Wednesday, June 1, 2016

You are dust!



I heard someone talking about the "fall" of man and how G-d called Adam "dust".
Ouch! I thought to myself. How thou art fallen, O Image if G-d!

Having recently found the wonders hidden in the Hebrew Letter Pictures, I looked up the word for "dust".
Aphar, Ayin-Peh-Resh
Eye-Mouth-Head
As if G-d was saying, You see, you speak, and that is all you know!
What's missing?
Rabbi Shaul said, Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word (Torah) of G-d.
Moses said, Hear, O Israel, the L-rd, your G-d is One!
To hear G-d is to know G-d.
To not hear G-d is to be dust.
Dust you are, and unto dust you shall return!


Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Four Days....

There are four days between the end of Yom Kippur and Sukkot. Those four days always seem to overtake me!  This year a Sabbath and an outing with one of my sons consumed more of the sukkah-building time. I wondered if I would even complete it on time.

For me, the building of a sukkah is not only the completion of a mitzvah (commandment), but an act of faith for the coming year. The sukkah, a temporary dwelling place, represents my House, my family.
Two years ago I first experienced faith-building of my sukkah.  My family was in crisis and I was compelled to build it anyway in faith that we would survive. We have, though there have been some painful absences.

This year the High Holy Days came just as quickly. We were already into the month of Elul, the countdown to Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, and I was jarred from my slumber. My life was not where it should be. I knew from years past that this season is one of discovery and I needed to lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily beset me!

So I did, I made a plan, took action, turned around. I went without. The season of the yetzer hara ie. the season of deception had run its course. I was awake now and was vigilant again. There was still discovery, there always will be, but if I am already turned around, I can better face the ones I've hurt.

I built my sukkah with a clean conscience. It received from me an off-plumb frame. The painter's tarps I use for walls would cover its flaws. But I would know. Those inside would know. Even the tarps had seen their day with weathered stains from Sukkots gone by. Effective as a covering, but nothing covered the covers!

We ate dinner in the sukkah that evening, and only one was missing, her absence keenly felt. We moved aside the tables and chairs so my girls' could claim the first night, then sanctified this Sabbath of Sukkot, the Birthday of King Messiah.

There are always many lessons to be learned in this a Season of Our Joy, the Feast of Ingathering.

I cannot by decree, action, or will power have life on my terms, but I can build my sukkah, as is, in faith that the Lord will build my house, and that I have not labored in vain!

Friday, July 24, 2015

The Lord of the Sabbath

After seeing that the Sabbath Queen is the redeemed Gentiles and Jews from all nations, I turned to look at the groom, the Lord of the Sabbath.
The story begins in Luke chapter 6. The disciples of Yeshua, are harvesting heads of wheat, rubbing them between their hands, and eating the kernels as a snack. The Pharisees classified this as work. Yeshua responded, pointing to the story of King David in 1 Samuel 21:6 where David and his men eat the showbread of the Tabernacle.
The 12 loaves of showbread were placed on the Table of Showbread every Sabbath. On the next Sabbath they were replaced, and according to Leviticus 24:5-9, they were given to the Levites for food.
John comments that Yeshua was declaring that as David was Lord of the Sabbath, he, Yeshua was also.
The Sabbath is a prequel of the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, therefore David, as King, and Messianic progenitor, could eat the shewbread prepared on the Sabbath for the King.
Yeshua, as the Messianic King, of course, could partake of the sabbath meal!

The Sabbath Queen


I was discussing with a friend how we greet the Sabbath like a queen.
Rabbi Chanina said, Let us go out to greet the Sabbath Bride, Queen!
The Shulchan Aruch says, 
One should rejoice in the arrival of Shabbos as one who goes out toward the King and as one who goes out toward a bride and a groom.
I know the church at large has esteemed itself as the Bride of Messiah, but I was hung up on the terminology, AS a bride. Adding to my confusion was the clear vision of John in the Revelation of Jesus Christ, where he sees the New Jerusalem coming down from heaven. The angel said he would show John the bride, the wife of the Lamb.
No one believed the Church was the New Jerusalem! (Until now)
I also believe that the Church is the Body of Messiah, how could we be the groom and the bride?
Hence the Mystery of Oneness, but that is a future post!
In my previous post I showed that the new birth happens in heaven, in Zion/New Jerusalem. 
So now, back to the Sabbath Queen or bride. 
What is the Sabbath, but a day of rest? The Book of Hebrews says, He that has entered his rest has ceased from his own works as God did from His. 
We then Beloved, are living in the rest provided by Yeshua our Messiah.
We are the bride, the Sabbath Queen, a symbol of the Shabbat and the ultimate Sabbath, the Messianic Age, when we will reign with him from the New Jerusalem!
Therefore, let us prepare ourselves, ridding ourselves of uncleanness, so that we may be without spot or wrinkle, immersed in Him, ready!

Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him!
For the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife has made herself ready!

Born in Zion



I heard a Chuck Missler radio broadcast where he was explaining Psalm 87:5 from the translated Septuagint:
A man will say, Zion is my mother. (This man was born in her.) So He, the Most High, will build her up.
The Psalm goes on to say that those who claim Zion/Jerusalem as their birthplace are from the nations. (Zion is a hill in Jerusalem, the terms are used interchangeably in scripture)
Paul says in Galatians 4:26 that, the Jerusalem that is above...is our mother"
Hebrews 12:22 says, But you are come unto Mount Zion and to the City of the Living God, the Heavenly Jerusalem....
So then we see these Gentiles are born in the Heavenly Jerusalem! Born again as Yeshua relates to Nicodemus in John chapter three.
Paul was born in a Roman provincial city, Tarsus. He therefore had all the rights of a Roman citizen, including the right to appeal to Caesar, which he did.
A person born in the Heavenly Zion/New Jerusalem has all the rights of that kingdom, the Kingdom of God!
Let us therefore, brothers and sisters, fellow citizens with the saints, humbly walk as ambassadors of that Kingdom, inviting whosoever-will into our Father's Kingdom to enjoy the rights and benefits of His dominion!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Empty Sukkah
















Here we are in the middle of Sukkot and I am away from my sukkah helping a relative move across the state. I had originally imagined various ushpuzim (guests) invited night to night and all the fun we would have. I traditionally spend at least one night in the sukkah with my boys and I am hoping that is to come.
This year as I made it through the High Holy Days (Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur) I contemplated the judgments of G-d and the seasons He ordains through His appointed times to quicken us to spiritual realities and address sins, open and hidden in our lives. I did not expect that a sin I had hidden many years ago would be revealed much to my shame and to the distress of my family and some friends, my shame made bare to all.
I knew there were things I needed to address, but I thought I could handle it. It wasn't that bad, was it? My Ezer Kenedgo (help-meet) had stated dire consequences if I did not address the slips of my heart.  Much to my dismay, as already stated, revelations from the past exposed me, and all I stand for was questioned and discarded by those I sought to guide, lead and bring up.
I built my sukkah with all this in mind. I was driven to do so. Not because it would be filled in the Season of Our Joy with friends and family, but in faith I built up this tabernacle that it might represent my own house that was threatened by destruction.
As Torah lovers know, our Messiah was born on the first day of Sukkot, the Word of G-d tabernacling in flesh, being found in fashion as a man, humbled.
As I walk into the New Year naked, ashamed and humbled, I am depending solely on the Indwelling Messiah to save my family and myself. I have no other hope, Come Lord Yeshua! Quickly!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Chesed vs. Gevurah



Chesed is the Hebrew word for loving-kindness, and is the chief attribute that our father Abraham was known for. He was given to hopitality and so entertained angels. Gevurah is strength, a strength that is often associated with divine judgment.

To me, Chesed is seen in the mother-figure, a nurturer, one who cares for the weak and the young. Gevurah is seen in the father-figure, the man behind the rod of discipline who in obedience to HaShem chastens his son as needed. This is not to say that these characteristics are exclusive to these figures, rather they are a-typical.

In everyday life it is Chesed that moves you to give to the guy on the corner with the cardboard sign. On the other hand, it is Gevurah that argues that the recipient is not worthy and will misuse the gift.
I work in a retail center and rarely a day passes when I do not see one of these men with their sign. I rarely impart my earnings for my Gevura usually wins the argument over my compasssionate Chesed.

I was recently approached by a man in the parking lot who asked me about the numerus carseats in my van (I have eight children) to whom I replied, "Yes, they are all mine." Then he asked me about my faith, if I was Jewish ( I wear a large knit kipa) to which I responded," Yes." He said he knew some Jews in New York where he was from and then told me he was stranded. He asked me for some cash, so I gave him more than he asked for. My Chesed won over my Gevurah. Perhaps he moved me because he asked about my family and my faith. Later in the day a co-worker pointed to the same man walking out of the store with a six-pack of beer and told me that he had seen him asking people for money in the parking lot. I did not mention that I had contributed to the purchase. 

I have heard it said that HaShem blesses the giver regardless of how the gift is used. Is this true? Solomon said, "Give to him who asks of you." This is Chesed.

So we have a struggle between Chesed and Gevurah where there should not be one. Rather they should be inter-dependant. One should temper the other. Every opportunity to shower goodness upon someone should be assessed in terms of the recipient's merit. Sound too harsh? Yeshua said, "Do not throw your pearls before swine!" If you give your money (to which you used precious life to earn) to those who waste it, it is you who have actually profaned your life. If you give it to someone you know is in real need, or to the work of the ministry, you sanctify it and thereby sanctify your life which you are giving away.

I would like to thank the rabbis at Chabad.org for their inspiration for this article.