www.messianicisrael.com AZAMRA TORAH FOR OUR TIME GREENBAUM RABBI AVRAHAM http://www.azamra.org 2 VAETCHANAN AND I PLEADED TORAH: Deuteronomy 3:23-7:11 HAFTORAH: Isaiah 40:1-26 BRIT CHADASHAH: Matthew 4:1-11, Mark 12:1-44, 1 Timothy 2:4-6 All references: The Scripture 1998+ unless otherwise noted SHABBAT NACHAMU This Shabbat is known as Shabbat Nachamu referring to the opening words of the Haftara from Isaiah 40:1 Comfort, comfort my people. This period has been a time of mourning the destruction and ruin that has so much been a part of the Israelites lives. Now it is time to put the past behind them and to focus on rebuilding and restoration. It is a time to be reenergized. To begin this period, Jews typically take outings

to the country to enjoy the sea, sunsets, the landscape, and all other wonders of creation in order to be both physically and spiritually reinvigorated. This Torah portion provides us with the manna we need for this spiritual recharge. This week we touch on important foundations of our faith. We will read of the awesomeness of , His chosen people, His 10 Words (commandments), the good Land He has promised, and the love and fear of the Almighty. Moses takes a trip through history to remind the Israelites of the giving of the Torah and will teach them the most basic declaration of faith - The Shema. As believers, we are also 4 able to see how brought His followers back to these basics. THEMES DISCUSSED Teach the children s instructions in righteousness (i.e. the Torah). Teach the children about their historical and spiritual roots. Fear . Remember the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai and the supernatural occurrences surrounding that event. Do not allow yourself to become involved in idolatry and the practices of the heathen nations. Keep Torah and all will be well with you. s Torah commandments are eternal. Dont forget nor turn from the Torahs instructions in

righteousness. AND I PLEADED And I pleaded with at that time, saying, (Deuteronomy 3:23) and I pleaded, would be better translated as and I beseeched or and I entreated. The word pleaded gives the idea that Moshe was begging for permission to go into the Land. The word used for beseeched or entreated is chanan, and is from the root word chen which means grace or favor thus Moses is entreating for grace or favour from so that he might be allowed into the Land. The rabbis explain that since Bnei Israel, under Moshe, had just defeated Sihon and Og (Amorite kings), and since their kingdoms (while on the east side of the Yarden, or Jordan) were part of the land promised to Abraham, Yitzhak and Yaaqob, that perhaps had changed His mind, or could be entreated to change His decree. But, this was not the case. The numeric value of the letters in Vaet chanan (vav-aleph-tav-chet-nunnun) is 515 which equals the value of the Hebrew word yiqahat (yud-kufhey-tav) which means to submit. THE PROMISED LAND O Master , You have begun to show Your servant Your greatness and Your strong hand, for who is a mighty one in the heavens or on earth who does according to Your works and according to Your might? (Deuteronomy 3:24) Moses was the greatest prophet who ever lived, who saw mighty miracles, was taught the entire Torah by HaShem Himself and had seen the manifestations of Elohim up close and personal, at the age of 120 says "You have only begun to show Your servant Your greatness and Your strong hand."?

He truly wanted to see more, to finish what was begun. I pray, let me pass over and see the good land beyond the Yardn, this good hill country, and Lebanon. (Deuteronomy 3:25). Moshe literally says here; May I please cross and then see the land of goodness that is over the Yarden (the other side of the revelation), the good mountain (Mt. Moriah) and the Lebanon (those purified / white). As Rabbi Chaim Richman writes: Lebanon is a code word for the Holy Temple. (Lebanon, in Hebrew, Levanon, derived from the Hebrew lavan, white, refers to the purifying, whitening, power of the Holy Temple service.) MOSES THE PROPHET had shown him the pattern in heaven, of the Ark of the Covenant, the Altar, the Tent of Meeting and all its accessories and utensils. Moshe knew what was to happen in Israel. He prophesied to the Children of Israel regarding their turning away from and His Torah and even our ultimate redemption and regathering. Moshe wanted with everything in him to go in and experience the Land and see prophecy fulfilled. was angry with Moshe for the people's sake. Moshe disobeyed and did not set Elohim apart in the eyes of the people. had no choice, but to reprove him in front of the people. If Elohim cannot be trusted to keep His own Torah, then His Word means nothing. loved His friend Moshe, so He showed him from the mountain, the Good Land and the beyond that, the holy mountain Moriah and the Temple (the sages suggest he saw Mashiachs Temple), the Temple

Service for the purification of Israel and the fulfilment of prophecy, just as He had shown him the pattern of the Mishkan on Sinai. PISGAH But was enraged with me, for your sake, and would not listen to me, and said to me, Enough of that! Speak no more to Me about this matter. Go up to the top of Pisgah, and lift up your eyes westward, and northward, and southward, and eastward, and look with your eyes, for you do not pass over this Yardn. (Deuteronomy 3:26-27) Pisgah is translated as cleft or cliff. It is from the root word pasag which is to pass between or to divide. The same when caused a deep sleep to come over Abraham and actually passed between the halves, to guarantee the covenant for the Land, as written in Genesis 15:8-21. The numeric value of the letters in Pisgah is 148, which equals Mahanayim or two camps and yachalaq or he divides. If you add the hey in front, making it hapisgah, as the Hebrew Torah reads, the numeric value is 153 which equals Bnei Elohim or sons of Elohim. Between the two camps of Bnei Elohim, Moshe was to look in each direction and, according to Deuteronomy 34:1-4 WHEN GOD SAYS NO Sometimes, we desperately want something with all of our heart and soul. We plead with God over and over again, but in the end, He refuses to grant our request. How do we respond to these situations? When King Davids infant son from his adulterous affair with Bat Sheva

became gravely ill, David begged God to spare the childs life. He fasted and prayed and prostrated himself face to the ground all night (2 Samuel 12:16). Nevertheless, the child died. How did King David react to Gods decision? .. Dawid said to his servants, Is the child dead? And they said, He is dead. Dawid then rose up from the ground, and washed and anointed himself, and changed his garments. And he went into the House of and bowed himself, then came to his own house, and asked, and they set food before him, so he ate. (2 Samuel 12:19-20). A Picture of submission to the will of God! David realized that God in His wisdom had made His judgment, and he accepted it, recognizing Gods divine rule and sovereignty. 10 THE FATHERS WILL The Promised Land was Moses dream, vision, and goal. And after all his hard work, not only was he not allowed to enter, but he had to support his successor who wouldJoshua, imagine his disappointment! ..My favour is sufficient for you, for My power is perfected in weakness. Most gladly, then, I shall rather boast in my weaknesses, so that the power of Messiah rests on me. (2 Corinthians 12:9) was met with the answer No from his beloved Father. In the Garden of Gethsemane, asked if the cup of suffering could be taken from him And going forward a little, He fell on His face, and prayed, saying, O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me. Yet not as I desire, but as You desire. (Matthew 26:39) a second time He enquired: Again He went

away, a second time, and prayed, saying, O My Father, if it is impossible for this to pass unless I drink it, let Your desire be done. (Matthew 26:42) though being a Son, He learned obedience by what He suffered. (Hebrews 5:8) GARDEN OF GETSEMANE In Hebrew, the Garden of Gethsemane is called Gat Shemanim (oil press). Shemanim is the plural form of shemen, the Hebrew word for oil. Since oil represents the anointing of Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit), it was an appropriate place for to submit to the will of his Abba (Father) and receive an anointing to carry it out. What can we learn? That there will be times when Gods resounding NO may cause us pain and sorrow. We can also learn that God says no for a variety of reasons; for instance, in the case of Moses and David, the consequences of sin was involved. In the case of in the Garden of Gethsemane, there was but one way for the will of Godmankind's redemption from sinto be accomplished. We can see that olive if we graciously accept and trust God's answer of no, Ancient

grove: the Garden of Gethsemane our trials may refine our character and make us more like . May 12 we be wise enough to recognize when God is saying NO. SEE .. and lift up your eyes westward, and northward, and southward, and eastward, and look with your eyes, for you do not pass over this Yardn. (Deuteronomy 3:27) What was it that Moses actually saw? The word for see can mean much more than literally taking in images with ones eyes. It can also imply a spiritual understanding or an acceptance of the Word of : Oh, taste and see that is good; Blessed is the man that takes refuge in Him! (Psalms 34:8) Now Moses lifted his eyes in all four directions. We read of that same vision given to Abram: And after Lot had separated from him, said to Abram, Now lift up your eyes and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward, for all the land which you see I shall give to you and your seed forever. (Genesis 13:14-15) Literally speaking, Abram was in the Promised Land and saw the Promised 13 Land in all four directions

SOMETHING MORE According to the book of Hebrews Abram was longing for something more: By belief, Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he was about to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By belief, he sojourned in the land of promise as a stranger, dwelling in tents with Yitshaq and Yaaqob, the heirs with him of the same promise, for he was looking for the city having foundations, whose builder and maker is Elohim. (Hebrews 11:8-10) Is the something more what Moses was able to see from the mountain top? Did the spiritual vision given to Moses enable Him to see the heavenly city Abram was waiting for? We know that Moses made it to the Promised Land: And after six days took Kpha, and Yaaqob, and Yohanan his brother, and brought them up on a high mountain by themselves, and He was transformed before them, and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as the light. And see, Mosheh and liyahu appeared to 14 them, talking with Him. (Matthew 17:1-3) OUR STRENGTH But charge Yehoshua, and strengthen him and make him brave, for he shall pass over before this people and causes them to inherit the land which you see. (Deuteronomy 3:28) Joshua is a picture of . Moses is synonymous with Torah. Joshua

was strengthened by Moses. In the same way, was strengthened by Torah. When was 12, and His parents lost track of Him? They found Him in the temple, and the Gospels tell us that He was there discussing Torah! .. they found Him in the Set-apart Place, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers. ... Did you not know that I had to be in the matters of My Father? .. And increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with Elohim and men. (Luke 2:46-52) When was tempted in the desert by Satan, how did He remain strong? He recited Torah to the evil one! This is the pattern for us to learn and follow ourselves when we need to 15 be strengthened during times of trouble! LISTEN ISREAL And now, O Yisral, listen to the laws and the right-rulings which I am teaching you to do, so that you live, and shall go in and possess the land which Elohim of your fathers is giving you. (Deuteronomy 4:1) Shma means hear and obey, appearing three times in this parsha. And become doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. Because if anyone is a hearer of the Word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror, for he looks at

himself, and goes away, and immediately forgets what he was like. But he that looked into the perfect Torah, that of freedom, and continues in it, not becoming a hearer that forgets, but a doer of work, this one shall be blessed in his doing of the Torah. (James 1:22-25) PROPHET LIKE MOSES Now we know that was the prophet like Moses that Torah prophesied to come: I shall raise up for them a Prophet like you out of the midst of their brothers. And I shall put My Words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him. (Deuteronomy 18:18) Rambam, the well-known Jewish rabbi from the 12th century, relates that the prophet that is being referred to in Deuteronomy would not come to establish a new religion, but to confirm the words of the Torah and to warn the people not to break it, as the prophet Malachi also wrote: Remember the Torah of Mosheh, My servant, which I commanded him in Horb for all Yisral laws and right-rulings. (Malachi 4:4) Therefore, s words had to be in TOTAL agreement with the Torah of Moses in order for Him to qualify to be the prophet like Moses. 17 TORAH Do not think that I came to destroy the Torah or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to complete. For truly, I say to you, till the heaven and the earth pass away, one jot or one tittle shall by no means pass from the

Torah till all be done. Whoever, then, breaks one of the least of these commands, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the reign of the heavens; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the reign of the heavens. (Matthew 5:17-19) The that most of the church has preached for almost 2,000 years.the one who did away with the Torah, does not even qualify to BE the Messiah. We are blessed to be living in the age of the restoration of the Torah to our Messiah. The question may still be asked, Didnt add to or take away from what was said in the Torah? The answer is that any command following the Torah, whether it be in the Prophets, Writings, or the Apostolic Scriptures, should only make the meaning of what is in Torah clearer. You should find nothing that mandates new 18 requirements. REFLECTING THE TORAH Then spoke to the crowds and to His taught ones, saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit on the seat of Mosheh. Therefore, whatever they say to you to guard, guard and do. But do not do according to their works, for they say, and do not do. (Matthew 23:1-3) Where a ruling is made concerning how to walk out a particular principle, those under the authority of the one making it, are bound by it. This is why it is important for us to have people in authority over us who are well founded and walking in Torah! HOW DO WE LOOK REFLECT THE TORAH BY MOUTH OR BY ACTIONS

(VERBALLY AND PHYSICALLY) IN OTHER WORDS LIEK A PHARISEE OR . 19 ROYAL LAW And one of the scribes coming near, hearing them reasoning together, knowing that He had answered them well, asked Him, Which is the first command of all? And answered him, The first of all the commands is, Hear, O Yisral, our Elohim, is one. And you shall love your Elohim with all your heart, and with all your being, and with all your mind, and with all your strength. This is the first command. And the second, like it, is this, You shall love your neighbour as yourself. There is no other command greater than these. (Mark 12:28-31) answered them with the Shema and The Royal Law (John 13:3415:17). If you truly accomplish the sovereign law according to the Scripture, You shall love your neighbour as yourself, you do well, (James 2:8) The Royal Law found in Scripture is the Word spoken at Mount Sinai to the Children of Israel by called the Song of Moses (the gospel); Israels betrothal covenant (covenant of Moses). LISTEN AND OBEY to whom it was revealed that they were serving, not themselves, but you, ...Spirit sent from heaven into which messengers long to look into. (1

Peter 1:12) And when had entered Kephar Nahum, a captain came to Him, appealing to Him, saying, Master, my servant is lying in the house paralysed, grievously tortured. And said to him, I shall come and heal him. And the captain answering, said, Master, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only say a word, and my servant shall be healed. For I too am a man under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to this one, Go, and he goes, and to another, Come, and he comes, and to my servant, Do this, and he does it. And when heard, He marvelled, and said to those who followed, Truly, I say to you, not even in Yisral have I found such great belief! (Matthew 8:5-10) Know, then, that those who are of belief are sons of Abraham. (Galatians 3:7) COVENANT PROMISE We are the seed and heirs of that promise given to Abraham which is still valid and powerful today! And if you are of Messiah, then you are seed of Abraham, and heirs according to promise. (Galatians 3:29) And we, brothers, as Yitshaq was, are children of promise. (Galatians 4:28) For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are far off, as many as our Elohim shall call. (Acts 2:39) By belief, he sojourned in the land of promise as a stranger, dwelling in tents with Yitshaq and Yaaqob, the heirs with him of the same

promise, (Hebrews 11:9) The Covenant gives us a promise of a land, a people and a blessing our heritage, our identity and our redemption. 1000 GENERATIONS And you shall know that your Elohim, He is Elohim, the trustworthy l guarding covenant and kindness for a thousand generations with those who love Him, and those who guard His commands, (Deuteronomy 7:9) Remember His covenant forever, The Word He commanded for a thousand generations, Which He made with Abraham, And His oath to Yitshaq, And He established it to Yaaqob for a law, To Yisral as an everlasting covenant, Saying, To you I give the land of Kenaan, The portion of your inheritance, (1 Chronicles 16:15-18) He has remembered His covenant forever, The Word He commanded, for a thousand generations, (Psalms 105:8) He is faithful to fulfil the Covenant in our life that is why is the goal of the Torah and the goal of our faith. By seeking him we leave an inheritance of covenant blessing. A good man leaves an inheritance to his childrens children, But the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous. (Proverbs 13:22) KINGDOM OF PRIEST THROUGH COVENANT And now, if you diligently obey My voice, and shall guard My covenant, then you shall be My treasured possession above all the peoples for all the earth is Mine and you shall be to Me a reign of priests and a

set-apart nation. Those are the words which you are to speak to the children of Yisral. (Exodus 19:5-6) But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a set-apart nation, a people for a possession, that you should proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvellous light, (1 Peter 2:9) And what union has the Dwelling Place of Elohim with idols? For you are a Dwelling Place of the living Elohim, as Elohim has said, I shall dwell in them and walk among them, and I shall be their Elohim, and they shall be My people. Therefore, Come out from among them and be separate, says , and do not touch what is unclean, and I shall receive you. And I shall be a Father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to Me, says the Almighty. Having, then, these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of the flesh and spirit, perfecting set-apartness in the fear of Elohim. (2 Corinthians 6:16-7:1) DO NOT ADD OR SUBTRACT Do not add to the Word which I command you, and do not take away from it, so as to guard the commands of your Elohim which I am commanding you. (Deuteronomy 4:2) For I witness to everyone hearing the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to them, Elohim shall add to him the plagues that are written in this book, (Revelation 22:18) From a Jewish standpoint the Talmud and other Jewish writings had taken on a higher importance than the Torah. Alexander the Great and his Greek army took

the law and made them live by it. They literally shoved law at them, striking the sheep with it. The Jewish people lived in fear of persecution and so built fences called Halacha laws around s Word to protect them from trespassing against it in order to help save their lives. It was during this time the Torah, s Book of Love that was to bring them life, became to them a book of laws, that when not kept often led to death. One example was the Sabbath, the commandment that had only two directives in the Torah pertaining to it (to rest and be joyful, and do not profit) grew to over 1,350 man-made commands under Halacha law. FENCES Gezeirot , a "fence: an extra man-made law intended to protect Israelites from breaking the commandments. Since it is unlawful to boil a baby goat in its mother's milk (Ex. 23:19; 34:26)--a pagan Canaanite practice, Rabbis decided that the eating of milk products and meat together should be avoided. Many have come to believe it is absolutely necessary for different dishes to be separated for meat and dairy usage to distance themselves from accidently taking in the particles of meat and milk together. Thus, the original intent was discarded: avoid familiarity with cruel and peculiar pagan customs, instil compassion for animals, awaken sympathy for the helpless, develop reverence for motherhood and family, discourage the human tendency toward the bazaar,

promote and extend the practice if good judgment and kindness, and maintain sound and reasonable dietary standards as per the law. FALSE PROPHETS When there arises among you a prophet or a dreamer of dreams, and he shall give you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder shall come true, of which he has spoken to you, saying, Let us go after other mighty ones which you have not known and serve them, do not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams, for your Elohim is trying you to know whether you love your Elohim with all your heart and with all your being. Walk after your Elohim and fear Him, and guard His commands and obey His voice, and serve Him and cling to Him. And that prophet or that dreamer of dreams is put to death, because he has spoken apostasy against your Elohim ...(Deuteronomy 13:1-5) Jews, generally speaking, reject as Messiah since Christianity teaches He cancelled the law. Actually, Judaism could be looked upon as merely being obedient by dismissing Him as a false prophet, since Israel has been commanded to honour the Torah, not abandon it. The Talmud accuses of this very crime, of enticing Israel to idolatry. However, we know that Yeshua came not to abolish the Law, but to fulfil it. TWO SEPARATE GODS The early church father Marcion taught that the of the New Testament came to set the church free from the the God of wrath of

the Old Testament, laying the way for a two-deity principle. Because of the Greek word nomos (law) the people were taught that the Torah itself was done away when in truth it was the law of sin and death that we are set free from not the law of Liberty/life. If the Torah were done away then most of the New Testament would disappear. Eighty-five percent of the New Testament quotations are words from the Torah. If the Torah were done away with then, s Words in the New Testament would disappear. Apostle Paul kept s Torah, Sabbath and Feast Days thirty years after rose to life, and the disciple John kept the Torah of Life fifty to sixty years after ministry on earth (Acts 20; 24:14; Revelation 1:10,14). WATCHMAN All Scripture is breathed by Elohim ...(2 Timothy 3:16) warned the religionists ...So you have nullified the command of Elohim by your tradition. (Matthew 15:6) and And in vain do they worship Me, teaching as teachings the commands of men. (Mark 7:7) Observe the commandments of . The word observe (shamar) is a common Hebrew verb meaning to keep, guard, give heed, watch, protect, have charge of. In its noun-form, shamar means a watchman. s path of righteousness is always straight, never changes (or curves) and leads to eternal life, while the path of a serpent (like the tracks of a snake in the sand) is curvy and wavers between good and evil. " Do your utmost to present yourself approved to Elohim, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly handling the Word of Truth.

(2 Timothy 2:15) CLING But you who are clinging to your Elohim are alive today, every one of you. (Deuteronomy 4:4) The word translated cling is very interesting. In Modern Hebrew the same root is used for the word glue. The same word appears in These are the births of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that Elohim made earth and heavens. (Genesis 2:4) In theory, the best glue actually does not just hold two different things together, but brings about a change that causes the two to become one at the point of connection. It is similar to bringing about a new creation. Note: Four times in the Book of Deuteronomy tells us to cling to Him WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO CLING Rabbi Morrison answers: "Rather, this means you should cleave to God's attributes. Just as God clothed the naked, as with Adam and Eve, so too you should cloth the naked. Just as God visited the sick, as with Abraham after his circumcision, so too you should visit the sick. Just as God consoled the mourners, as with Isaac after Abraham's death, so too you should console the mourners. Just as God buried the dead, as He did Moses, so too you should bury the dead." And, he adds, This explanation on how one may cling to God is the

very essence of the study of the sephirot. What is the point in studying the intricacies of God's Names and His manifestations in the sephirot? We learn about God's divine attributes so that we may aspire to imitate them. These studies enable us to follow God's ways and in this way cleave to Him. This idea, that we can only attach ourselves to God by imitating His attributes, is a fundamental concept in Judaism. Any other understanding of cleaving to God implies some degree of anthropomorphism or idolatry. WISDOM AND UNDERSTANDING And you shall guard and do them, for this is your wisdom and your understanding before the eyes of the peoples who hear all these laws, and they shall say, Only a wise and understanding people is this great nation! (Deuteronomy 4:6 ) The proverbs of Shelomoh son of Dawid, sovereign of Yisral: For knowing wisdom and discipline, For understanding the words of understanding, For receiving the discipline of wisdom, Righteousness, right-ruling, and straightness; For giving insight to the simple, Knowledge and discretion to the young. The wise one hears and increases learning, And the understanding one gets wise counsel, For understanding a proverb and a figure, The words of the wise and their riddles. The fear of is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and discipline. My son, heed the discipline of your father, And do not forsake the Torah of your mother; For they are a fair wreath on your head, And chains about your neck. (Proverbs 1:1-9)

CARVED IMAGES Therefore, diligently guard yourselves, for you saw no form when spoke to you at Horb out of the midst of the fire, lest you should do corruptly and shall make for yourselves a carved image in the form of any figure the likeness of male or female, the likeness of any beast that is on the earth or the likeness of any winged bird that flies in the heavens, the likeness of any creature that creeps on the ground or the likeness of any fish that is in the water under the earth; and lest you lift up your eyes to the heavens, and shall see the sun, and the moon, and the stars all the host of the heavens and you be drawn away into bowing down to them and serving them, which your Elohim has allotted to all the peoples under all the heavens. .. Guard yourselves, lest you forget the covenant of your Elohim which He made with you, and shall make for yourselves a carved image in the form of whatever your Elohim has forbidden you. (Deuteronomy 4:15-23) Adonia says here that is why He did not show us any image of Himself, lest we reproduce and worship that image. That includes images of , in the form of a man. SMELTING FURNACE But has taken you and brought you out of the iron furnace, out of Mitsrayim, to be His people, an inheritance, as it is today. (Deuteronomy 4:20) uses this image of a furnace or kuhr in Hebrew (kaf-vavreish), which means furnace, forge or smelting pot. Genesis 15:7 tells us that, a smoking furnace and a burning lamp passed

through the parts of the offering. See, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have chosen you in the furnace of affliction. (Isaiah 48:10) And Mount Sinai was in smoke, all of it, because descended upon it in fire. And its smoke went up like the smoke of a furnace, and all the mountain trembled exceedingly. (Exodus 19:18) makes a statement after his parable of the wheat and the tares when He says; The Son of Adam shall send out His messengers, and they shall gather out of His reign all the stumblingblocks, and those doing lawlessness, and shall throw them into the furnace of fire there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. (Matthew 13:41-42) uses the furnace as judgment as well as for refining. REPAIRED COVENANT In your distress, when all these words shall come upon you in the latter days, then you shall return to your Elohim and shall obey His voice. (Deuteronomy 4:30) See, the days are coming, declares , when I shall make a new covenant with the house of Yisral and with the house of Yehudah, not like the covenant I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Mitsrayim, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, declares . For this is the covenant I shall make with the house of Yisral after those days, declares : I shall put My Torah in their inward parts, and write it on their hearts. And I shall be their Elohim, and they shall be My people. (Jeremiah 31:31-33)

The word for new or renewed, as it appears here in Jeremiah 31:31 in Hebrew is chadashah (chet-dalet-shin-hey) and means both new and renewed; but also, repaired. CONSUMING FIRE For your Elohim is a consuming fire, a jealous l. (Deuteronomy 4:24) Adonai is holy, absolutely pure, and cannot abide with sin. The figure of fire, like all Elohim's attributes is twofold action. 1. Tries what is bad (1 Corinthians 3:13). Consumes what is contrary (Leviticus 10:2). Amazes and horrifies (Numbers 11:1-3; Isaiah 33:14). Destroys (2 Kings 1:12; Luke 3:17; John 15:6; Hebrews 6:8). 2. Kindles (Leviticus. 9:24). Tests quality (1 Peter 1:7; Isaiah 48:10). Purifies (Psalm 12:6). Guards (Zechariah 2:5; 2 Kings 6:17; Deuteronomy 9:3). Guides (Exodus 40:38). Escorts (2 Kings 2:11). Enlightens (Psalm. 78:14). Is a spread out canopy of glory ( Exodus 3:2; Isaiah 33:14-17). 10 COMMANDMENTS Deuteronomy 5:6-21 1. I am your Elohim You have no other mighty ones against My face.

2. You do not make for yourself a carved image, any likeness of which is in the heavens above, or which is in the earth.. 3. You do not bring1 the Name of your Elohim to naught, for .. 4. Guard the Sabbath day, to set it apart, as your Elohim commanded you 5. Respect your father and your mother, as your Elohim has commanded you, so that your days are prolonged, 6. You do not murder. 7. You do not commit adultery. 8. You do not steal. 9. You do not bear false witness against your neighbour. 10. You do not covet REMEMBER THE NAME OF THE LORD Some trust in chariots, and some in horses, But we remember the Name of our Elohim. They, they have bowed down and fallen; But we have risen and are established. (Psalms 20:7-8) Here is faith! David's enemies to the north--Syrians of Zobah, Maachah, Damascus, and Beth-Rehob--were formidable with their multitude of chariots and large cavalry. But King David declared Israel's trust would be in , who had commanded His people "not to multiply horses" (Deuteronomy. 17:16), but to keep their trust in Him. Confident in victory, the psalmist represents it as already achieved. David slew the Syrians, and his troops consisted entirely of footmen. "...remember the name of the Lord our [your] God..." Tamid Kadima-Always Forward!

SHEMA Known as a statement of faith in the Jewish religion. RECITING THE SHEMA Hear, O Yisral: our Elohim, is one! (Deuteronomy 6:4) Then a six word response is said with a quieter voice: Blessed is the Name of His glorious kingdom forever and ever! After a bit of a pause, Deuteronomy 6:5-9 is recited: And you shall love your Elohim with all your heart, and with all your being, and with all your might. And these Words which I am commanding you today shall be in your heart, and you shall impress them upon your children, and shall speak of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise up, and shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. (Deuteronomy 6:5-9)39 CENTRAL PRAYER The Shema is the central prayer in a siddur (Hebrew prayer book). It is often the first bit of Scripture that a young child will learn and the last words on the lips of the dying. The Shema has been associated with the final, defiant declaration of martyrs. Traditionally, it is recited twice a day once in the morning and once in the evening. It is also sometimes said as a bedtime prayer. The word Shema is filled with meaning. It does not just mean Hear, O

Israel. It is better defined like this: Listen. Concentrate. Give the Word of Yah your most focused attention. Strive to understand. Engage all your faculties, intellectual and emotional. Make His will your own. For what HE commands you to do is not irrational or arbitrary but for your welfare, the welfare of your people, and ultimately for the benefit of all humanity. The word shema means to hear, listen, obey. Shema in paleo-Hebrew pictographic form, the letters of the word shema (shin-mem-ayin) pictorially signify to consume with the teeth (shin) the waters (mem) 40 of knowledge or insight (ayin). CONSIST OF THREE PARTS 1. SHEMA. In Hebrew prayer, emphasis is given to the first six Hebrew words, which are: "Shema Yisrael adonai eloheinu adonai echad. Deuteronomy 6:4-9 CJB 2. VEHAYAH. This part of the Shema prayer is Deuteronomy. 11:1321. It emphasizes the blessings that come from obedience to Elohim, and the consequences of disobedience. These first two parts of Shema are written on the small scroll that goes into a mezuzah. 3. VAIYOMER. This part of Shema is the passage, Numbers 15:37-41. It stresses the tallit, the rectangular prayer shawl with fringes [tzitzits] on the corners. The Shema asserts the oneness of . Further, it (a) commands the Israelite to love Him without reserve, and (b) to remember the words of

the Torah, and teach them to his/her children. Shema (c) affirms that obedience leads to the Almighty's blessing and that disobedience leads to discipline and judgment. Finally, (d) it stipulates that the words of the Torah should be placed in conspicuous places--frontlet and arm bands with small boxes, passages placed on doorposts. TEACH A Hebrew word worth noting in the Shema is the unusual word for teach in verse 7 veshinantam. The word comes from a root associated with repetition. It is used as a verb to describe the act of sharpening a blade or a sword. In other words, the type of instruction of which this command speaks cannot be accomplished in a single lesson, but the goal of the Shema is to foster the discipline of constant awareness and unceasing attentiveness. It must be taught, repeated, and stated again. It is a living teaching, intended to guide our lives. Therefore it must be learned and learned well, memorized until it becomes part of our very being. There is no environment where the words of Torah would be considered out of place. Blessed is the man who shall not walk in the counsel of the wrong, And shall not stand in the path of sinners, And shall not sit in the seat of scoffers, But his delight is in the Torah of , And he meditates in His Torah day and night. (Psalms 1:1-2) Do not let this Book of the Torah depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you guard to do according to all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and act wisely. (Joshua 1:8) 42 HEARING

The emphasis in the Shema is on hearing. In an insightful article penned in the 1800s, R. Jacob Leiner wrote: From a human perspective it often seems as if seeing is a more precise form of knowledge than hearing. In fact, however, hearing has a greater power than seeing. Sight discloses the external aspect of things, but hearing reveals their inwardness. The aspect of G-d which prevails is Be silent, O Israel, and listen [Deuteronomy 27:9 . Keep silent and hear, O Israel: This day you have become the people of the Lord your G-d]. The idea of being silent is that the person practices a self-imposed limitation on his senses, no longer looking at the events in this [external] world and he is then able clearly to understand that You have now become the people of the Lord your G-d. When G-d cannot be seen, argues Leiner, He can still be heard. Hearing represents a depth encounter more intimate and transformational 43 than seeing. TWO GREAT CIVILIZATIONS The answer to why we are always struggling with our Greek way of thinking is as follows: Greece of the 5th to 3rd centuries B.C.E. excelled in art, architecture, sculpture and the theatre the visual arts. In these it achieved a greatness that has never been surpassed. Renaissance Italy was essentially a rediscovery of the world and skills of ancient Greece. During the same time period, Jews excelled at none of these things. The reason for this is that their interest lay not in sight, but in

sound.not in seeing things, but in hearing the voice. Ancient Israel was a culture of the ear, not of the eye. Heinrich Graetz, a 19th century historian, explained the difference: The pagan perceives the Divine in nature through the medium of the eye, and he becomes conscious of it as something to be looked at. On the other hand, to the Jew who conceives G-d as being outside of nature and prior to it, the Divine manifests itself through the will and through the medium of the ear. He becomes conscious of it as something to be heeded and listened to. The pagan beholds his G-d, 44 the Jew hears Him, that is, apprehends His will. CHRISTIAN CHURCH The Christian church has been affected by this coming together of these Hebrew and Greek ideas. The congregation in Acts began as a sect within Judaism, but within a few decades the Gospel message of a Jewish Messiah was taken to Rome and the world of Hellenistic (Greek) culture. More and more scholars believe that the Apostolic Scriptures were first written in Hebrew, the texts were soon written and published in Greek. The result was that although Christianity brought many Hebraic ideas to the world, it did so in a translation..and the deepest Hebrew concepts are not translatable into Greek. Now for almost 2,000 years, Hebrew thought has been filtered through language and culture.Hellenistic inspiration or Greek thoughtwhich simply cannot express the exact meaning of the text.

Today when we speak about knowledge and wisdom, we use metaphors drawn from the world of the eye. We talk about insight, foresight, hindsight, and people of vision. The word idea comes from the same Latin root as the word video. When we want to communicate that we understand something, we say, I see. On the 45 contrary, Hebrews say, I hear. TO BE WISE The first sin occurred as a result of seeing. Eve thought that wisdom would come from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, therefore she ate of its fruit: And the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, and she took of its fruit and ate. And she also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. (Genesis 3:6) The wisest man who ever lived understood that the source of wisdom came from hearing the words of Elohim: The proverbs of Shelomoh son of Dawid, sovereign of Yisral: For knowing wisdom and discipline, For understanding the words of understanding, For receiving the discipline of wisdom, Righteousness, right-ruling, and straightness; For giving insight to the simple, Knowledge and discretion to the young. The wise one hears and increases learning, 46 And the understanding one gets wise counsel, (Proverbs 1:1-5)

THE WORD OBEY For anyone to hear, there must be a voice. To find that voice, lets go back to the mountain: And now, if you diligently obey My voice, and shall guard My covenant, then you shall be My treasured possession above all the peoples for all the earth is Mine (Exodus 19:5) Moses is trying to get the message across that they must OBEY His voice if they want to be His special treasure? Knowing that the Torah is filled with ordinances, statutes, and commandments, we must note there is not one Hebrew word that specifically translates obey! There is NO VERB in Biblical Hebrew that means to obey. So what is the word translated as obey, in nearly every English translation, is in Hebrew? When the language of Hebrew was being revived to be used as a spoken language, beginning in the late 19th century, the Jews literally had to come up with a Hebrew word that meant to obey. They chose the word letsayet, an Aramaic term that you will not find in the Bible, to mean obey. In fact, the word that the 47 Torah uses in reference to obedience is hear (shema). VOICE OF THE SHOFAR What is the voice of telling us? And it came to be, on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud on the mountain. And the

sound of the rams horn was very loud, and all the people who were in the camp trembled. And Mosheh brought the people out of the camp to meet with Elohim, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. And Mount Sinai was in smoke, all of it, because descended upon it in fire. And its smoke went up like the smoke of a furnace, and all the mountain trembled exceedingly. And when the blast of the rams horn sounded long and became louder and louder, Mosheh spoke, and Elohim answered him by voice. (Exodus 19:16-19) The first thing we notice, is the voice of the shofar. Chapter 20 in Exodus continues with the 10 Words (Commandments). They are followed up with more voices: And all the people saw the thunders, the lightning flashes, the sound of the rams horn, and the mountain smoking. And the people saw it, and they trembled and stood at a distance, and said to Mosheh, You speak with us and we hear, but let not Elohim speak with us, lest we die. 48 (Exodus 20:18-19) SAW THE VOICES They saw the voices? This is a

rare instance of hearing and seeing. We can glean a little more information from our Parasha this week: and said, See, our Elohim has

shown us His esteem and His greatness, and we have heard His voice from the midst of the fire. Today we have seen that Elohim

speaks with man and he lives! And now why should we die? For this great fire is consuming us. If we hear the voice

of our Elohim any more, then we shall die. (Deuteronomy 5:24-25) The Israelites were frightened and asked Moses to intercede for them. They promised toashear the words spoken

by Moses the intercessor: and said to Mosheh, You speak with us and we hear, but let not Elohim speak with us, lest we die. (Exodus

20:19) Moses relates to the people that has heard their voice, and that it was a good thing to ask for an intercessor: And

heard the voice of your words when you spoke to me, and said to me, I have heard the voice of the words

of this people which they have spoken to you. They have done well in all that they have spoken. (Deuteronomy 5:28) 49 THE INTERCESSOR The intercessor came in the 1st century. The Israelites were once more able to see His glory and hear the voice of the Living Word: And the Word became flesh and pitched His tent among us, and we

saw His esteem, esteem as of an only brought-forth of a father, complete in favour and truth. (John 1:14) What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life: (1 John 1:1) Some of the words that were spoken by the voice of ? And one of the scribes ... asked Him, Which is the first command of all? And answered him, The first of all the commands is, Hear, O Yisral, our Elohim, is one. And you shall love your Elohim with all your heart, and with all your being, and with all your mind, and with all your strength. This is the first command. (Mark 12:28-30) was a rabbi a teacher, in fact He was the Living Torah! His voice spoke the same message as what was heard and seen up on 50 that mountain! MEZUZAH Jewish people observe this part of the Shema by affixing a mezuzah to the right-hand side of the doorpost of the outer entrance to every dwelling room in the house. This little box contains a parchment on which the Shema is carefully handwritten, as well as Deuteronomy 11: 13-20 and Numbers 15: 37-41. The Hebrew word

Shaddai (Almighty) is written on the back of the parchment. The Mezuzah is a symbol of Gods watchful care over the house and its occupants. It is a reminder to everyone who goes in and goes out that this house is devoted to God and keeping His commandments. The Mezuzah is in itself a declaration: ..But I and my house, we serve . (Joshua 24:15) REST FOR YOU SOUL According to the Talmud, reciting the Shema when rising in the morning and retiring at night is first, a fulfilment of the commandment, ..you shall meditate on it day and night, ..(Joshua 1:8) and secondly, is an act of willing submission to the yoke of' s Kingship. " Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am meek and humble in heart, and you shall find rest for your beings. For My yoke is gentle and My burden is light. (Matthew 11:29-30) Thus said , Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; and find rest for yourselves. But they said, We do not walk in it. (Jeremiah 6:16) Coming under His yoke is necessary if there is to be any learning from Him. SHEMA

Hear, O Yisral: our Elohim, is one! And you shall love your Elohim with all your heart, and with all your being, and with all your might. And these Words which I am commanding you today shall be in your heart, and you shall impress them upon your children, and shall speak of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise up, and shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. (Deuteronomy 6:4-9) The Shema reflects the first instance in human history that the love of God was demanded in any religion. In fact, the love of God is the distinctive mark of a true worshiper. What is love of God? The First Letter of John provides a wonderfully succinct answer: For this is the love for Elohim, that we guard His commands, and His commands are not heavy, (1 John 5:3) VEHAYAH And it shall be that if you diligently

obey My commands which I command you today, to love your Elohim and to serve Him with all your heart and with all your

being, then I shall give you the rain for your land in its season, the early rain and the latter rain, and you shall gather

in your grain, and your new wine, and your oil. And I shall give grass in your fields for your livestock, and you shall eat

and be satisfied. Guard yourselves, lest your heart be deceived, and you turn aside and serve other mighty ones and bow down to them. Then

the displeasure of shall burn against you, and He shall shut up the heavens, and there be no rain, and the land not give

its increase. And you shall perish quickly from the good land which is giving you. And you shall lay up these Words of Mine

in your heart and in your being, and shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be aschildren, frontlets between your

eyes. And you shall teach them to your speaking of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and

when you lie down, and when you rise up, and shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, so that

your days and the days of your children are increased on the soil of which swore to your fathers to give them, as the

days of the heavens on the earth. (Deuteronomy 11:13-21) VAIYOMER And spoke to Mosheh, saying, Speak to the children of Yisral, and you shall say to them to make tzitziyot on the corners of their garments throughout their generations, and to put a blue cord in the tzitzit of the corners. And it shall be to you for a tzitzit, and you shall see it, and shall remember all the commands of and shall do them, and not search after your own heart and your own eyes after which you went whoring, so that you remember, and shall do all My commands, and be set-apart unto your Elohim. I am your Elohim, who brought you out of the land of Mitsrayim, to be your Elohim. I am your Elohim. (Numbers 15:37-41) HEARING THE WORD I am the good shepherd. And I know Mine, and Mine know Me, ...My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them everlasting life, and they shall by no means ever perish, and no one shall snatch them out of My hand. (John 10:14-28)

s conversation with Pilate speaks to the importance of hearing the voice of Messiah: Then Pilate said to Him, You are a sovereign, then? answered, You say it, because I am a sovereign. For this I was born, and for this I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice. (John 18:37) As we are drawn towards our Hebrew roots, we are more and more aware of the relationship that we have with the Almighty through words, language, and speech. So then belief comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of Elohim. (Romans 10:17). created the world with words. 56 He gave to us the gift of wordsthe Scriptures - His love letter to us. HEAL THEIR LAND When we obey by walking in what He instructs us and teaches us to do, then we come into agreement with His original Kingdom order in the universe that has been that way since the beginning of time (Luke 1:1-3). Religious Jews and many believing Messianic recite the Shema scriptures in their daily prayers as a declaration of faith. In doing this they are agreeing to come under the headship of Messiah and walk in obedience to His ways everyday. and My people upon whom My Name is called, shall humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their evil ways, then I shall hear from the heavens, and forgive their sin and heal their

land. (2 Chronicles 7:14) HAFTARAT VAETCHANAN (PROPHETIC PORTION) Comfort, comfort My people! says your Elohim. Speak to the heart of Yerushalayim, and cry out to her, that her hard service is completed, that her crookedness is pardoned, that she has received from the hand of double for all her sins. (Isaiah 40:1-2) This Shabbat is called the Sabbath of Comfort, Shabbat Nachamu, the first of seven haftarahs of consolation that lead up to the holiday of Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year). Because the prophetic reading for Parsha Va'etchanan follows Tisha BAv, a time of severe judgment against Israel, God's message of comfort and encouragement to His people, Israel, through the prophet Isaiah is read. All those who love Jerusalem are commanded to comfort Israel. You who bring good news to Tsiyon, get up into the high mountain. You who bring good news to Yerushalayim, lift up your voice with strength, lift it up, be not afraid. Say to the cities of Yehudah, See your Elohim! 58 (Isaiah 40:9) TISHA BAV The saddest day in Jewish history: In 586 BC, Solomons Temple (the First Temple) was destroyed on Tisha B'Av by the Babylonians, who sent the Jews into the

Babylonian exile. In 70 CE, Herods Temple (the Second Temple) was destroyed on Tisha B'Av by the Romans In AD 132, the Romans crushed Bar Kokhba's revolt and destroyed the city of Betar, killing over 100,000 Jews. In AD 133, following the Roman siege of Jerusalem, the Roman commander Turnus Rufus plowed the Temple site and surrounding area. In 1095, the First Crusade was declared by Pope Urban II, killing 10,000 Jews in its first month and annihilating Jewish communities in France and the Rhineland. In 1290, King Edward I issued an edict expelling all Jews from England. 59 TISHA BAV In 1492, an edict of expulsion of the Jews in Spain was carried out. In 1914, World War I broke out, setting the stage for the later devastation of World War II and the Holocaust. In 1942, on the eve of Tisha B'Av, the mass deportation of Jews from the Warsaw Ghetto to Hitlers Treblinka death camp began. In 1994, the bombing of the Jewish community centre in Buenos Aires killed 86 and wounded 300 others. In 2005, more than 8,500 Jewish residents were expelled from Gaza as part of Israels ill-fated Disengagement Plan, a desperate bid for

peace designed to further relations with Palestinian Arabs. 60

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