Passover 2021 Sixth Day Numbers 9:1 – 14

The parashot readings for the festival of Passover are designated one per day for the 7 days (8 days for those in the Diaspora), each day having a specific portion of the Torah relating to the Passover.

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Today’s reading covers when the second Passover in the desert was being celebrated, and there were some who had become unclean due to their having been in contact with a dead body. As such, they were banned from the ceremony; Moses asked Adonai what to do, and Adonai said that anyone who was either unclean or out of town on the Passover could celebrate it, just as it is supposed to be celebrated, but on the 14th day of the following month, which would be Iyar.

For the record, and I don’t think even most Jews know this, Passover is not 7 days long. The Passover is just that- the time when the angel of death passed over, and it is defined in the Torah as from twilight until midnight. Beginning on the 15th day (which would be after sunset on the 14th day, after the lamb was slain) begins the 7 days of Hag HaMatzot, the Festival of Unleavened Bread. So Passover and Hag HaMatzot begin at the same time, but Passover is only for that evening.

Recently in a discussion group on Facebook, someone asked if an uncircumcised person could share in the Seder now that there is no Temple service. The rules for the Seder are very clear in Exodus 12:48, in that no one who is uncircumcised may eat the Passover meal. Now, that is somewhat disquieting for me; you see, Donna and I have shared the Seder with many Gentile friends over the years, saved or not, in order to show them the relationship between Yeshua and the Passover. Yet, we never required (or for that matter, asked) any of the men if they were circumcised.

So what is the answer? Well, the point of the question was that because there is no temple in Jerusalem, there can be no sacrifice. In fact, this is why Jews do NOT eat lamb at Passover. So, if there is no sacrificial lamb being shared, does that mean the Seder, itself, is not “officially” a Seder?

Is the Seder a reflection or proxy of the real thing, which we can’t have until the Third Temple is built and the sacrificial system is reinstated?

I don’t know, but it is an interesting point.

Let’s try something…let’s try to combine the reading for today with this issue of “If no temple, then no sacrifice; ergo, Seder rules are suspended”.

God allowed for the continuance of the Pesach rules for those who were ineligible for the Seder on the commanded date. They were still required to celebrate it but at the same time the following month. To me, this means that God is open to allowing some form of dispensation to those whose hearts want to obey, but who are physically unable to do so.

If this is true, then because the Seder is not in complete compliance, in that we are not eating a sacrificed lamb, then maybe, just maybe, God is willing to allow dispensation to those who are not circumcised physically, but who’s hearts are willing to obey, to partake in these “pseudo” Seders?

I can’t say for sure, and if anyone wanted to really say one or the other, I would have to say go with what God said, exactly. You cannot go wrong if you do just as God says to do.

God has stated he wants circumcised hearts, as early as in Deuteronomy 10:16, and Shaul repeats this with regard to grace through Yeshua in Romans 2:25 and Colossians 2:10. In Acts 15, the letter from the Elders in Jerusalem that gave only four immediate requirements for the new Gentile Believers, who were for all intents and purposes converting from paganism to Judaism, did not specify circumcision.

In Galatians, Shaul verbally castrates the “Judaizers” (who were Jewish Believers in Messiah) when they insisted that new Gentile Believers make an immediate and total conversion to Judaism, and get circumcised right away, otherwise they can not be saved.

So it seems that those who have accepted Yeshua as their Messiah and were not circumcised physically but are circumcised spiritually may be accepted as an Israelite.

Now let’s see how today’s reading ties in with what we just went over:

  • God allowed those who were physically ineligible to celebrate when they were once more physically eligible;
  • Under the Grace we receive through Messiah Yeshua, those who are not physically circumcised have been spiritually circumcised;
  • The Seder we celebrate is not eligible to be the Seder commanded by God because there is no sacrificed lamb to eat;
  • Therefore, the Seder we celebrate as a physical meal is really a spiritual celebration.

So if the Seder we celebrate is essentially a spiritual event, then doesn’t it make sense that those who are spiritually circumcised would be eligible?

I hope so.

I pray that when Donna and I share our Seder with anyone who may be uncircumcised that God grants dispensation to us if we are doing wrong if, for no other reason, because our heart’s desire is to share his Grace and the truth about his Messiah with everyone.

As for you, if you also like to share your Seder with others, it is up to you to decide if you will require all the men to “drop trow” in order to see if they qualify.

That’s not going to be something I do because I believe, since the meal we eat on Passover is a spiritual Seder, that physical circumcision is not required.

Thank you for being here and please subscribe both here and on my YouTube channel, as well; share these messages with everyone you know (circumcision not required), and remember that I always welcome your comments.

That’s it for this week, so l’hitraot and Shabbat Shalom!

Guilty, Whether You Know it or Not.

Let’s say you’re driving along the highway, there is very little traffic and you are relaxing with your favorite tunes on the CD player when you hear the sound every driver hates to hear: a siren!

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You look in your rear-view mirror and yes- the Trooper is there for you.

After pulling over, the Trooper says, “Did you know that you were doing 90? The speed limit on this road is 65.”

You respond with, “I am sorry, officer, I didn’t realize I was going that fast.”

Well, if you’re very lucky and have a clean record, you might get off with a warning or a ticket for a lower violation, but one way or the other, the cop won’t accept, “I didn’t know I was doing that.” as an excuse.

My continual reading of the Bible currently has me in Leviticus, and when I was reading through Chapter 5 the other day, I came upon this verse, Leviticus 5:17 (CJB):

If someone sins by doing something against any of the mitzvot of Adonai concerning things which should not be done, he is guilty, even if he is unaware of it; and he bears the consequences of his wrongdoing.

I was immediately reminded of the previous chapters I had read in Leviticus, where often God talks about what to do when someone inadvertently or accidentally sins. In some cases, it says when they are made aware of their sin, they are to do the following, and in other cases, it says if they are made aware of their sin, they are to do the following, but in any and all cases, as the verse above states, whether you know you sinned or not, you ARE guilty!

So, how scary is that, right? I mean, what if I am doing what my Rabbi or my Priest or Minister, or whatever has been telling me is the correct way to worship God, but they are wrong?

In some cases, people have been praying to saints or celebrating the Sabbath on Sunday. Many God-fearing people enjoy their lobster bisque and shrimp tempura and chow down on pork rinds when watching the football game. And when asked why they don’t study the Old Covenant or obey the rules in the Torah, they say, “I don’t do any of those Old Covenant things because I have been told Jesus did away with that.”

That is like telling the cop “Sorry, I didn’t realize I was going that fast”; the answer you will get is “Your speedometer is right there in front of your face.”

The Bible is right there, in front of your face, and no one is stopping you from reading it.

We will all meet the Lord at his Throne of Judgment, and when God asks you why you have rejected his instructions, mitzvot, rules, regulations, and commandments, will you say “Sorry- I didn’t know I was supposed to do all that stuff. They told me I didn’t have to.”?

And if you say that, what do you think God will say?

Will he say, “Oh, well then, that’s OK. After all, if your Rabbi or Priest or Minister told you you didn’t have to obey me, who am I to go against them?”

No, it is more likely he will say something like “I had Moses write these down so there would be no confusion as to what I say is acceptable and what is not, and all you had to do was read them for yourself to know.”

Then you say, “But I said the Sinners Prayer and accepted Yeshua in my life, so I am saved. The Bible says all who call on his name will be saved! So, then…it’s all fine, right? Yeshua- tell him I’m one of yours.”

If you have rejected the Father, you have rejected the son, no matter what you once prayed. Here’s the hard truth, my friend: speaking isn’t doing!

Don’t be surprised if Yeshua says “I never knew you” if you spent your life rejecting God’s commandments.

Now, am I saying that you are not saved? Am I telling you that you HAVE to obey the Torah completely or no matter what you prayed or what you do, you are going to hell?

No, I am not saying that at all: I am not in the place of God, I do not know your heart, and I do not know what the future holds. I only know what God tells us in the Bible, and that in the Old Covenant he tells us how HE wants us to worship him, which Holy Days we are to celebrate, and how we are to treat each other.

I also know that in the New Covenant there is nothing new. Yeshua says, over and over…and over, that he does and says only what his father in heaven tells him to do and say, and that he had to have lived his life in perfect accordance with the Torah or he would not have been a spotless lamb and his sacrificial death would not be acceptable. In that case, we would have no means of salvation.

No…what I am saying is that you should read the entire Bible, especially the Old Covenant, and most definitely the Torah (the first 5 books) because that is the ONLY place where God, himself, directly tells us what he wants us to do.

The Gospels demonstrate that Yeshua lived and did what any Torah-observant Jewish person would have done, and if you really, I mean R-E-A-L-L-Y want to be worthy of that plastic bracelet with the WWJD on it, then you need to know how Yeshua lived, which is the way God said to in the Torah.

That is what Jesus, Yeshua, did. And that is what God says he wants from each of us.

So get a Bible, a complete Bible (Genesis through Revelation) and read it from start to finish so you know what it says, then make up your mind who you will obey: God, or some person who is pretty much repeating whatever he or she was taught in Seminary school.

Thank you for being here and please subscribe to this and my YouTube channel, as well, and remember that I always welcome your comments.

That’s it for today, so l’hitraot and Baruch HaShem!

What does “Believe in Jesus” Mean?

Growing up Jewish, I was taught that any Jew who “believes in Jesus” is no longer a Jew, but now is Christian and a traitor to Judaism.

Listening to Christian missionaries, I am told we must “believe in Jesus” to be saved, and when we do we are no longer Jewish or have to obey the Jewish laws.

It seems the only thing Jews and Christians have in common is that believing in Jesus means you are no longer Jewish.

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But we know, based on James 2:19, that because the demons know God exists and is one, they must then also know Jesus who sits at the right hand of God, right? So, since the demons “believe in Jesus”, are they now saved?

I don’t think so!

It seems the term “believe in Jesus” has some meaning, but what is it, really?

NOTE: I will be using the name “Jesus” instead of Yeshua because it is more relevant to the topic, and so please don’t comment on or open a discussion about what the “real” name of the Messiah is because it is irrelevant to this lesson.

Frankly, if you ask me (and since this is my ministry, I will ask if you don’t) believing in Jesus doesn’t mean anything because we aren’t told just what we are believing in.

“Believe in Jesus” can mean anything from believing he existed to believe he is the Messiah, the son of God, and many Christians believe that Jesus is God, himself.

Many Jews believe in Jesus, but only to the point where they accept that he existed and was just a Rabbi; they believe this because his existence has been mentioned in the works of Josephus, a trusted and respected chronicler of history.

Muslims generally believe in Jesus in that they believe he existed and was a prophet, but not a Messiah or related to God other than being his prophet.

Then there are the atheists who don’t believe in God, at all, but might accept that Jesus existed, but only as a man with some historical significance.

And since the name “Jesus” has no etymology within Judaism, even the name is questionable to many as a valid identifier of the Messiah.

So, that brings me to the conclusion that to “believe in Jesus” essentially means nothing in particular because it can mean so many things.

Some Christians today are eager to learn about their Jewish roots and are beginning to recognize the importance of obedience to the commandments in the Torah, whereas most Christians want to believe only what they have been taught, which is that Jesus did away with all that “Jewish” stuff and all they need to do is believe in Jesus (there’s that term again), be a good person and love their neighbor and they will go to heaven when they die.

Yeah, well, that’s not really how it works, but it sounds good so just about everyone likes to accept that and won’t read the Bible for themselves.

If it was up to me, I would never use the term “Believe in Jesus” because it really means nothing- there is no substance to it and it doesn’t really tell anyone what encompasses that belief. Instead, I would say we need to accept that Jesus (but I would use his real, Hebrew name of Yeshua) is the Messiah God promised to send, and because of his sacrifice, we don’t need to bring an animal to the temple in Jerusalem (which no longer exists) to be forgiven of our sins; that’s why he is now the ONLY means by which we can be forgiven of sin.

I think that is much more direct, making it clear why when we accept that Jesus is the Messiah we can receive salvation, other than just saying “believe in Jesus”.

Don’t you agree?

Thank you for being here: please subscribe, here and on my YouTube channel as well, and remember that I always welcome your comments.

That’s it for today, so l’hitraot and Baruch haShem!

What Is the New Wine Yeshua Talks About?

In the Gospel of Mark (2:21-22), Yeshua teaches the following:

No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old coat; if he does, the new patch tears away from the old cloth and leaves a worse hole. And no one puts new wine in old wineskins; if he does, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the skins will be ruined. Rather, new wine is for freshly prepared wineskins.

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The traditional Christian interpretation of this lesson is that Yeshua meant the old laws were no longer valid for those who follow him. In other words, they use this to justify sinning against God by ignoring what he said in the Torah.

Christianity has maintained that what Yeshua taught was the new wine, and those who accept Yeshua as the Messiah and follow his teachings, are the new wineskins. As such, what is in the Torah is the old wine and only valid for the old wineskins, i.e., the Jews.

Does this make sense? I mean, Yeshua is the Son of God, the Messiah, and throughout all the Gospels, especially in John, he constantly tells us he does and says only what his father in heaven tells him to do and say. He even prayed at the rock in the garden just before his crucifixion, confirming with God that HIS will be done, not Yeshua’s.

So, given that his entire time on earth was spent doing what God told him, does it seem likely that what he would have taught was to rebel against God? Did the Son of God tell those who accepted him as the Messiah that he did not come to reunite them with God (which is what the Messiah is to do), but instead to separate them from God by rejecting his commandments and follow a new set of laws, laws that Yeshua created?

I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t seem right to me, at all!

What Yeshua taught was what is in the Torah, but instead of teaching just the plain language of the law (called the P’shat), he taught us the deeper, more spiritual understanding (called the Remes.) Haven’t you ever wondered why there are so many references in the Gospels about how people said no one has ever taught like Yeshua did? That’s because no one ever had- the Pharisees and Sadducees only taught the basic meaning of the law: do not murder, do not commit adultery, etc. But Yeshua taught us the spiritual understanding of the law: do not even hate in your heart, do not so much as lust with your eyes.

Using the biblical exegesis system called Circles of Context, let’s look at what was happening just before Yeshua talked about new wine and new wineskins.

This chapter in Mark begins with the Pharisees asking why Yeshua was saying he could forgive sins. Next, they asked why he ate with sinners and tax collectors. They then asked why his disciples didn’t fast as the Pharisee’s disciples did.

What do all these questions have in common? They are referencing rabbinical traditions that are not specified in, or have anything to do with the Torah.

I believe these traditions are what Yeshua was talking about when he talked of “old wine.” And the new wine is not different mitzvot from the Torah, but the spiritual understanding of the existing mitzvot!

The new wineskins are people that have not been so indoctrinated into the old wine that they can no longer accept the new understanding Yeshua was teaching.

Now, here is a sad and ironic reality: Christians who believe that Yeshua’s “new wine” is that all you need is to love each other and be a good person are now the old wine in old wineskins, refusing to accept that Yeshua did NOT do away with the Torah, but confirmed it!

More and more Christians who are seeking the real Messiah, the one who taught God’s word and never rebelled against the Torah, are the new wineskins who want to accept the new wine Yeshua taught, way back then.

During Yeshua’s ministry on the earth, the new wine was the spiritual understanding of the Torah, and NEVER anything against obedience to God’s commandments in the Torah. The new wineskins are his Disciples and all those Jews and Gentiles who followed him, still obedient to Torah.

Today, the new wine Yeshua taught is still new because early Christian leadership denounced the Torah- they rejected the new wine and watered it down with their own traditions, ruining the purity of Yeshua’s wine by blending it with old pagan traditions, holidays, and watering down (if not totally rejecting) anything dealing with the Torah, other than the 10 Commandments.

And they have even rejected and ignored some of those!

So, here is my understanding of the passage in Mark 2:21-22: the old wine is the rabbinic traditions that over-ruled God’s word or added to it, and the old wineskins, already stretched to their maximum, are those who rigidly maintain those traditions, unwilling to change or even listen to new ideas. The new wine is the Remes of the mitzvot, the spiritual understanding of the Torah, and those who overcame their desire to adhere to those man-made traditions and accepted the new wine Yeshua taught became new wineskins.

Today there are two old wines: the Christian old wine that Yeshua did away with the law, and the Jewish old wine that Yeshua is not the Messiah.

I used to be an old Jewish wineskin, but became a new wineskin about 25 years ago when I accepted Yeshua as my Messiah; I never converted from Judaism and, in truth, am now more “Jewish” than I ever was before.

So, nu? Which wine do you drink?

Thank you for being here and please subscribe here and on my YouTube channel, and share these messages with everyone. I also would love it if you would check out my books (on my website) and remember- I always welcome your comments.

That’s it for now, and probably for the week because my wife, Donna, is getting a shoulder replacement today (your prayers for a successful operation and speedy recovery are humbly requested) and I will be really busy from Thursday on preparing for the Pesach Seder, since she will not be able to help with the cooking or the preparation of the house.

That’s it for now…l’hitraot and (an early) Pesach Chag Sameach!

Parashah V’yikrah 2021 (And he called) Leviticus 1 – 5

We now enter into the Book of Leviticus.

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In this book are many of the laws, commandments, regulations, and ordinances that God gave to us through Moses, which define how we are to worship God and treat each other.

These laws have been split into two categories: ceremonial and moral. As far as I am concerned, it doesn’t matter how we wish to categorize them but only that they are what God said we should do. That’s enough for me.

Instead of going through the different types of sacrifices and regulations for each, which are contained in this parashah, I would like to talk, in general, about these instructions from God.

Christianity has spent two millennia trying to separate itself from the Jewish roots from which it sprouted, and has been very successful at doing that. It has managed to grow into any number of different religions and sects, none of which seem to have anything in common with the others other than they profess to worship God and that Yeshua (Jesus) is the Messiah.

Oh, wait a minute….they also have this in common: they teach that the Son of God said whoever accepts him as their Savior doesn’t have to obey the commandments that God gave in the Torah.

Actually, they can’t reject all of them, of course: the “moral” commandments still are valid, such as don’t murder, don’t commit adultery, and don’t worship or bow down and pray to any graven image (the Roman Catholics still have a problem with this one.)

But what did Yeshua say, really?

In Matthew 5:17 (a favorite Christian verse to proclaim the Torah is null and void), Yeshua says he has come to fulfill the law, which (as I mentioned) Christianity loves to quote as their justification that having fulfilled it, he did away with it. But they ignore the first part of that sentence, where Yeshua says he did NOT come to change the law.

Now, at that time in history, the usage of the word “fulfill” with regard to the Torah did not mean to perform but to interpret. Matthew 5:17 should really say that Yeshua came not to change the law but to interpret it correctly. This is confirmed with the Sermon on the Mount, where Yeshua “fulfilled the law” by teaching the deeper, spiritual meaning of it (called the Remes). He starts with “You have heard it said…” then tells the people the literal meaning of the law (called the P’shat), which was all the Pharisees had ever taught. And then he goes further, saying “But I tell you…” teaching them the deeper, spiritual meaning.

For instance, he said that we have been told not to murder, but if we hate in our heart, we have already committed murder. He taught that we have been told not to commit adultery, but if we lust in our heart, we already have. Can you see? He fulfilled the law because he taught us the spiritual meaning of it, which is why so often in the Gospels we read how people said that he taught as no one ever had before.

Christianity has also misinterpreted the statement made by a man, they call Paul, who told the Messianic congregation he started in Colussus that our sins were nailed to the cross with Yeshua. Within Christian teachings, they say that this means the law (Torah) was nailed to the cross, but that is just plain wrong. Read Colossians 2:13-14: Paul never said the law was nailed to the cross, only the sins we had committed.

The ongoing and (I believe) never-ending argument about are Christians subject to the laws in the Torah will never be settled until Messiah rules the world, at which time everyone will be forced to acknowledge that whatever Yeshua says we should do, we had better do.

But I would like to ask those who have been taught the Torah is only for Jews to consider the following:

  1. If Yeshua is the Son of God; and
  2. If disobedience to the laws in the Torah were, at the time Yeshua lived, a sin; and
  3. If Yeshua taught people to disobey his father and obey only him …

Then wouldn’t that make Yeshua a traitorous son and a disobedient, sinful Messiah?

Where else in the Bible does a son, a prince, try to overthrow his father’s kingdom and replace him as king? (I really shouldn’t have to tell you, should I?)

If Yeshua taught anything that was against the laws God had given to the people, then he would be in sin and a traitor to his own father. He would not have ever been an acceptable sacrifice, but since we know he WAS an acceptable sacrifice, then he (obviously) never did anything against his father or break the law, nor did he ever teach anyone else to break the law.

The only justification that Christianity has used to show where multiple times someone has taught that the Torah is not valid or necessary for Christians is from the letters of Paul to his congregations throughout the Middle East and Asia.

Paul was not a prophet, he was never contacted by God telling him, as God did with Moses or the Prophets of the Tanakh, to tell anyone anything. He was a missionary who said and did whatever he needed to in order to get people to listen to the Good News of the Messiah. He never converted to Christianity, he never changed his name from Shaul to Paul, and he never went exclusively to the Gentiles. In fact, he always went to teach in the synagogues first, then he went to the Gentiles.

And he never said that we could ignore the Torah, only that within the Gentile congregations who were having issues with their faith, that they should learn the Torah and obey it a little at a time and not have to become converts to Judaism all at once.

Just the same way that Isaiah told the people in the Northern tribes of Israel, who were constantly at odds with their faith, that they are so spiritually weak they need to learn God’s ways little by little and line by line (Isaiah 28:10.)

I don’t want to get into an argument about whether or not Shaul’s letters should be included in the Bible, or whether or not you have to obey the Torah- these are decisions that you have to make for yourself because no matter why you decide how you worship, when you meet God you will be held accountable for what you do or don’t do.

My advice to everyone is that you best make sure whichever way you chose to live your life and worship God be an informed decision based on your own research because, as I said, you WILL be held accountable for that choice.

If a cop wants to give you a speeding ticket and you say you didn’t know what the speed limit was, he will tell you that ignorance of the law is no excuse. I believe God will have the same attitude.

Thank you for being here and please don’t forget to subscribe here and on my YouTube channel, as well. I hope you will share these messages with everyone you know and remember that I always welcome your comments.

That’s it for this week, so l’hitraot and Shabbat Shalom!