he sent.” The title comes from the first verse of the reading, which can be literally translated to say, “And it happened when Pharaoh sent out the people.” This is also the Shabbat reading when Passover coincides with the weekly Shabbat. The reading tells the adventures of the Israelites as they leave Egypt, cross the Red Sea, receive miraculous provision in the wilderness and face their first battle.

Regular Shabbat Readings

  • Pesach (פסח | Passover)
  • Torah: Exodus 12:21-51
  • Haftarah: Joshua 3:5-7, 5:2-6:1, 6:27
  • Gospel: John 19:31-20:1

Note: The regular readings are often interrupted with special readings on Jewish holidays, special Sabbaths, and Rosh Chodesh. Refer to the annual Torah Portion schedule for these special portions.

Portion Outline

  • TORAH
    • Exodus 13:17 | The Pillars of Cloud and Fire
    • Exodus 14:1 | Crossing the Red Sea
    • Exodus 14:26 | The Pursuers Drowned
    • Exodus 15:1 | The Song of Moses
    • Exodus 15:20 | The Song of Miriam
    • Exodus 15:22 | Bitter Water Made Sweet
    • Exodus 16:1 | Bread from Heaven
    • Exodus 17:1 | Water from the Rock
    • Exodus 17:8 | Amalek Attacks Israel and Is Defeated
  • PROPHETS
    • Jdg 4:1 | Deborah and Barak
    • Jdg 5:1 | The Song of Deborah

Portion Summary

The sixteenth reading from the Torah is named Beshalach(בשלח), which means “When he sent.” The title comes from the first verse of the reading, which can be literally translated to say, “And it happened when Pharaoh sent out the people.” This is also the Shabbat reading when Passover coincides with the weekly Shabbat. The reading tells the adventures of the Israelites as they leave Egypt, cross the Red Sea, receive miraculous provision in the wilderness and face their first battle.


Fourteen hundred years after the exodus from Egypt, Yeshua went to Jerusalem with His disciples to keep the appointed time of Passover. He and His disciples had been to Jerusalem to celebrate Passover many times, but this time, as they neared Jerusalem, Yeshua said, “My time is near; I am to keep the Passover” (Matthew 26:18). He knew that He was going to fulfill the appointed time in a marvelous and unexpected way.

The Torah instructs the Jewish people to keep the first day of Passover as a “memorial” of the exodus from Egypt. It works as one of God’s reminders. God rescued Israel from Egypt and told the people to keep the festival as an appointed time and a remembrance of their salvation.

Now this day will be a memorial to you, and you shall celebrate it as a feast to the LORD; throughout your generations you are to celebrate it as a permanent ordinance. (Exodus 12:14)

The Master kept the seder meal with His disciples in Jerusalem. He took the unleavened bread and the customary Passover cup and instructed His disciples to do so henceforth in remembrance of Him. On the day of the sacrifice, He became a spiritual sacrifice—Israel’s Passover lamb. At the appointed time for the Jewish people to sacrifice their Passover lambs in remembrance of the nation’s salvation from Egypt, Yeshua went to the cross.

When believers keep Passover, we have two things to remember. We remember the historic salvation from Egypt as the Torah commands us, but we also remember the salvation granted to us through the sacrifice of Yeshua. The two remembrances are not mutually exclusive. They naturally complement one another.

Every year we keep Passover in remembrance of Yeshua. Messiah Himself told us to do so: “And when He had taken some bread and given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me’” (Luke 22:19). Did He have in mind only the breaking bread and a sip from the fruit of the vine? No. He spoke within the specific context of Passover. The commandment to do “this” in remembrance of Yeshua refers to the Passover Seder meal. It is not one cup but the traditional cups of Passover. It is not any bread; it is the unleavened matzah bread of Passover. What could be more appropriate for a disciple of Yeshua to do than to keep the festival of Passover in remembrance of Him, just as He told His disciples? (Click to Source)

Your Daily Readings – Verse of the Day – Exodus 20:13 – April 20, 2019

Exodus 20:1-26

And God spake all these words, saying,

I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.

Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;

And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lordwill not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.

Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.

Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:

10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:

11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

12 Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.

13 Thou shalt not kill.

14 Thou shalt not commit adultery.

15 Thou shalt not steal.

16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.

17 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.

18 And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off.

19 And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die.

20 And Moses said unto the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not.

21 And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew near unto the thick darkness where God was.

22 And the Lord said unto Moses, Thus thou shalt say unto the children of Israel, Ye have seen that I have talked with you from heaven.

23 Ye shall not make with me gods of silver, neither shall ye make unto you gods of gold.

24 An altar of earth thou shalt make unto me, and shalt sacrifice thereon thy burnt offerings, and thy peace offerings, thy sheep, and thine oxen: in all places where I record my name I will come unto thee, and I will bless thee.

25 And if thou wilt make me an altar of stone, thou shalt not build it of hewn stone: for if thou lift up thy tool upon it, thou hast polluted it.

26 Neither shalt thou go up by steps unto mine altar, that thy nakedness be not discovered thereon.

(Exodus 20:1-26) King James Version (KJV) Public Domain

Torah Commentary – Sh’mini (Eighth) – Convictions Do Not Change – SCRIPTURES FOR March 30, 2019

Torah Commentary
Leviticus 9:1-11:47
2 Samuel 6:1-19
Mark 7:1-23
Acts 5:1-11;10:1-35
Sh’mini (Eighth)
Convictions Do Not Change
The sacrifices are to teach us about life. They give us instructions of how to approach YH VH. This Torah portion will also instruct us in how not to approach him. The sons of Aaron decide they have a right to their opinion regarding their duties and it does not go very well for them. Simply put, they died.
These verses and the event they describe should teach us that the first thing which must be put on an altar is our opinion. Yah has set up His ways of doing things and expects us to follow through without inserting our thoughts into the situation. It is the very heart of true conviction.
Conviction is when we do something, not because we understand it all, but because it is the right thing to do, one-hundred percent of the time, because He tells us to. Conviction does not have a place for wiggle room when we find ourselves in a compromising situation. Conviction stands firm, no matter the cost.
It is interesting that the verses of unauthorized fire would be followed with instructions for what is food and what is not food, for if there is an area of our life which conviction is tested almost daily, it is in what we put in our mouths.
I am not going to get into the list of what Abba says is food or not as you can read the list for yourself. The question is what are we going to do with the list when we are finished? Will we treat it with the conviction it deserves as the Word of YHVH, or water it down with a bit of convenience? To expound on this, let’s make up a scenario most of us are familiar with.
Let’s say your neighbor invites you over for dinner one night. You have not told them about your faith or your lifestyle of Torah. You figure they go to church on Sundays as you can see their car leave every Sunday morning at 10:50 and return at 12:10. You have been meaning to talk to them about your faith, but have been putting it off because you don’t want to be marked as “Those People” by all your neighbors.
So you show up for dinner and walk in the door only to be greeted by the sight of pork chops frying in a pan. Oy Vey! Now what do you do? Here are your options.
  1. 1.  Tell your neighbors that the whole family has just been diagnosed with high blood pressure and can not eat pork due to doctors orders.
  2. 2.  Explain to them the scientific reasons pigs should not be considered food.
  3. 3.  Tell the children to just eat a little so as not to offend your neighbors. By the way, this means offending your God.
  4. 4.  Be honest with the neighbors and use it as a place of conviction and an opportunity to share the lifestyle your faith in Yeshua has brought you to. Tell them you do not eat pork because your convicted not to based on Scripture.
Now I think we all know what our response should be. The question though is not what we should do, but what have we been doing?
It is amazing to me how the dietary commands are the ones people do not think should be taken seriously. I have heard most every excuse in the book for breaking these commands. Why do people think these are somehow less of the heart of Abba than others. I mean, do we do that with other commandments like, “Just a little sexual immorality is fine. We don’t want to offend anyone!” How about, “Just steal a little bit!” How ridiculous, right?
If you are as fed up with this world situation as I am, stop and ask what got us into it in the first place? Was it not Eve putting something in her mouth she was not supposed to? Was not this whole thing started when Adam and Eve walked in convenience instead of conviction?
So next time you go to your neighbors house for dinner, or dare we say your mothers house, ask yourself a question. Are we truly walking in conviction or is our life based on convenience? You never know if maybe Abba has placed you in a situation because he wants to convict someone else through you. (Click to Source)
Shalom and Be Strong,
Mike Clayton
Joined To HaShem
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