Parashat B’har/B’Chukkotai – Lev. 25:1 – 26:2

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This post is written by a member of the Messianic community in Israel or guest contributor. The opinions and views expressed are solely those of the author and may not necessarily reflect those of Kehila News Israel or myself.

And every tenth of cattle or flock, every [one] that will pass under the staff, the tenth one shall be holy to the L-rd. – Vayikra/Leviticus 27:32

Almost the last command in Vayikra as the book draws to an end, this and its companion two verses earlier, cause some confusion to the commentators. As Gunther Plaut points out, “this tithe of animals is mentioned nowhere else in the Torah.” Whilst we have early examples of Avraham, who gave a tenth of all that he possessed to Melchizedek, the king of Salem and priest of El Elyon, the Most High G-d – “Abram gave him a tenth of everything” (B’resheet 14:20, JPS) – and Ya’akov who expansively promised HaShem that “of all that You give me, I will set aside a tithe for You” (28:22, JPS), Baruch Levine affirms that there is no other place where the Torah requires a tithe of one’s entire herd and flock. In fact, even changing the frame from one’s entire stock to simply the increase during the year, he still asserts, “no other Torah legislation ordains a tithe from the annual increments of the herds and flocks.” This change matches the Jewish tradition as Hirsch, writing in the nineteenth century demonstrates: “one tenth of the increase of one’s flocks and herds has to be designated … only those born to the livestock of one owner in each year, or those purchased by him before the age fitting them for offering (seven days).” The Ralbag too affirms that it was applied only to the increase in the flock, when he explains that each animal “must pass under its own power. This teaches that they would put the animals’ mothers outside so that the lambs and calves would hear their voices and go out to them.” (Click to Article)

Torah Commentary – B’har (On Mount Sinai), B’chukotai – The Heart of the Matter – SCRIPTURES FOR May 20, 2017

Torah Commentary
B’har (On Mount Sinai), B’chukotai
Leviticus 25:1-26:2; 26:3-27:34
Jeremiah 32:6-27; 16:19-17:14
2Corinthians 7-13
 The Heart of the Matter
tabernacleinthewilderness
For our culture, many of the instructions of Leviticus seem quite foreign to us. There is even a debate whether most of these Scriptures pertain only to the time when we have entered the Land. “Buying and selling of crops, allowing the land to rest on the seventh year and redeeming our poor relative from slavery”, you have to admit, are not things most of us spend our waking thoughts pondering today. When it comes to food storage many people consider storing food for the winter. Wrap your head around storing supplies for three years to take your family through the Jubilee. Due to the difference in culture, we can get lost in the relevance of these verses for our day and read through them way to fast. A quick glance may cause us to miss the heart of the Scriptures.
Torah is about relationship with HaShem, family and the people we are called to interact with on a daily basis. The mysteries and wonders of Torah are awesome, but if we miss the theme of relationship, we miss the heart of the matter. Torah is teaching us through practical day-to-day life instructions how to love our Creator and how to treat one another. This principle is brought out again in Leviticus 25:14-17. Here Scripture speaks of selling property to a neighbor while considering the amount of how many years remaining until the Jubilee and the return of said property.  On the surface we do not see the point of the instruction, because in our society when we sell an item to someone, we do not expect him or her to bring it back in seven years. All transactions are typically final.  What can we learn in this instruction? The heart of the instruction is in verse 17, which tells us not to take advantage of one another in our transactions.
Let us put some flesh on this principal. Back in the days when I sold real estate, I did not like to sell property to or for friends. Sadly, more often than not, it turned out to be a disaster. I found that no matter how hard I tried, the “friend” was much harder to work with than a stranger off the street. They usually wanted special favors and in the end could not believe why I did not turn my entire commission over to them and call the transaction a favor based on friendship. This was an example of taking advantage of a friendship, which is what Leviticus warns us against. (Click to Article)

Torah Commentary – Acharei Mot(After the Death), K’doshim(Holy Ones) – Searching For Life – Day 8, Month 2, 5777; 4 May 2017

Torah Commentary
Acharei Mot(After the Death), K’doshim(Holy Ones)
Leviticus 16:1-18:30; 19:1-20:27
Ezekiel 22:1-19
Romans 3:19-28; 9:30-10:13
1 Corinthians 5:1-13
2 Corinthians 2:1-11
Galatians 3:10-14
Hebrews 7:23-10:25
The_Ten_Commandments2
Searching For Life
Life is an interesting word. The dictionary defines it as,”The condition that distinguishes animals and plants from inorganic matter, including the capacity for growth, reproduction, functional activity, and continual change preceding death.” According to this definition life is just going through motions which will allow someone to know if we are an animal, plant or just a rock. Simply put, if it moves, grows and reproduces, it has life, if not, it’s a rock. Another definition for life is, “The period between the birth and death of a living thing.”
As I consider these definitions in light of the words in Leviticus 18:5, which explains we will have life through obedience to Torah, the dictionary definitions appear to pale in comparison of how I feel our Creator desires us to have life. If we throw into the mix the words of Yeshua in John 10:10, “I have come that you may have life, life in its fullest measure,” the definitions really lose value.
What is the difference between the book definitions of life and what most of us desire as the Scriptural definition of life? I believe it comes down to one word, purpose. Consider the word purpose for a moment. Is it possible for us to have life, but never find purpose? We all know the answer is a resounding “yes”!
When we reflect on an example of life without purpose our minds may envision a homeless person on a street corner. He or she wakes up in the morning the same as the rest of us, breathes the same amount of air as we do and in truth goes through many of the same motions to sustain a level of life. Is simply sustaining life all that our Creator intended? Obviously, not! Would you say, when compared to the homeless person on the street corner, we have achieved the Scriptural definition of life in its fullest measure by reading the Torah each week, eating clean and observing the Feasts? I’m not sure I would.
Ask an honest question of yourself. Do you feel you are walking in the Scriptural definition of life? Now I am going to go where only the truly insane go. Comparing your life of Torah today with your life in a church in the past, do you feel you have more life now or just more knowledge? I wish I could get a show of hands here.
If my conversations with people through the years are any indication to the answer of the above question I would say most of us feel we have more knowledge than life. If you are the exception, please do not become offended. Maybe you have found the keys to abundant life and should be the one writing instead of me. For all the rest, please read on.
Leviticus 18 promises we will have life through observing His laws and rulings. Yeshua says we will have abundant life through Him. Is the key to life in joining these two verses together? If so, is there a verse which combines their meaning? Look at Psalm 40:7, “In the scroll of the book it is written about Me.” This verse is our key to the equation. It is all about Him. (Click to Article)

Scientists use mathematical calculations to PROVE the existence of God

SCIENTISTS have ‘confirmed’ the existence of God after proving a mathematician’s theory which suggests that there is a higher power.

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Two computer scientists say they proved that there is a holy supreme force after confirming the equations.

In 1978, mathematician Kurt Gödel died and left behind a long and complex theory based on modal logic.

Dr Gödel’s model uses mathematical equations that are extremely complicated, but the essence is that no greater power than God can be conceived, and if he or she is believed as a concept then he or she can exist in reality.

Or as Dr Gödel put it through his equations: “Ax. 1. {P(φ)∧◻∀x[φ(x)→ψ(x)]} →P(ψ)Ax. 2.P(¬φ)↔¬P(φ)Th. 1.P(φ)→◊∃x[φ(x)]Df. 1.G(x)⟺∀φ[P(φ)→φ(x)]Ax. 3.P(G)Th. 2.◊∃xG(x)Df. 2.φ ess x⟺φ(x)∧∀ψ{ψ(x)→◻∀y[φ(y)→ψ(y)]}Ax. 4.P(φ)→◻P(φ)Th. 3.G(x)→G ess xDf. 3.E(x)⟺∀φ[φ ess x→◻∃yφ(y)]Ax. 5.P(E)Th. 4.◻∃xG(x)”.

You get it, right?

But two computer scientists have used computers to run such complicated which they say confirms that the equation does indeed add up.

The point of the researchers’ argument was that they were not directly trying to prove the existence of God, but rather to showcase the power of computers. (Click to Article)

Torah Commentary -Sh’mot (Names) -The Ultimate Oxymoron – Day 21, Month 10, 5777; 19 January 2017

Torah Commentary
Sh’mot (Names)

Exodus 1:1-6:1
Isaiah 27:6-28:13; 29:22-23
Matthew 22:23-33; 41-46
Acts 3:12-15
Hebrew 11:23-26

yeshuatheMessiah

The Ultimate Oxymoron
 
Before I get to what, in my opinion is the ultimate oxymoron, I have a question. Can anyone find a shadow of Messiah in this Torah portion? (Jeopardy theme song playing in background) The answer is pretty obvious on this one. Answer: Who is Moshe! Let’s dig a little deeper. Moshe was actually prophesied in last week’s portion. To see this we will need to look at gematria, the use of letters having numeric meaning. For those whose blood pressure rises with the mention of something like this, not to worry your computer is doing this very thing right now. 
 
Last week we read the “Blessings” given to the twelve sons of Israel. To Judah, he spoke of a staff and one called Shiloh. Literally it says “Yavo Shiloh” or Shiloh will come. These words, as well as the word Messiah, have a numeric value of 358. If we take out the word Yavo and just look at the word Shiloh, it and the word Moshe have a numeric value of 345. From a gematria standpoint, this links Moshe as a type of deliverer foreshadowing the ultimate deliverance in Shiloh or Messiah Yeshua.
 
Now that we all see Moshe is a shadow of Yeshua through gematria, I have two questions. First question, “Why do the people of Israel need to be delivered?” Second question, “Why are they in bondage?” The tribes of Israel are slaves! In my book Israel as slaves is the ultimate oxymoron. (Click to Article)

Torah Commentary -Vayechi (He Lived) -The Multiple Faces of Yeshua -Day 14, Month 10, 5777; 12 January 2017

Torah Commentary
Vayechi (He Lived)
Genesis 47:28-50:26
1Kings 2:1-12
Hebrews 11:21-22
1Peter 1:3-9; 2:11-17

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The Multiple Faces of Yeshua
 
I was in a meeting recently with a number of people who varied in their level of Torah knowledge and observance. Some of these folks had years of experience and had fully embraced the walk, while others had just begun to get their feet wet. Some were were still considering the dangers of the deep end of the pool. During our meeting I asked how many were interested in joining a new denomination or organization. Not a single hand went up! By the looks on their faces I could see that my question had probably struck a few nerves. I then asked if anyone was interested in being a part of a family. The atmosphere changed. Smiling faces responded favorably.  
 
This week we read the ever important sought after “blessings” spoken by Israel over his sons. Notice Israel’s words do not include Levi’s descendants becoming the Southern Baptist denomination, nor does he tell Asher that his tribe will end up being the Charismatic’s. Israel’s words are calling the sons to be a family, not an organization. The family will have a variety of cultural characteristics that do not require them to dress the same or talk the same. They are not to be clones of each other. Each tribe is a family of individuals building relationships while they work toward a common goal of building a house for the family to dwell together to worship our King. 
 
The reason I drew attention to the word blessing by putting it in quotation marks is a key to understanding my direction in the paragraph. As we read these words of Israel to his sons we find that not all of his words are “blessings” in what we normally consider as the definition of the word. Many of the words are of correction. Consider, before we go on that at the proper time the greatest word of blessing we can receive from a person is a word of correction. This is the reason the hard words of Jacob are still considered blessings.  (Click to Article)

PALM SPROUTED FROM 2000 YEAR OLD SEED NOW BEARS FRUIT IN ISRAEL!

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Psalm 92:12-13 says, “The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree, He shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.Those who are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God.They shall still bear fruit in old age”.

There is some remarkable news in Israel about a palm tree that has done exactly that! In the 1960s, archaeologists found an ancient jar containing palm seeds that were 2000 years old. They sat in someone’s draw for decades, until in 2005, they were planted, and lo and behold, they sprouted! Astonishingly, a palm tree was successfully grown from these seeds from Biblical times. What is even more amazing is that this year, the male palm tree (named Methuselah, now ten years old) and has successfully pollinated a female palm tree, which has produced dates! This miraculous palm tree really has borne fruit in old age! [1]

There are countless palm trees in every direction in Israel, and there is wonderful Biblical significance to the tree, which we can remember every time we see them, or taste its fruit. (Click to Article)

Torah Commentary -Vayishlach (He Sent) -Just In Case It Does Not Work Out -Day 15, Month 9, 5775; 15 December 2016

Where do we see Messiah in this picture of Rachel with the false gods? We see Messiah as our True and Living God who clearly calls us to leave all behind (false gods, doctrines, attitudes, pride, etc) to follow Him. It is just not any more complicated than that.

Jesus scriptures temple2

Torah Commentary
Genesis 32:4-36:43
Obadiah 1:1-21
1 Corinthians 5:1-13
Revelation 7:1-12
Vayishlach (He Sent)
 
Just In Case It Does Not Work Out
 
The life of Ya’akov carried with it some crazy twists and turns and was certainly not dull. I wonder if Yah had revealed to Ya’akov the drama filled encounters he would experience in his life, whether Ya’akov would have pressed forward to receive his blessings. If Ya’akov would have known what was ahead for him in Lavan’s home, would he have just stayed put in Beit-El. I wonder if He had shown us our lives…that’s another thought to ponder.
 
Ya’akov’s life changed much in the twenty years since his amazing encounter with Yahweh in Beit-El. He only asked for bread and clothes. Ya’akov returns with two wives, two concubines, eleven sons (one on the way), at least one daughter and quite the entourage of livestock, servants and their belongings with him. Not at all lost in the crowd is his “Beloved Wife” Rachel. Not known to Ya’akov, she is toting along her father’s household gods she had stolen from him. She did what?! (Click to Article)

Torah Commentary -Lech Lecha (Get Yourself Out) -A Common Thread -November 12, 2016

Torah Commentary

Jesus scriptures temple2

Gen 12:1-17:27
Isaiah 40:27-41:16
Acts 7:1-8
Romans 3:19-5:6
Hebrews 7:1-19; 11:8-12
Lech Lecha (Get Yourself Out)
 
A Common Thread
This week we are introduced to a man named Avram, (Abram.) His life will be laid out in front of us with days of walking in great faith as well as his days of failure. In the end, his name will be changed to Avraham by adding the Hebrew letter Heh to the end of Avram. The letter Heh is an interesting one in that it is the only letter we sound without using any movement of our mouth. It is sounded by only the use of breath. It is a letter which is used to point us to the breath of Yah. What do we see so far? The life of changing Avram to Avraham was accomplished by Avram’s willingness to allow The Creator to breath life-transforming breath into him.
 
The process Avram went through should take us back to The Garden. Adam was formed from the dirt of the earth, but he had no life until breath was breathed into him. It was only with the addition of the breath of Yah that Adam came to life. Could we therefore conclude that even though Avram was breathing and walking on the earth and seemed to be alive to those around him, it was not until the breath of Yah came into him that he really started to live? (Click to Article)

Torah Commentary B’resheet (In the beginning) – His Story

Torah Commentary
B’resheet (In the beginning)
Genesis 1:1-6:8
Isaiah 42:5-43:10
John 1:1-18
Revelation 21:1-5; 22:1-5

Jesus scriptures temple2

Day 25, Month 7, 5775; 27 October 2016   

His Story

We are all familiar with the English word history. It is defined as the study of man’s past. It is a word which takes many of us back in our minds to days of school and memorizing names, dates and events so we could pass a test. For some, the word became a nightmare we endured through. For others, a lifelong hobby or even a career. For me, it was a bother through much of life until I came to understand that the word history is not merely about man’s past, but also about The Creator’s work in man’s past. We see this if we break the word history into the two English words which make it up, His and Story.

His story begins in a physical sense in Genesis 1, but the idea and ‘why’ of it all can be found in Revelation 21:1-8. Take a moment to read those verses. In them you will find the purpose of Genesis 1, to bring forth a people who, when the dust of history settled, would be called His and He called theirs. Creation began with a vision of a people who would choose to enter into eternal covenant with One who would be referred to as I AM, YHVH, The Almighty, The Creator, Yah, El Shaddai, and many other terms so man could begin to grasp and stand in awe of Him who was, is, and will ever be.

In the first verse of Genesis we are introduced to letters which only appear in Hebrew, Aleph and Tav. English translators did not understand these letters of Hebrew so they did not bring them into their translations. Hebrew scholars would see things a bit different and ask the question, “Who or what is this Aleph Tav?” Discussions would take place and volumes would be written trying to answer this question. The answer came forth in Revelation 1 when Yeshua came to John on the Isle of Patmos and introduced Himself as none other than Aleph Tav. I wonder if, when John heard those words from Yeshua, his jaw dropped as all of a sudden history, His Story, made sense. It had all been about Him from the beginning of time.

John had earlier, in chapter 5 of the book which bears his name, quoted Yeshua who challenged the leaders of that day to take another look at Torah, the books of Moshe and find, “..it was all about me that he wrote.” Stop and listen quietly for a moment. Do you hear those words of Yeshua’s resounding again? Maybe we would hear it this way: “Torah is all about Me, make sure you do not miss Me as you study it. Don’t miss that it is My Story within The Story.”

So, with that said, we begin a new cycle of studying Torah. It is my desire to bring forth the person of Yeshua from its pages. I encourage you to not only see Him where I see Him, but to search for yourself. One resource you may want to have for this is a translation which reveals the Aleph and Tav such as “The Messianic Aleph Tav Scriptures.” There are many others resources online which can help you with this. What can we find without even going to the level of Aleph Tav? Let’s take a look.

Who is The Creator? The word used in Gen 1 is Elohim, which is a plurality of a singular. I see it as this; Yeshua came forth out of YHVH to become the Him of history. Colossians 1:16 tells us it was Yeshua. This verse goes on to tell us it was created not for us, but for Him. We were created for His pleasure, not He for ours.

It was Yeshua who came forth as light. In verse 4 we read “Elohim saw ‘The light’.” In Hebrew the words were ‘et ha’ or ‘Aleph Tav the light’. A system called gematria is used to put a number value to each Hebrew letter. Using this method, we see the words ‘Aleph Tav the light’ equal 613, the number of instructions in Torah. John 1 speaks of the Torah being light and being manifested among us.

Who walked in the Garden with Adam and Eve? Yeshua, the physical manifestation of Yah.

Who gave Adam and Eve instructions of righteous living, watched as they failed, then came looking for them to provide restoration, Yeshua, the physical manifestation of Yah.

Who was prophesied of in Gen 3:15

Whose blood was prophesied through righteous blood calling from the ground for redemption?

Who was prophesied of in the names of the genealogy in Gen 5 which could read, “Man is appointed to mortal sorrow, but the blessed Elohim shall come down teaching that His death shall bring the despairing comfort.”
Who was prophesied in Noah as a righteous man who you could look to in evil days?
In Whose eyes did Noah find grace?

The answer to me is obvious.

These questions begin a journey this year of finding Yeshua in Torah, His grace, His mercy, His life and His Story. Let us look to Torah and see through the eyes of another imperfect man whose heart was fully toward Yah, who wrote in Psalm 40:8 that the scroll truly was and still is His Story. (Click to Article)