America, Israel and Money

“Echad” – “One”

All Hebrew letters have a number value. Add these numbers up and you get 13
alef = 1 (one)
chet = 8 (eight)
dalet = 4 (four)
13

Spell them and you get e / cha / d “echad”, which means “one”.
alef + chet + dalet = echad

Therefore in the Hebrew mindset – thirteen is connected with one.

There are only two countries in the world who were built on an idea rather than on real estate. These two countries are Ancient Israel and Modern America. Did you know that both these countries have great influence on the other? If America had not helped Israel over the years – especially in 1948, she probably would not have survived. If America had not been built on the Judao/Christian beliefs, God would not have blessed her and made her who she is today.

We just learned that one – “echad” is connected to thirteen.

Look at the back of a one dollar bill and notice how much Israeli influence there is!

1. Notice that there are 13 stars over the eagle’s head in the shape of a Mogan David. (star of David)
They are surrounded by what is meant to portray as the shekinah or glory of G-d.

2. One of the eagle’s claws holds 13 arrows – the other holds an olive branch. You will need a magnifying glass to see it but there are 13 olives on it.

2. Notice the pryamid on The Great Seal – it has 13 layers of stone.

3. There are 13 letters in the Latin words “ANNUIT CÆTPIS” which means “God favors our undertakings”.

4. The motto of the United States is “e pluribis unum” which contains 13 letters and is Latin for “one out of many”. See it on both sides of the eagle’s head. Echad.

“These 13 things appear ONLY on a ONE dollar bill – not any other. There is a reflexion of Judaism in the soul of America.”

This is a quote from my second favorite rabbi – Seattle’s own Rabbi Daniel Lapin whom I have been privileged to hear on many occasions. He has spoken several times at Messianic gatherings.

Turn your dollar upside down. There is a menorah between the eagle’s face and tail so that the main body of the eagle – the American symbol becomes God’s symbol for Israel.

Pastor John Hagee has also preached about this on television.

God bless America and bring Peace to Jerusalem!

This will only happen as America blesses Israel and continues to support them. Let’s each one do our part as best we can to make sure this happens. Compare the evacuation from Gaza and the evacuation from New Orlean, Houston, etc. Makes ya think, doesn’t it?

OK – go get out a dollar and see what you can find!

See you next time!
Shalom, Sharaka
*********************************************

Letter from a Friend

A friend wrote:

“………Do you have any advice for me? Is there anyway you can think of that I can show or say what I really mean, in a way that will get them to trust that they should drop everything and get into God’s Word, rather then just assume that what they already know is all that they need to?”

This friend also asked if I thought they should go to Disneyland. They had planned on it and then changed their minds because of Disneyland’s support and acceptance of homosexuality, magic and fairytale adventures, etc.

My answer:

There is nothing worse than a reformed smoker — you know? One who quits and then jumps on everybody else to quit, too? I know this – been there, done that! I’m not saying YOU have, ————,
I’m just saying — there is NOTHING you can say to anybody to make them “…to trust that they should drop everything and get into G-d’s Word…” Remember, G-d commands us to be witnesses….

WITNESSES!

We are the Bible that everyone reads. What we DO means so much more than what we say. NO ONE comes to the Lord because of what we say. Yes, we are to tell — but they will be watching us and sometimes we “tell” more by the way we live, than by what we say.

ONLY the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) can bring conviction on people. ONLY G-d can call a person to salvation. WE are to witness to them. Live the Life in front of them and trust G-d to bring them in by His Ruach. We can’t get anybody saved and we can’t get anybody to “become Messianic”. That’s the Holy Spirit’s job. Sometimes I think we try too hard.

We must pray for our friends and loved ones, ask the Lord to lead us into a spiritual conversation with them and then tell how G-d has made changes for the better in our lives. That’s so much better than just demanding people listen to us and do what we do. Do you see what I’m saying? WE only can do OUR part and trust G-d to do His.

Even G-d can’t FORCE anyone to live a Torah-observant life. He can sure make you wish you WOULD have —— but He is a Gentleman and only calls to each of us to hear His voice and obey. You can’t take it personally if people don’t listen to you. Just do your best and leave the rest up to G-d.

I am so pleased at your growth and desire to please the Lord by your service. You just have to remember – each of us is only one little cog in the wheel. We do our part, others do theirs and G-d will get the job done. Keep your eyes on Him and His word and do like the Sh’ma says, “….keep (my commandments) in your heart, talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down and when you rise up.” That’s pretty much ALL the time! That’s our job. What happens after that is His business.

About Disneyland. I strongly respect your decision and your desire to please the Lord. Perhaps this is His will for you. Only you can know that. However I do not agree with it. We are in this world but we are not a part of it.

Say Disneyland is the world. What do we do? Stay in our houses and never come out? No, we see the unG-dly things out there and stay away from them, just like we do in our cities and communities. Y’shua
went to the homes of publicans and sinners and ate with them. I have a family member who goes into taverns and bars (always taking another Christian buddy) and witnesses to the people in there. I am not called to do that, but some are.

There are lots of things at Disneyland that you CAN do and many you wouldn’t want to. Life is made up of choices. Most restaurants sell treif (non-kosher food). Shall we not eat there? Many department stores give some of our money to unG-dly projects, abortion rights, homosexual endeavors, etc. Shall we not patronize those stores? The fact is WE JUST DON’T KNOW which stores are which or exactly where our money goes. We just have to do what we can, when we can and where we can.

I’m not trying to discourage you from your decision, I’m only trying to help you understand that we must make choices to live G-dly lives in a sinful, sinful world.

G-d bless you as you continue to strive to please Him in the best way you know how! Wherever you go, have a wonderful vacation. I know you will take G-d with you and witness as you are prompted to!

With love and Shalom, Sharaka
**************************************************

Chanukah – Light the Chanukiah

Blessings for Chanukah Lighting
The blessings to be said after lighting the shamesh every night are these:

Traditional:
“Baruch atah Adonai, Elohenu melech haolam, asher kidshanu b’mitzvotav v’tzvivanu l‘hadlik ner shel Chanukah”. Blessed art Thou O Lord our G-d, King of the universe, who has sanctified us with Thy commandments and commanded us to light the Chanukah lights.” (G-d did NOT actually command us to light candles …ever… so we substitute this prayer instead.)

Messianic:
“Baruch atah Adonai, Elohenu melech haolam, asher kidshanu b’divaro anachnu madlikim haneyrot ner shel Chunukah. Blessed art Thou O Lord our God, King of the universe, who has sanctified us with Thy command ments and in whose name we kindle the Chanukah lights.”

“Baruch atah Adonai, Elohenu melech h’olam, assher natan lanu chagim, min h’gim, oomo’adim, l’simcha, l’chgdil et da’at Adonai, v’livnot o tan lanu b’emunah kidosha v’na’ahlah.
Blessed art Thou, oh Lord our G-d, King of the universe, who has given us holy days, customs and times of happiness, to increase knowledge of G-d and to build us up in our most holy faith.

“Blessed art Thou, oh Lord our G-d, King of the universe, didst perform miracles for our fathers in those days at this season. We kindle these lights to commemorate the miracles and wonders, the victorious battles that that Thou hast achieved for our fathers in those days at this season, through Thy Holy Priest, Y’shua. During all the eight days of Chanukah, these lights are sacred and we are not permitted to make use of them; but are only to look upon them in order to give thanks and to praise Thy Name for Thy miracles, wonders and Thy salvation.”

Light the candles after dark and sing songs of your choice which bring glory to G-d. You may want to have a theme for each night. Your candles should burn for at least a half hour. They should be in a window facing the street to be a witness to passers by. Otherwise a table will do.

Chanukah is the time for family, community, education and thankfulness to G-d for His miracles! Be sure to spend time in the Word and in Prayer.

How To Light the Chanukiah

First night: Well after sunset, place your chanukiah in a front window where it can be seen from the street.

If this is not safe – use your fireplace mantle, dining room table or other suitable place. I put an electric chanukiah in my front window and the “real” one on my dining room table.

Place a special chanukah candle in the far right holder.

Say the Shehechianu (first night only) and the other blessing.

Light the candle with the shamish (the center (or tallest) candle.

Other nights: Place the candles, starting on the right side and moving to the left, adding one new candle each night.

Say the blessing. Use the shamish and light from the left to the right.

On the eighth night – they will all be lit.

Do not use the light for reading or any other practical function.
It is lit only to honor G-d.

Before Lighting Blessings

1)The “Shehechianu” to be said on first night only = “Baruch atah Adonai, Elohenu melech ha’olam, shehecheyanu, vekiyemanu vehigi’anu lazman hazeh.” (Blessed art Thou, O L-rd our G-d, King of the Universe, Who has given us life, and sustained us, and brought us to this season.)
2) “Baruch atah Adonai, Elohenu melech ha’olam, she’asah nisim la’avotenu, bayamim hahem bazeman hazeh.” (Blessed art Thou, L-rd our G-d, King of the Universe, Who has done miracles for our fathers in days gone by, at this season.)

Let the candles burn out, do not extinquish them and do not use them for reading or any other purpose. They are only to be used as a memorial.

Enjoy the holiday!
See you next time!
Shalom, Sharaka
***************************************

How To Prepare for a Festive Meal:

Article from Aish.com:

Author Biography:
Chef Herschel prepares hundreds of meals a day at Aish HaTorah’s World Center in Jerusalem. He caters the five star meals for the Jerusalem Fund missions as well as the daily food for the Yeshiva students. Here are his suggestions for preparing for a dinner. You can use this for any meal, not just for the High Holy Days.

Rosh Hashana is fast approaching. As the chef for the yeshiva, I need to be ready to serve four holiday meals for 200 people and they need to be good. And I don’t mean maybe. Here is how I get ready. (This plan works for any holiday —–)

1. Deadline and commitment.

2. Plan. I take some time and look at what I did last year. Decide what I will keep on the menu and decide what new dishes I’m going to prepare. Only one or two new dishes so preparation doesn’t become unmanageable.

3. Discuss the menu with family or friends. See how they like it, consider their suggestions.

4. Make a list of everything that I will need. Shop early.

5. Make a plan. Do a little bit each day. Make a schedule. Be realistic. Get help. You can’t do it alone. Finish early, allow for the unexpected.

6. Put it into action. Don’t procrastinate.

7. Evaluate. Take a step back. Make adjustments if necessary.

8. Serve it. Tablecloths, china, silverware, crystal and flowers. Take pleasure and enjoy.

You can follow my plan for your own personal preparations for Rosh Hashana — not just for preparing the food, but spiritual preparation — and you’ll be ready for the High Holidays.

This article can also be read at:

http://www.aish.com/family/cooking/Complete_Rosh_Hashana_Menu.asp

See you next time!
Shalom, Sharaka
**************************************************

Elul – the Month of Teshuvah (Repentance) II

At Sunset, on the last night before the last month of the year, one of the most important months begins. It is the month called Elul. There are 30 days in it to turn your eyes and your heart toward God. To repent of those things you do which are NOT pleasing to Him. There are 10 more days, The Days of Awe, in the month of Tishrei to make sure you are right with your Maker. Any day of the year is, of course, the best day to do this but in the Jewish tradition, the month of Elul is used to illustrate repentance. The shofar blows every morning to call to repentance. Will you hear the call? Use it to turn to God and make Him the center and focus of your life. Below are some lines from Eddie Chumney’s book on the Festivals. (If you haven’t read it yet, I suggest you check it out or buy a copy.)

Chaper Seven: The Season of Teshuvah
A special season known as Teshuvah, which in Hebrew means “to return or repent,” begins on the first day of the month of Elul and continues 40 days, ending with Yom Kippur. Thirty days into Teshuvah, on Tishrei l, comes Rosh HaShanah. This begins a final ten-day period beginning on Rosh HaShanah and ending on Yom Kippur. These are known as the High Holy Days and as the Awesome Days (Yamim Nora’im, the days of awe). The sabbath that falls within this ten-day period is called Shabbat Shuvah, the Sabbath of Return. Five days after Yom Kippur is Sukkot, the Feast of Tabernacles. Teshuvah begins on Elul 1 and concludes on Tishrei 10, Yom Kippur. Each morning during the 30 days of the month of Elul, the trumpet (shofar) or ram’s horn is blown to warn the people to repent and return to G-d.

Teshuvah (repentance) speaks to all people. Those who believe in the Messiah are called to examine their lives and see where they have departed from G-d. It is a call to examine the Scriptures and the evidence that the Messiah was who He said He was.

G-d has always had a heart to warn people before He proclaims judgment. G-d warned the people before the flood, and He warned Nineveh before it was ruined. He does not want anyone to receive the wrath of His judgment (Ezekiel [Yechezekel] 18:21-23,30-32; Zephaniah 2:1-3; 33:1-7; 2 Peter 3:9).

The whole month of Elul is a 30-day process of preparation through personal examination and repentance for the coming High Holy Days. The shofar is blown after every morning service. Psalm 27, which begins with “The Lord is my light and my salvation,” is also recited at the end of the morning and evening liturgy. The message from Elul 1 to Rosh HaShanah is clear: Repent before Rosh HaShanah. Don’t wait until after Rosh HaShanah, or you will find yourself in the Days of Awe.

There are idioms or phrases that help us identify the days in the season of Teshuvah (repentance). Just as unfamiliar foreigners may be confused when they hear Americans call Thanksgiving Day, “Turkey Day” or “Pilgrims’ Day,” non-Jewish believers in Yeshua can be confused by the different terms for the major feasts of the L-rd.

Rosh HaShanah: Names, Themes, and Idioms

Teshuvah (repentance)
Rosh HaShanah (Head of the Year, Birthday of the World)
Yom Teruah (the Day of the Awakening Blast [Feast of Trumpets)
Yom HaDin (the Day of Judgment)
HaMelech (the Coronation of the Messiah)
Yom HaZikkaron (the Day of Remembrance or memorial)
The time of Jacob’s (Ya’akov) trouble (the birthpangs of the Messiah, Chevlai shel Mashiach)
The opening of the gates
Kiddushin/Nesu’in (the wedding ceremony)
The resurrection of the dead (rapture, natza1)
The last trump (shofar)
Yom Hakeseh (the hidden day) “The day that no man knows”

From Eddie Chumney’s book – “The Seven Festivals of Messiah”

http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/2175/chap7.html#CHAP7

If you’ve never seen this book, go to Eddie Chumney’s site and check it out!

See you next time!
Shalom, Sharaka
****************************************

Sukkot – Feast of Tabernacles

Sukkot (sue – COAT)
The Festival of Booths/Feast of Tabernacles


Exodus 12:37 tells us that:

When G-d’s people left Egypt with Moses, they camped and put their animals into a shelter called a “SUKKAH”, which means “booth”, “stable”, “hut”, “shelter”, or “tabernacle” in the Hebrew language . “SUKKOT” is the plural of the word. Moses called that place “Sukkot”.

Leviticus 23:
G-d gave the Children of Israel Seven Feasts. He called them “Holy Days” – “holy unto the Lord”, but we have changed the word to “holidays” and most Christians do not celebrate them. We have chosen to honor other days instead. Now many have once again begun to celebrate these Feasts or Festivals. They are not “Jewish” Feasts – the Bible calls them “the Feasts of the Lord”. Starting at sunset, (G-d’s day starts at sunset – Genesis says “the evening and the morning were the first day”) on the 15th day of the seventh month, which begins at sunset the night before, Jews all over the world and many Christians will celebrate this Special Holy Day.

SUKKOT – is given by G-d Himself, and lasts for eight days. God gave us a special calendar and it is not the same as the one we use, so we find SUKKOT comes on a different day every year on our Gregorian calendar. On the Jewish calendar, each month starts on the first day of the new moon. In 2004, Sukkot began on the evening of the full moon, September 29th (Tishrei 15). Next year it will be on another day on our calendar but still the 15th of Tishrei.

II Timothy 2: 15
You might be thinking, “OK, so G-d gave all this to the Jews – what does it have to do with me? Why should I care?” G-d loves all of His people, Jews and Gentiles alike. He chose Jews to write His Book and it was written to them. But every thing in His Book is for everyone who loves G-d and wants to read His Word. We ALL can learn something from EVERY THING in the Bible if we will only ask G-d to show us what He has in mind. He is trying to teach us. Let’s open our hearts to Him and learn all He has for us. “Study to be approved..”

Nehemiah 8
Notice that the sukkah (sue-kah) is only a temporary shelter – built to last only one week. It is not very sturdy. A strong wind could blow it all over. It is not built to last at all. Every year, the Jewish people build a sukkah wherever they live. It’s funny to look up at apartment buildings in Jerusalem and see sukkot on the balconies! In our State, it’s too cold and usually too wet to sleep out, so Jews and Messianic Believers here just eat in them. The Jews in Israel and warmer countries also sleep there.

Psalms 91:1-5
Sometimes it has a door – but there is no lock. People eat and sleep in this place for a whole week. This is the way they lived all the years of their wanderings through the desert. They had to rely on G-d alone for their needs. We can learn from this that it isn’t the lock that protects us – it is G-d! It is always G-d! We all really live in a house of sticks and the “big bad wolf” could blow it down if it wasn’t for G-d, our Mighty Protector. We should remember how G-d’s people lived all those years in tents and flimsy shelters. We can understand that He took care of them then and believe He will take care of us now! Our protection is from Him and Him alone! We must never forget to thank Him for His love and care.

Deuteronomy 16:13-15
It is to be built after the crops are gathered in. The people were to gather together and rejoice and be thankful. They were to share with others, especially the poor. Sound familiar? This was really the first Thanksgiving! When the Puritans came to America, they only continued what God started way back in the Brit Chadasha (Older Covenant or Testament). It is still a time to rejoice and be thankful. Why not write a `thank you’ note now to Someone Special in your life? We need to be thankful to people and to G-d.

Zachariah 14:16 -17
The sukkah is to be re-built every year – generation after generation for all time. We will celebrate this festival during the Millennium. Our family decided not to wait, we celebrate it now! We have some of our meals in it and sometimes we invite friends. We sing songs, listen to beautiful music and read the Scriptures. We try to think about the beautiful place that our G-d is preparing for us. Our bodies are like a sukkah – an earth-suit – a temporary dwelling until we get the real one.

Building a sukkah is one way He helps us remember. It is said we retain 10% of what we hear, 50% of what we see and 90% of what we “do” or act out. G-d knew this and I believe this is why He asked us to “do” these things. He wants to make sure we remember His teachings and apply them to our daily lives as well as show us what’s coming up ahead in the future.
Another interesting thing about a sukkah – remember that the word can also mean “stable”? It is written that Y’shua, the Hebrew name for Jesus, was born in a stable. Was this stable really a sukkah? After all, this is the Feast of Tabernacles and we know that Y’shua was sent to “tabernacle” with us. What better time for Him to appear? All Feasts of the Lord have a New Covenant (Testament) fulfillment. The actual date of His birth has been lost. In Biblical times birthdays were not celebrated by the Hebrews. We were to remember the death and resurrection of Y’shua, but never actually told to celebrate His birth.

I believe He was probably born on the first day of Sukkot – 15 Tishrei, 04 BC. If we note the time of Zachariah’s service in the Temple, we can pinpoint the time of the birth of his son, John the Baptist which was about the time of Passover in the Spring. His cousin, Y’shua, was born six months later. That would make it during Sukkot. If He was born the first day and circumcised the eighth day, that would take care of the whole eight day Festival time.

Whenever it was, we know He was born, He did die and die for you and me in our stead. We have only to accept His sacrificial death, give our hearts to Him and make Him Lord of our lives. Then this `sukkah’ or temporary earth suit – this body of clay – will be changed forever into an eternal one that we might live forever with Him…
Baruch HaShem! Blessed be the Name of the Lord!
In the meantime — get ready to rejoice and be glad!

Chag Sameach! – Happy Festival! © 1994

See you next time!
Shalom, Sharaka
*************************************************

The Month of Elul

The shofar is to be sounded every morning during the month of Elul.

The shofar or ram’s horn, has always held a prominent role in the history of G-d’s people in the Bible:

The Torah was given to Israel with the sound of the shofar (Exodus [Shemot] 19:19).
Israel conquered in the battle of Jericho with the blast of the shofar (Joshua 6:20).
Israel will be advised of the advent of the Messiah with the sound of the shofar (Zechariah 9:14,16).
The shofar will be blown at the time of the ingathering of the exiles of Israel to their place (Isaiah [Yeshayahu] 27:13).
The shofar was blown to signal the assembly of the Israelites during war (Judges [Shoftim] 3:27; 2 Samuel 20:1).
The watchman who stood upon Jerusalem’s walls blew the shofar (Ezekiel [Yechezekel] 33:3-6).
The shofar was blown at the start of the Jubilee year (Leviticus [Vayikra] 25:9).
The shofar is a reminder that G-d is sovereign (Psalm [Tehillim] 47:5).
The ram’s horn, the shofar, is a reminder of Abraham’s sacrifice of Isaac and God’s provision of a ram as a substitute (Genesis [Bereishit] 22:13).
The shofar was blown to announce the beginning of festivals (Numbers [Bamidbar] 10:10). The shofar was blown to celebrate the new moon on Rosh HaShanah (Psalm 81:1-3).
The blowing of the shofar is a signal for the call to repentance (Isaiah [Yeshayahu] 58:1).
The blowing of the shofar ushers in the day of the L-rd (Joel 2:1).
The blowing of the shofar is sounded at the rapture of the believers and the resurrection of the dead (1 Thessalonians 4:16).
John was taken up to Heaven in the Book of Revelation by the sound of the shofar (Revelation 4:1).
Seven shofarim are sounded when G-d judges the earth during the tribulation (Revelation 8-9).
The shofar was used for the coronation of kings (1 Kings [Melachim] 1:34,39).

There are three Fall Festivals which will begin with the Preparation month of Elul:

1. Yom Teruah (sometimes called Rosh HaShanah, New Years Day, or Feast of Trumpets)
begins on the first day of Tishrei, which begins the evening of September 17, 2001.

2. Yom Kippur, (follows in ten days, and is the Day of Atonemen) is the holiest day of
Judaism. We can praise God that Y’shua is the Lamb of God – our atonement. (at-one-ment)

3. Sukkot, (or Booths or the Feast of Tabernacles) comes on the night of the full moon. Many of us believe Y’shua was born in a sukkah (booth or stable) on the first day of this eight day
festival.

See Leviticus 23 for information on these Fall Feasts. You are strongly encouraged to celebrate them this year!

See you next time!
Shalom, Sharaka
*********************************************

Bible Translations

from my Yeshiva Class – November 22, 1997

“For the past several centuries English-speaking peoples have cherished the King James Version of the Bible. This love does not come from a desire to preserve a tradition for tradition’s sake. Rather, the opposite is true: the King James Version, hereafter called “the KJV” has become a tradition because it is loved for its scholarship, literacy and devotional quality.” This paragraph was taken from the forward of my Bible and I believe it is true. I would like to present a short history of the KJV and you will learn why it is so loved.

In the summer of 1603, when King James was on his way to London to receive the English crown, he was presented with a petition of grievances by clergy holding Puritan convictions. A conference was called for and held for three days, January 14 – 16, 1604. It was held to determine “things pretended to be amiss in the church” and was known as the Hampton Court Conference. It was decided there that a new translation of the Bible be undertaken. Fifty-four of the best biblical scholars in Great Britain were brought together for this great task, divided into six groups. It took seven years to complete.

The result of this action was an English translation which bore the title, “ The Holy Bible, Conteyning the Old Testament, and the New, Newly Translated out of the Originall tongues: & with the former translations diligently compared and revised: by his Majesties speciall Comandement. Appointed to be read in Churches. Imprinted in London by Robert Barker, Printer to the Kings most excellent Majestie. Anno Dom. 1611”

The KJV Bible we now read is the fifth major revision of this work. Others being prepared in 1629, 1638, 1762 and 1769. There have since been many translations from many different doctrinal groups – each biased in their own way. Rev. D.A. Waite, B.A., M.A., Th.D, Ph.D and Director of “The Bible for Today” since 1971, has written over 700 other studies, booklets, cassettes and videos on this and other topics. He feels so strongly about this that he has made the defense of the KJV his life’s work. One of his books, a 306 page work called, “Defending the King James Bible” is quoted often in this page. It is his hope that we will examine what we find here, keep an open mind and encourage others to do the same. This is also my hope – with the addition of letting the Holy Spirit lead us into the truth of this matter. If we are not to “omit, add or change” God’s word how do we deal with the subject of all these different translations? We can only believe, God in His infinite wisdom, has allowed the core of truth to be preserved and handed down to us in our day.

To keep what could be a long boring discourse on this subject, I have tried to pare it down to these two pages with the hope that you (and I) will gain a little knowledge and a desire to find out more. Some will – some won’t. But that’s just the way it is! Now, to the meat of the matter:

The Old Testament -

The Hebrew Bible has come down to us through the scrupulous care of the scribes, (soferim) who copied the original text. We learned about how they entered the mikveh before each day’s work, used a special pen for writing only the name of God, etc. etc. Each line was counted, each letter was counted. The utmost care was taken to preserve the EXACT word of God. By the sixth century AD the scribes were succeeded by a group called the Masoretes, (coming from the Hebrew word masor, meaning traditional in Hebrew) who continued to preserve the sacred scriptures for another 500 years in a form known as the Masoretic Text.

Another group of some 70 scholars translated the Scriptures into Greek as the common language of the day was Greek and all the Jews spoke it fluently. This became known as the Septuagint (meaning 70). Now we have our precious Hebrew put into Greek – the bad guys who tried to turn Israel into a Greek colony and forbade the use of the Hebrew tongue as in Antiachus Epiphanes! How will this help us understand God’s word better? It would seem the Masoretic Text would be the best. Another translation is the Biblia Hebraica, 1937 edition. There are over 20,000 changes from the Masoretic Text in this translation. How can this be? What happened to “count the words and the letters” etc? What happened to “not one jot or tittle” shall be changed? Which translations of the Bible can we believe?

Let the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) be your guide!

See you next time!
Shalom, Sharaka
**************************************

Index for September

1 – September Index
2 – How to Use This Website
6 – Reverence, how to act in the Congregation
7 – Born to Die, about the Red Heifer
19 – The Month of Elul, – it’s about Teshuvah (repentance)
21 – Bible Translations, which Bible says what and why
24 – Sukkot, about the Feast of Tabernacles

HOW TO USE THIS WEBSITE

1. Choose the subject you wish to read about from the column on the right or

2. simply read the article which appears on the left and keep scrolling down to read other articles of that month. Each month has it’s own site.

3. Click on a month you wish to read. An index for that month should appear and the articles will follow as you scroll down.

Enjoy! May you be blessed.

Shalom, Sharaka
*********************************************************

Born to Die

The Red Heifer:
Numbers 19 says: “And the Lord spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying,”………speak unto the Children of Israel that they bring thee a red heifer without spot, wherein there is no blemish, and upon which never came yoke ….. ad one shall slay her…and….take of her blood with his finger and sprinkle of her blood before the tabernacle of the Congregation seven times and one shall burn the heifer in his sight. ….. And the priest shall take cedar wood and hyssop and scarlet and cast it into the midst of the burning of the heifer. (Read the whole chapter)

The ashes were to be mixed with water and used in a ceremony to cleanse the Temple area before construction can begin. Since 70 AD no flawless red heifer has been born in Israel. G-d’s timing is perfect! In 1996, a red heifer was born at Kfar Hassidim, a youth kibbutz near Haifa, to a black and white mother and a light brown father. This is not the usual combination to produce the necessary red. This birth was hailed as a miracle by the religious Jews who want to start rebuilding the Temple. It takes three years before such a heifer can be slaughtered. This news was not well received by the Muslims or the secular Jews, which make up about 80% of Israel. The little calf was named “Melody” and had all our hopes up.
All interested parties had high hopes! TV documentaries were made, busloads of people came to see her.

The red heifer must have no more than 3 white hairs on her body – otherwise she is disqualified.

Alas, the disqualifying white hairs were found, all hopes were dashed – gloom and doom prevailed! How easy it would have been for an enemy to have taken a single shot and killed the red heifer! If she was born to my stock, I would never have told a soul. Some times it’s better to be silent about such matters.

Well, I guess you know we are still waiting for a “perfect” red heifer to be born. Maybe she has, and we haven‘t been told!

The truth is that the Temple WILL be built, Y’shua WILL come again and the enemies of our country WILL strike again. We must be on the alert.

When Katrina hit, many people had been warned but they chose not to leave the country. They had heard this story all before – many times. Let’s us as Believers not be so foolish. G-d is warning us to be ready! What have YOU done to accomplish that? Listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit and begin to get ready if you haven’t already done so! As important as a red heifer is, there are other things so much more important. Don’t be left unprepared. As my pastor often says, “Find out what G-d wants you to do and then DO IT!” It’s as simple as that.

Go for it – I hear the winds beginning to howl!

See you next time!
Shalom, Sharaka
*********************************************

Reverence

What is reverence?
Mr. Webster, as usual, says it best!

1. A feeling or attitude of deep respect, tinged with awe.
2. The outward manifestation of this feeling.
3. To regard or treat with honor, to stand in awe, to fear or respect.

Worship, then, which is associated with an exalted religious feeling of love, refers not only to the feeling itself, but to the action which results from it. In other words, reverence is not only what you feel but what you do – it’s an action. G-d is the only one who deserves true reverence. He, and He alone, the Creator and King of the universe, is worthy of such a feeling and such an action. He alone is holy.

How can we reverence our G-d? The simple manners of yesterday have almost disappeared. We don’t seem to be teaching our children to be respectful these days, especially in a house of worship. In the early days of America, ushers would walk the aisles carrying a long stick with a knob on the end of it. If anyone fell asleep or even looked like they were getting out of line, they got a bop on the head! (Can’t you just hear the ACLU?) We don’t need to go that far but could we just get back to the common courtesy many of us seem to have lost?

Here are some ways we can show we have reverence for G-d:
When you first take your seat for a service, also take a brief moment to pay respect to the Lord.
Ask Him to clear your mind of the cares of the day and open your heart to the message He has for you.
Children can learn to sit quietly with their parents.
We can use the restrooms before and after the service, so there is not the constant wandering in and out that is so distracting to the pastor and the Congregation.
Find a seat and stay in it!

No one ever needs to run inside the building – period!
Whispering should be kept to a minimum.
Gentlemen ALWAYS remove their street hats before entering a place of worship, unless it is a kippah which is a different story.

Shall we get back to a healthy reverence for G-d? Think of other ways to do that and G-d will surely bless us for it.

See you next time!
Shalom, Sharaka
**********************************************************

WordPress Themes