Monday, July 16, 2018

Your Daily Pesuk July 16, 2018

 Devarim /  דברים

  • Mon, 16 July 2018 = 4th of Av, 5778
  • ד׳ בְּאָב תשע״ח

Deuteronomy 1:11-21 (11 p'sukim)

Deuteronomy 1:11-21 Tree of Life Version (TLV)
11 “‘May Adonai, God of your fathers, increase you a thousand times as many as you are, and may He bless you just as He has promised you! 12 How can I bear your load and burden and bickering by myself? 13 Choose for yourselves wise and discerning men, well known to your tribes, and I will appoint them as your heads.’

14 “You answered me and said: ‘The thing you have said to do is good.’ 15 So I took the heads of your tribes, men who were wise and well known, and appointed them as heads over you—leaders of thousands, leaders of hundreds, leaders of fifties, leaders of tens, and officials for your tribes.

16 “I commanded your judges at that time saying: ‘Hear cases between your brothers, and judge fairly between a man and his brother or the outsider with him. 17 You must not show partiality in judgment—you must hear the small and the great alike. Fear no man, for the judgment is God’s. The case that is too hard for you, you shall bring to me and I will hear it.’

18 “I commanded you at that time everything you should do.

19 “Then we journeyed from Horeb and went through all that great and terrible wilderness that you saw on the way to the hill country of the Amorites, as Adonai our God commanded us. Then we came to Kadesh-barnea. 20 I said to you: ‘You have come to the hill country of the Amorites, which Adonai our God is giving to us. 21 See, Adonai your God has set the land before you—go up, take possession, as Adonai God of your fathers has promised you. Do not be afraid or discouraged.’

11 יְהוָ֞ה אֱלֹהֵ֣י אֲבֽוֹתֵכֶ֗ם יֹסֵ֧ף עֲלֵיכֶ֛ם כָּכֶ֖ם אֶ֣לֶף פְּעָמִ֑ים וִיבָרֵ֣ךְ אֶתְכֶ֔ם כַּאֲשֶׁ֖ר דִּבֶּ֥ר לָכֶֽם׃

12 אֵיכָ֥ה אֶשָּׂ֖א לְבַדִּ֑י טָרְחֲכֶ֥ם וּמַֽשַּׂאֲכֶ֖ם וְרִֽיבְכֶֽם׃

13 הָב֣וּ לָ֠כֶם אֲנָשִׁ֨ים חֲכָמִ֧ים וּנְבֹנִ֛ים וִידֻעִ֖ים לְשִׁבְטֵיכֶ֑ם וַאֲשִׂימֵ֖ם בְּרָאשֵׁיכֶֽם׃

14 וַֽתַּעֲנ֖וּ אֹתִ֑י וַתֹּ֣אמְר֔וּ טֽוֹב־הַדָּבָ֥ר אֲשֶׁר־דִּבַּ֖רְתָּ לַעֲשֽׂוֹת׃

15 וָאֶקַּ֞ח אֶת־רָאשֵׁ֣י שִׁבְטֵיכֶ֗ם אֲנָשִׁ֤ים חֲכָמִים֙ וִֽידֻעִ֔ים וָאֶתֵּ֥ן אֹתָ֛ם רָאשִׁ֖ים עֲלֵיכֶ֑ם שָׂרֵ֨י אֲלָפִ֜ים וְשָׂרֵ֣י מֵא֗וֹת וְשָׂרֵ֤י חֲמִשִּׁים֙ וְשָׂרֵ֣י עֲשָׂרֹ֔ת וְשֹׁטְרִ֖ים לְשִׁבְטֵיכֶֽם׃

16 וָאֲצַוֶּה֙ אֶת־שֹׁ֣פְטֵיכֶ֔ם בָּעֵ֥ת הַהִ֖וא לֵאמֹ֑ר שָׁמֹ֤עַ בֵּין־אֲחֵיכֶם֙ וּשְׁפַטְתֶּ֣ם צֶ֔דֶק בֵּֽין־אִ֥ישׁ וּבֵין־אָחִ֖יו וּבֵ֥ין גֵּרֽוֹ׃

17 לֹֽא־תַכִּ֨ירוּ פָנִ֜ים בַּמִּשְׁפָּ֗ט כַּקָּטֹ֤ן כַּגָּדֹל֙ תִּשְׁמָע֔וּן לֹ֤א תָג֙וּרוּ֙ מִפְּנֵי־אִ֔ישׁ כִּ֥י הַמִּשְׁפָּ֖ט לֵאלֹהִ֣ים ה֑וּא וְהַדָּבָר֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר יִקְשֶׁ֣ה מִכֶּ֔ם תַּקְרִב֥וּן אֵלַ֖י וּשְׁמַעְתִּֽיו׃

18 וָאֲצַוֶּ֥ה אֶתְכֶ֖ם בָּעֵ֣ת הַהִ֑וא אֵ֥ת כָּל־הַדְּבָרִ֖ים אֲשֶׁ֥ר תַּעֲשֽׂוּן׃

19 וַנִּסַּ֣ע מֵחֹרֵ֗ב וַנֵּ֡לֶךְ אֵ֣ת כָּל־הַמִּדְבָּ֣ר הַגָּדוֹל֩ וְהַנּוֹרָ֨א הַה֜וּא אֲשֶׁ֣ר רְאִיתֶ֗ם דֶּ֚רֶךְ הַ֣ר הָֽאֱמֹרִ֔י כַּאֲשֶׁ֥ר צִוָּ֛ה יְהוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֵ֖ינוּ אֹתָ֑נוּ וַנָּבֹ֕א עַ֖ד קָדֵ֥שׁ בַּרְנֵֽעַ׃

20 וָאֹמַ֖ר אֲלֵכֶ֑ם בָּאתֶם֙ עַד־הַ֣ר הָאֱמֹרִ֔י אֲשֶׁר־יְהוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֵ֖ינוּ נֹתֵ֥ן לָֽנוּ׃

21 רְ֠אֵה נָתַ֨ן יְהוָ֧ה אֱלֹהֶ֛יךָ לְפָנֶ֖יךָ אֶת־הָאָ֑רֶץ עֲלֵ֣ה רֵ֗שׁ כַּאֲשֶׁר֩ דִּבֶּ֨ר יְהוָ֜ה אֱלֹהֵ֤י אֲבֹתֶ֙יךָ֙ לָ֔ךְ אַל־תִּירָ֖א וְאַל־תֵּחָֽת׃

Our Pesukim continue with a recounting of the last 40 years and Moshe summarizes the events that lead up to the rebellion in the midbar (wilderness) as a result of the 10 spies.  In Pesuk 20 & 21 we see the encouraging words that Moshe spoke to the B'nei Yisrael.  "Adonai has set the Land before you!"... "Go up and take possession of it!"...

These words should've been received with faith after all that these people had seen.  The sad reality is that this event took place only 3 days journey from Mitzrayim (Egypt).

Yes, this is the sad truth.  What originally was only a 3 day journey, God had set the table for His people simply go in and inherit the Promised Land - He promised to deliver the Land into their hands, they had nothing to fear or be worried about; and the last commend made in our pesukim for today was: "Do not be afraid or discouraged".

It could not have been more easy then this.  Sadly though, what was originally meant to be only a 3 day journey, turned into a 40 year wandering, with a whole generation lost before they would be allowed to return back.

What does this say to us today?  When God makes a promise, we must not forget it, nor that He is a keeper of His promises no matter how long they take to appear to us!

Shimon Kefa reminds us: "3 First of all, understand that in the last days, scoffers will come scoffing, following after their own desires 4 and saying, “Where is this promise of His coming? Ever since the fathers died, everything goes on just as it has from the beginning of creation.”  2 Peter 3:3-4

Our promises are coming, our promises spoken by the prophets and the shaliachim in both תַּנַ"ךְ‬ Tanakh and in the

"8 But don’t forget this one thing, loved ones, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like one day.  9 The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some consider slowness. Rather, He is being patient toward you—not wanting anyone to perish, but for all to come to repentance." 2 Peter 3:8-9

The God of Israel is a promise-keeper - HE ALWAYS KEEPS HIS PROMISES.  All we need to do is always remember that His promises in Messiah Yeshua are YES & Amen!  (2 Corinthians 1:20)

As the ghost-writer of the book of Hebrews said:

 - וְחֶפְצֵנוּ שֶׁכָּל־אֶחָד מִכֶּם יִשְׁקֹד לִהְיוֹת נָכוֹן לִבּוֹ בַּתִּקְוָה עַד־הַקֵּץ׃ שֶׁלּא תֵּעָצֵלוּ כִּי אִם־תֵּלְכוּ בְּעִקְּבוֹת יוֹרְשֵׁי הַהַבְטָחוֹת בֶּאֱמוּנָה וְאֹרֶךְ נָפֶשׁ׃

Hebrews 6:11 But we long for each of you to show the same eagerness for the certainty of hope to the very end— 12 so you will not be sluggish, but imitators of those inheriting the promises through trust and perseverance.

Let us inherit all our promises through this trust and perseverance.  


Your Daily Pesuk July 15, 2018

 Devarim /  דברים

  • Sun, 15 July 2018 = 3rd of Av, 5778
  • ג׳ בְּאָב תשע״ח

Deuteronomy  1:1-10 (10 p'sukim)

Parashat D’varim
Devarim: The Words that Moses Spoke
1 These are the words that Moses spoke to all Israel across the Jordan—in the wilderness, in the Arabah opposite Suph, between Paran and Tophel, Laban, Hazeroth and Di-Zahab. 2 It is eleven days’ journey from Horeb by way of Mount Seir to Kadesh-barnea.

3 Now Moses spoke to Bnei-Yisrael, according to all Adonai had commanded him for them—in the fortieth year, in the eleventh month, on the first day of the month, 4 after he had struck down Sihon king of the Amorites who lived in Heshbon, and Og king of the Bashan who lived in Ashtaroth and Edrei.

5 Across the Jordan in the land of Moab, Moses began to explain this Torah saying, 6 “Adonai our God spoke to us at Horeb saying: ‘You have stayed long enough at this mountain. 7 Turn, journey on, and enter the hill country of the Amorites and all their neighbors, in the Arabah, the hill country, the lowland, the Negev, and by the seashore—the land of the Canaanites and the Lebanon as far as the great river, the Euphrates. 8 See, I have set the land before you. Enter and possess the land that Adonai swore to your fathers—to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob—to give to them and to their descendants after them.’

Bad Report and Poor Response
9 “I spoke to you at that time saying: ‘I am not able to bear the burden of you by myself. 10 Adonai your God has multiplied you—and here you are today, like the stars of the heavens in number.

1 אֵ֣לֶּה הַדְּבָרִ֗ים אֲשֶׁ֨ר דִּבֶּ֤ר מֹשֶׁה֙ אֶל־כָּל־יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל בְּעֵ֖בֶר הַיַּרְדֵּ֑ן בַּמִּדְבָּ֡ר בָּֽעֲרָבָה֩ מ֨וֹל ס֜וּף בֵּֽין־פָּארָ֧ן וּבֵֽין־תֹּ֛פֶל וְלָבָ֥ן וַחֲצֵרֹ֖ת וְדִ֥י זָהָֽב׃

2 אַחַ֨ד עָשָׂ֥ר יוֹם֙ מֵֽחֹרֵ֔ב דֶּ֖רֶךְ הַר־שֵׂעִ֑יר עַ֖ד קָדֵ֥שׁ בַּרְנֵֽעַ׃

3 וַיְהִי֙ בְּאַרְבָּעִ֣ים שָׁנָ֔ה בְּעַשְׁתֵּֽי־עָשָׂ֥ר חֹ֖דֶשׁ בְּאֶחָ֣ד לַחֹ֑דֶשׁ דִּבֶּ֤ר מֹשֶׁה֙ אֶל־בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל כְּ֠כֹל אֲשֶׁ֨ר צִוָּ֧ה יְהוָ֛ה אֹת֖וֹ אֲלֵהֶֽם׃

4 אַחֲרֵ֣י הַכֹּת֗וֹ אֵ֚ת סִיחֹן֙ מֶ֣לֶךְ הָֽאֱמֹרִ֔י אֲשֶׁ֥ר יוֹשֵׁ֖ב בְּחֶשְׁבּ֑וֹן וְאֵ֗ת ע֚וֹג מֶ֣לֶךְ הַבָּשָׁ֔ן אֲשֶׁר־יוֹשֵׁ֥ב בְּעַשְׁתָּרֹ֖ת בְּאֶדְרֶֽעִי׃

5 בְּעֵ֥בֶר הַיַּרְדֵּ֖ן בְּאֶ֣רֶץ מוֹאָ֑ב הוֹאִ֣יל מֹשֶׁ֔ה בֵּאֵ֛ר אֶת־הַתּוֹרָ֥ה הַזֹּ֖את לֵאמֹֽר׃

6 יְהוָ֧ה אֱלֹהֵ֛ינוּ דִּבֶּ֥ר אֵלֵ֖ינוּ בְּחֹרֵ֣ב לֵאמֹ֑ר רַב־לָכֶ֥ם שֶׁ֖בֶת בָּהָ֥ר הַזֶּֽה׃

7 פְּנ֣וּ׀ וּסְע֣וּ לָכֶ֗ם וּבֹ֨אוּ הַ֥ר הָֽאֱמֹרִי֮ וְאֶל־כָּל־שְׁכֵנָיו֒ בָּעֲרָבָ֥ה בָהָ֛ר וּבַשְּׁפֵלָ֥ה וּבַנֶּ֖גֶב וּבְח֣וֹף הַיָּ֑ם אֶ֤רֶץ הַֽכְּנַעֲנִי֙ וְהַלְּבָנ֔וֹן עַד־הַנָּהָ֥ר הַגָּדֹ֖ל נְהַר־פְּרָֽת׃

8 רְאֵ֛ה נָתַ֥תִּי לִפְנֵיכֶ֖ם אֶת־הָאָ֑רֶץ בֹּ֚אוּ וּרְשׁ֣וּ אֶת־הָאָ֔רֶץ אֲשֶׁ֣ר נִשְׁבַּ֣ע יְ֠הוָה לַאֲבֹ֨תֵיכֶ֜ם לְאַבְרָהָ֨ם לְיִצְחָ֤ק וּֽלְיַעֲקֹב֙ לָתֵ֣ת לָהֶ֔ם וּלְזַרְעָ֖ם אַחֲרֵיהֶֽם׃

9 וָאֹמַ֣ר אֲלֵכֶ֔ם בָּעֵ֥ת הַהִ֖וא לֵאמֹ֑ר לֹא־אוּכַ֥ל לְבַדִּ֖י שְׂאֵ֥ת אֶתְכֶֽם׃

10 יְהוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֵיכֶ֖ם הִרְבָּ֣ה אֶתְכֶ֑ם וְהִנְּכֶ֣ם הַיּ֔וֹם כְּכוֹכְבֵ֥י הַשָּׁמַ֖יִם לָרֹֽב׃

We begin a new week a new Parasha, as well as a new Sefer HaTorah (Book of the Torah).  Deuteronomy in Hebrew is Devarim דְּבָרִ֗ים which simply means "Words"; it is the Book of Words.  Deutero in Latin or Deuteros in Greek both mean "Second".  The Book of Words was named "Second" Law because it is mostly a repetition of the entire Torah.  A second account if you will, giving a Torah itself a "Second" Witness.   However, it must be noted that this Book of the Torah does include new laws that have previously not been introduced by the Torah!  So it is a "Second"...and "then some"...

Pesuk 8 really stands out to me - "Enter and possess the land that Adonai swore to your fathers—to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob—to give to them and to their descendants after them.’"

God wanted very much for B'nei Yisrael to inherit the Land.  It was not His perfect will for them to linger in the wilderness.  That was due to their sin.  God wants the best for Israel, and at the perfect time, the fullness of time, when the decree had come to an end; Hashem immediately said... "Enough" רַב! "RAV"!

Like a bridegroom sick of waiting for his wedding's now time, I'm done waiting... Enough now...let's get to it!

God doesn't want us lingering in our sin and enduring never-ending circles of wandering.  He wants us to inherit all that He has for us.  But to do that we must remove the barriers to the blessing that He has for us.  

Like a father who says to his child.  I have a great surprise for you, I want to give it to you, but you are not behaving.  Your room is a mess and you've been sassing to your mother.  Your going in "Time Out", and as soon as you can learn how to behave, and get your act together; then I will give you, your present!

God is waiting for us to get our act together.  Let's get out of the "Time Out"...Let's get serious about Him, our quiet time, our trust in Him, seeking His face, making Him our refuge (instead of everything else), calling on His Name, for help to change us.  Repenting from our sin and allowing the Ruach Hakodesh to transform our minds and hearts.  Only then can we be changed.  As soon as we do, the Lord will bring us into our inheritance.

As we approach Tisha B'Av this coming weekend, and the six weeks of comfort following in preparation for the High Holy Days, let's set our faces to prayer and fasting, repenting and getting right with God and moving into our inheritance!


Saturday, July 14, 2018

Your Daily Pesuk Shabbat, July 14, 2018

 Matot-Masei /  מטות־מסעי

  • Sat, 14 July 2018 = 2nd of Av, 5778
  • ב׳ בְּאָב תשע״ח
maf: 36:11-13 (3 p'sukim)

The most significant pesuk in our final reading for this week would no doubt be:

28 כִּ֣י בְעִ֤יר מִקְלָטוֹ֙ יֵשֵׁ֔ב עַד־מ֖וֹת הַכֹּהֵ֣ן הַגָּדֹ֑ל וְאַחֲרֵ֥י מוֹת֙ הַכֹּהֵ֣ן הַגָּדֹ֔ל יָשׁוּב֙ הָרֹצֵ֔חַ אֶל־אֶ֖רֶץ אֲחֻזָּתֽוֹ׃

28 The manslayer must stay within the limits of his city of refuge until the kohen gadol dies, and after the death of the kohen gadol, the manslayer may return to his property.

As I have taught many times in the past and repeated countless times: The God of Israel is a God of Perfect Justice/Judgement - tempered with Perfect Mercy/Grace.  There is no one like Him, and He is righteous and perfect when He judges and when He pardons.

Perhaps this is why Franz Delitzsch is one of my favorite scholars, we seem to agree, on this pesuk he says:

"In these regulations “all the rigour of the divine justice is manifested in the most beautiful concord with His compassionate mercy. Through the destruction of life, even when not wilful, human blood had been shed, and demanded expiation. Yet this expiation did not consist in the death of the offender himself, because he had not sinned wilfully.” Hence an asylum was provided for him in the free city, to which he might escape, and where he would lie concealed. This sojourn in the free city was not to be regarded as banishment, although separation from house, home, and family was certainly a punishment; but it was a concealment under “the protection of the mercy of God, which opened places of escape in the cities of refuge from the carnal ardour of the avenger of blood, where the slayer remained concealed until his sin was expiated by the death of the high priest.” For the fact, that the death of the high priest was hereby regarded as expiatory, as many of the Rabbins, fathers, and earlier commentators maintain (see my Comm. on Joshua, p. 448), is unmistakeably evident from the addition of the clause, “who has been anointed with the holy oil,” which would appear unmeaning and superfluous on any other view. This clause points to the inward connection between the return of the slayer and the death of the high priest. “The anointing with the holy oil was a symbol of the communication of the Holy Spirit, by which the high priest was empowered to act as mediator and representative of the nation before God, so that he alone could carry out the yearly and general expiation for the whole nation, on the great day of atonement. But as his life and work acquired a representative signification through this anointing with the Holy Spirit, his death might also be regarded as a death for the sins of the people, by virtue of the Holy Spirit imparted to him, through which the unintentional manslayer received the benefits of the propitiation for his sin before God, so that he could return cleansed to his native town, without further exposure to the vengeance of the avenger of blood” (Comm. on Joshua, p. 448). But inasmuch as, according to this view, the death of the high priest had the same result in a certain sense, in relation to his time of office, as his function on the day of atonement had had every year, “the death of the earthly high priest became thereby a type of that of the heavenly One, who, through the eternal (holy) Spirit, offered Himself without spot to God, that we might be redeemed from our transgressions, and receive the promised eternal inheritance (Hebrews 9:14-15). Just as the blood of Messiah wrought out eternal redemption, only because through the eternal Spirit He offered Himself without spot to God, so the death of the high priest of the Old Testament secured the complete deliverance of the manslayer form his sin, only because he had been anointed with the holy oil, the symbol of the Holy Spirit.

The reference here is:

Hebrews 9:14-15 - אַף כִּי־דַם הַמָּשִׁיחַ אֲשֶׁר־הִקְרִיב אֶת־עַצְמוֹ לֵאלֹהִים בְּרוּחַ נִצְחִי וּבְלִי־מוּם יְטַהֵר לִבְּכֶם מִמַַּעֲשֵׂי מָוֶת לַעֲבֹד אֶת־אֱלֹהִים חַיִּים׃[15] וּבַעֲבוּר זֹאת הוּא מְתַַוֵךְ לִבְרִית חֲדָשָׁה לְמַעַן אֲשֶׁר־יִירְשׁוּ הַמְקֹרָאִים אֶת־הַבְטָחַת נַחֲלַת עוֹלָם אַחֲרֵי אֲשֶׁר־מֵת לִפְדוֹת מִן־הַפְּשָׁעִים אֲשֶׁר נַעֲשׂוּ בִּימֵי הַבְּרִית הָרִאשׁוֹנָה׃

Hebrews 9:14-15 Tree of Life Version (TLV)
14 how much more will the blood of Messiah—who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God—cleanse our conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

15 For this reason He is the mediator of a new covenant, in order that those called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—since a death has taken place that redeems them from violations under the first covenant.

All of Torah points us to the character and heart and purpose of Messiah.  Yeshua is the great Cohen Gadol who's death has set us all free.

Shabbat Shalom

R' Eric 

Friday, July 13, 2018

Your Daily Pesuk July 13, 2018 (Rosh Chodesh 1st of Av, 5778)

 Matot-Masei /  מטות־מסעי

  • Fri, 13 July 2018 = 1st of Av, 5778
  • א׳ בְּאָב תשע״ח

Rosh Chodesh Av / ראש חודש אב

Numbers 34:16-35:8 (22 p'sukim)

Numbers 34:16-35:8 Tree of Life Version (TLV)
16 Adonai spoke to Moses saying, 17 “These are the names of the men who will allot the land to you: Eleazar the kohen and Joshua son of Nun. 18 Also you are to select one prince from each tribe to allot the land. 19 These are their names: from the tribe of Judah, Caleb son of Jephunneh. 20 From the tribe of the sons of Simeon, Shemuel son of Ammihud. 21 From the tribe of Benjamin, Elidad son of Chislon. 22 From the tribe of the sons of Dan, the prince is Bukki son of Jogli. 23 From the sons of Joseph, from the tribe of the sons of Manasseh, the prince is to be Hanniel son of Ephod. 24 The prince from the tribe of the sons of Ephraim is to be Kemuel son of Shiphtan.

25 “The prince from the tribe of the sons of Zebulun is Elizaphan son of Parnach. 26 The prince from the tribe of the sons of Issachar is Paltiel son of Azzan. 27 The prince from the tribe of the sons of Asher is Ahihud son of Shelomi. 28 The prince from the tribe of the sons of Naphtali is Pedahel son of Ammihud.” 29 These were those Adonai commanded to apportion to Bnei-Yisrael the land of Canaan.

Cities for the Levites
35 Adonai spoke to Moses in the plains of Moab by the Jordan at Jericho saying, 2 “Command Bnei-Yisrael to give to the Levites from the inheritance of their possessions cities in which to live. They are also to give the Levites pasturelands around the cities. 3 Thus they will have cities to live in and pastures for their cattle, flocks and all their livestock. 4 The pastures you give the Levites will extend out from the walls around the cities for 1,000 cubits. 5 You are to measure outside the cities 2,000 cubits on the east side, 2,000 cubits on the south side, on the west side 2,000 cubits, and on the north side 2,000 cubits. These are to be pasturelands for the cities.

6 “Six of the cities you give the Levites are to be cities of refuge, to which anyone who kills anyone may flee. Besides these, you are to give the Levites 42 more cities. 7 In all, you are to give the Levites 48 cities with their pastures. 8 The cities that you are to give to the Levites from the possession of Bnei-Yisrael should be proportionate to the inheritance of each tribe—give many from the one who has many and few from the one who has few.”

16 וַיְדַבֵּ֥ר יְהוָ֖ה אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֥ה לֵּאמֹֽר׃

17 אֵ֚לֶּה שְׁמ֣וֹת הָֽאֲנָשִׁ֔ים אֲשֶׁר־יִנְחֲל֥וּ לָכֶ֖ם אֶת־הָאָ֑רֶץ אֶלְעָזָר֙ הַכֹּהֵ֔ן וִיהוֹשֻׁ֖עַ בִּן־נֽוּן׃

18 וְנָשִׂ֥יא אֶחָ֛ד נָשִׂ֥יא אֶחָ֖ד מִמַּטֶּ֑ה תִּקְח֖וּ לִנְחֹ֥ל אֶת־הָאָֽרֶץ׃

19 וְאֵ֖לֶּה שְׁמ֣וֹת הָאֲנָשִׁ֑ים לְמַטֵּ֣ה יְהוּדָ֔ה כָּלֵ֖ב בֶּן־יְפֻנֶּֽה׃

20 וּלְמַטֵּה֙ בְּנֵ֣י שִׁמְע֔וֹן שְׁמוּאֵ֖ל בֶּן־עַמִּיהֽוּד׃

21 לְמַטֵּ֣ה בִנְיָמִ֔ן אֱלִידָ֖ד בֶּן־כִּסְלֽוֹן׃

22 וּלְמַטֵּ֥ה בְנֵי־דָ֖ן נָשִׂ֑יא בֻּקִּ֖י בֶּן־יָגְלִֽי׃

23 לִבְנֵ֣י יוֹסֵ֔ף לְמַטֵּ֥ה בְנֵֽי־מְנַשֶּׁ֖ה נָשִׂ֑יא חַנִּיאֵ֖ל בֶּן־אֵפֹֽד׃

24 וּלְמַטֵּ֥ה בְנֵֽי־אֶפְרַ֖יִם נָשִׂ֑יא קְמוּאֵ֖ל בֶּן־שִׁפְטָֽן׃

25 וּלְמַטֵּ֥ה בְנֵֽי־זְבוּלֻ֖ן נָשִׂ֑יא אֱלִיצָפָ֖ן בֶּן־פַּרְנָֽךְ׃

26 וּלְמַטֵּ֥ה בְנֵֽי־יִשָׂשכָ֖ר נָשִׂ֑יא פַּלְטִיאֵ֖ל בֶּן־עַזָּֽן׃

27 וּלְמַטֵּ֥ה בְנֵי־אָשֵׁ֖ר נָשִׂ֑יא אֲחִיה֖וּד בֶּן־שְׁלֹמִֽי׃

28 וּלְמַטֵּ֥ה בְנֵֽי־נַפְתָּלִ֖י נָשִׂ֑יא פְּדַהְאֵ֖ל בֶּן־עַמִּיהֽוּד׃

29 אֵ֕לֶּה אֲשֶׁ֖ר צִוָּ֣ה יְהוָ֑ה לְנַחֵ֥ל אֶת־בְּנֵֽי־יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל בְּאֶ֥רֶץ כְּנָֽעַן׃ פ

35 וַיְדַבֵּ֧ר יְהוָ֛ה אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֖ה בְּעַֽרְבֹ֣ת מוֹאָ֑ב עַל־יַרְדֵּ֥ן יְרֵח֖וֹ לֵאמֹֽר׃

2 צַו֮ אֶת־בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵל֒ וְנָתְנ֣וּ לַלְוִיִּ֗ם מִֽנַּחֲלַ֛ת אֲחֻזָּתָ֖ם עָרִ֣ים לָשָׁ֑בֶת וּמִגְרָ֗שׁ לֶֽעָרִים֙ סְבִיבֹ֣תֵיהֶ֔ם תִּתְּנ֖וּ לַלְוִיִּֽם׃

3 וְהָי֧וּ הֶֽעָרִ֛ים לָהֶ֖ם לָשָׁ֑בֶת וּמִגְרְשֵׁיהֶ֗ם יִהְי֤וּ לִבְהֶמְתָּם֙ וְלִרְכֻשָׁ֔ם וּלְכֹ֖ל חַיָּתָֽם׃

4 וּמִגְרְשֵׁי֙ הֶֽעָרִ֔ים אֲשֶׁ֥ר תִּתְּנ֖וּ לַלְוִיִּ֑ם מִקִּ֤יר הָעִיר֙ וָח֔וּצָה אֶ֥לֶף אַמָּ֖ה סָבִֽיב׃

5 וּמַדֹּתֶ֞ם מִח֣וּץ לָעִ֗יר אֶת־פְּאַת־קֵ֣דְמָה אַלְפַּ֪יִם בָּֽאַמָּ֟ה וְאֶת־פְּאַת־נֶגֶב֩ אַלְפַּ֨יִם בָּאַמָּ֜ה וְאֶת־פְּאַת־יָ֣ם׀ אַלְפַּ֣יִם בָּֽאַמָּ֗ה וְאֵ֨ת פְּאַ֥ת צָפ֛וֹן אַלְפַּ֥יִם בָּאַמָּ֖ה וְהָעִ֣יר בַּתָּ֑וֶךְ זֶ֚ה יִהְיֶ֣ה לָהֶ֔ם מִגְרְשֵׁ֖י הֶעָרִֽים׃

6 וְאֵ֣ת הֶֽעָרִ֗ים אֲשֶׁ֤ר תִּתְּנוּ֙ לַלְוִיִּ֔ם אֵ֚ת שֵׁשׁ־עָרֵ֣י הַמִּקְלָ֔ט אֲשֶׁ֣ר תִּתְּנ֔וּ לָנֻ֥ס שָׁ֖מָּה הָרֹצֵ֑חַ וַעֲלֵיהֶ֣ם תִּתְּנ֔וּ אַרְבָּעִ֥ים וּשְׁתַּ֖יִם עִֽיר׃

7 כָּל־הֶעָרִ֗ים אֲשֶׁ֤ר תִּתְּנוּ֙ לַלְוִיִּ֔ם אַרְבָּעִ֥ים וּשְׁמֹנֶ֖ה עִ֑יר אֶתְהֶ֖ן וְאֶת־מִגְרְשֵׁיהֶֽן׃

8 וְהֶֽעָרִ֗ים אֲשֶׁ֤ר תִּתְּנוּ֙ מֵאֲחֻזַּ֣ת בְּנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל מֵאֵ֤ת הָרַב֙ תַּרְבּ֔וּ וּמֵאֵ֥ת הַמְעַ֖ט תַּמְעִ֑יטוּ אִ֗ישׁ כְּפִ֤י נַחֲלָתוֹ֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר יִנְחָ֔לוּ יִתֵּ֥ן מֵעָרָ֖יו לַלְוִיִּֽם׃ פ

Chodesh Tov!  Today's pesukim are also very interesting.  At first glance it may seem uneventful, but if you dig down from the surface a little there is a big lesson to be learned; namely about how spiritual leadership should be established in Klal Yisrael (Congregation), and in the Malkut Hashamayim (Kingdom of Heaven).

There are several different types of systems of ecclesiastical government:
  • Episcopal polity  (run by "Apostles" or "Bishops"/Rabbis)
  • Hierarchical polity (family run or Presidents/Overseers)
  • Connexional polity (leadership from the bottom up using "circuits" of small groups)
  • Presbyterian polity  (hierarchy of councils, courts or "elders" elected by the congregation)
  • Congregational polity (autonomous congregations elect their own leaders, both clergy and laity, ordains their own clergy, and remains a "self-governed voluntary institution")
But which of these is the most Biblical or a combination thereof?

We find some examples here of God's permissive will in one case compared to the results of another system of established leadership, "Divine Appointment".  God allows Israel to choose their own leaders in the first case (to go spy out the Land)- and the result of that was utter disaster.  In the second example, God Himself makes the appointment - (the reader can discern for him/herself which method is more successful)...

In pesukim 16-29, we see that Israel is about to inherit and the Land and God gives the names of the leaders from each of the 10 tribes (save Reuben & Gad); who were responsible to DISTRIBUTE the portions to each tribe on behalf of Moshe.  As Rashi explains:

Rashi says, "who shall inherit the land of your behalf: Heb. לָכֶם, on your behalf. Each chieftain was an administrator for his tribe, to divide the tribal inheritance among families and individuals. He chose a suitable portion for each one, and whatever they did was binding, as if they had been designated as agents [by the members of the tribes]. It is not possible to render this word לָכֶם as every לָכֶם in Scripture, [meaning“to you,”] for in that case, it should have written יַנְחִילוּ לָכֶם, [in the hiph’il, the causative conjugation, they shall give it to you to inherit], but the word יִנְחֲלוּ [in the kal, simple conjugation] means that they shall inherit for you, on your behalf and in your stead, as in, “The Lord will wage war for you לָכֶם” (Exod. 14:14)."

So we realize that this is the end for Moshe, and God tells him who to select (so it is really Divine Appointment); as explained by Delitzsch:

According to Delitzsch, "List of the Men Appointed to Distribute the Land. - In addition to Eleazar and Joshua, the former of whom was to stand at the head as high priest, in accordance with the divine appointment in Numbers 27:21,

Numbers 27:21 - He is to present himself to El'azar the cohen, who is to find out by means of the urim what ADONAI's will is for Y'hoshua's decisions. Then, at his word they will go out, and at his word they will come in, both he and all the people of Isra'el with him, the whole community."

and the latter to occupy the second place as commander of the army, a prince was selected from each of the ten tribes who were interested in the distribution, as Reuben and Gad had nothing to do with it. Of these princes, namely heads of fathers' houses of the tribes (Joshua 14:1)...

Joshua 14:1 - These are the inheritances which the people of Isra'el took in the land of Kena'an, which El'azar the cohen, Y'hoshua the son of Nun and the heads of the ancestral clans of the tribes of the people of Isra'el distributed to them

not heads of tribes (see at Numbers 13:2), 

Numbers 13:2 - "Send men on your behalf to reconnoiter the land of Kena'an, which I am giving to the people of Isra'el. From each ancestral tribe send someone who is a leader in his tribe."

Caleb, who is well known from Num 13, is the only one whose name is known. The others are not mentioned anywhere else."

In summary, these leaders that are selected by God through the "Urim" (i.e. Breastplate of the High Priest that would light up miraculously by each of the stones giving the Divine selection via lot), these leaders were NOT the same as the ones who were "elected" by the congregation to go and spy out the land 40 years before (except for Caleb).

Each of these two very different cases are two separate examples of methods of spiritual leadership selection processes.  There is just no substitute for the move of the Ruach Elohim (Spirit of God) among the believers who are sensitive and Spirit-filled who can recognize the prophetic word of God, and who can establish spiritual leadership today, based on Divine selection:

So how is this done in Messianic Jewish circles? 

Acts 1:15 In those days, Peter stood up among the brothers and sisters (the number of names all together was about a hundred and twenty) and said, 16 “Brothers, the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Ruach ha-Kodesh foretold by the mouth of David, concerning Judah—who became a guide to those who seized Yeshua. 17 For he was counted among us and received his share of this office.” 18 (Now this man Judah bought a field with the reward of his wickedness. Falling headfirst, he burst open in the middle and his intestines splattered out. 19 And it became known to all those living in Jerusalem, so in their own language that field was called Akeldama—that is, ‘Field of Blood.’) 20 For it is written in the Book of Psalms,

‘Let his dwelling place become desolate,
    and let there be no one living in it’
and ‘Let another take his position.’

21 “Therefore one of the men who have accompanied us all the time that the Lord Yeshua went in and out among us— 22 beginning with His immersion by John until the day He was taken up from us—must become a witness with us of His resurrection.”

23 So they nominated two—Joseph, called Barsabbas (also called Justus), and Matthias. 24 And they prayed and said, “You, O Lord, who knows the hearts of all men, show us which of these two You have chosen 25 to take the position in this office as emissary, from which Judah turned aside to go to his own place.” 26 Then they cast lots for them, and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was added to the eleven emissaries.

Of this process, Dr. David Stern explains, "They drew lots. This was a recognized way of ascertaining God's will. Proverbs 16:33 says, "The lot is cast into the lap, but the whole decision is from Adonai," which means that what is attributed to chance, fate, luck or coincidence is determined by God. As Albert Einstein put it in objecting to quantum theory's use of probability mathematics, "God does not play dice with the universe."  This second Mattityahu (the first we encounter at Mt 9:9), was added to the eleven emissaries, not Sha'ul (Paul), as some Christians suppose. Sha'ul was indeed an emissary (see the first verse in most of his letters), but not one of the Twelve because he did not meet the requirements (vv. 21-22)."

There is just no substitute for receiving confirmations of the Holy Spirit.  The best and surest way to know for certain that the right leaders for the congregation are chosen, is to trust in Divine Appointment, and receive the spiritual confirmations, and then release that man or woman into their service.

Have a good Rosh Chodesh today, preparing for Shabbat.

R' Eric 

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Ask the Rabbi

Here is a new one asked of me yesterday, while I appeared on "Ask the Pastor", this was asked of the "rabbi" after the show...

Why did the curtain in the Temple miraculously tear in two at the moment of the death of the Messiah?

Rabbi's answer:  The Hebrew word for that “curtain” in both the Tabernacle of Moses as well as the subsequent Temples, is called a “parokhet”.  In the New Covenant (Brit Chadasha), we learn that the following occurred at the very moment Yeshua gave up His nefesh (spirit)…

Matthew 27:51 Tree of Life Version (TLV)
51 And behold, the curtain of the Temple was split in two, from top to bottom. And the earth quaked and rocks were split apart.

Dr. David Stern, translator of the “Jewish New Testament”, and author of the Jewish New Testament Commentary explains, “The parokhet in the Temple. Exodus 26:31-35 describes this curtain as it existed in the desert Tabernacle. It separated the Holy Place from the Holy of Holies. Only the cohen hagadol (High Priest), was allowed to pass through it into the Holy of Holies; and that he could do only once a year, on Yom-Kippur, to make an atonement sacrifice for his sins and for the sins of the Jewish people. When it was ripped in two from top to bottom it symbolized the fact that God was giving everyone access to the most holy place of all in heaven, as taught explicitly at Hebrews 9:3-9, 10:19-22.  The Talmud bears an amazing witness to the work of Yeshua in altering the system of atonement. The background is that on Yom-Kippur, when the cohen hagadol sacrificed a bull (Leviticus 16), a piece of scarlet cloth was tied between its horns. If it later turned white, it meant that God had forgiven Israel's sin in accordance with Isaiah 1:18, "Though your sins be as scarlet, they will be white as snow."

"Our Rabbis taught that throughout the forty years that Shim'on the Tzaddik served,... the scarlet cloth would become white. From then on it would sometimes become white and sometimes not .... Throughout the last forty years before the Temple was destroyed ... the scarlet cloth never turned white." (Yoma 39a-39b)

Thus in the days of Shim'on HaTzaddik the sacrificial system established by God in the Tanakh was observed, and it was effective. But afterwards Israel's spirituality declined, so that the sacrificial system was effective only sometimes. Finally, after Yeshua's death, forty years before the destruction of the Temple, it was never effective. The Talmud does not say it, but what had become effective for forgiving Israel's sin was the sacrificial death of Yeshua the Messiah.”

There is also an additional explanation.  According to MJL: “Kriah is a Hebrew word meaning “tearing.” It refers to the act of tearing one’s clothes or cutting a black ribbon worn on one’s clothes. This rending is a striking expression of grief and anger at the loss of a loved one. When the patriarch Jacob believed his son Joseph was dead, he tore his garments (Genesis 37:34). Likewise, in II Samuel 1:11 we are told that King David and all the men with him took hold of their clothes and rent them upon hearing of the death of Saul and Jonathan. Job, too, in grieving for his children, stood up and rent his clothes (Job 1:20). 

It also make perfect “Jewish” sense, that if indeed Yeshua was the Ben-Elohim (Son of God), that the Father Himself was deeply mourned over this death, and the rending of the parokhet in two was indeed the ritual act of Kriah! 

The whole purpose of the earthquake, the sky turning black, and the parokhet ripping apart – was all a sign to mankind that this one Man’s death, was unlike any other’s.  That this was indeed a confirmation that this Yeshua is indeed the One and Only Begotten Son of God. 

Just as King Solomon prophesied:

Proverbs 30:4 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
4 Who has gone up to heaven and come down?
Who has cupped the wind in the palms of his hands?
Who has wrapped up the waters in his cloak?
Who established all the ends of the earth?
What is his name, and what is his son’s name?
Surely you know!

Your Daily Pesuk July 12, 2018

 Matot-Masei /  מטות־מסעי

  • Thu, 12 July 2018 = 29th of Tamuz, 5778
  • כ״ט בְּתַמּוּז תשע״ח

Numbers 33:50-34:15 (22 p'sukim)

Numbers 33:50-34:15 Tree of Life Version (TLV)
50 Adonai spoke to Moses along the Jordan in the plains of Moab across from Jericho saying, 51 “Speak to Bnei-Yisrael and say to them: When you cross the Jordan into the land of Canaan, 52 You must drive out all the inhabitants of the land before you. You must destroy all their idols and cast images, and demolish their high places. 53 You will take possession of the land, so you will settle in it, because I have given it to you to possess.

54 “You are to divide the land by lot according to your families. To the large, make their inheritance larger, and to the small, make their inheritance smaller. Whatever comes out of the lot will be theirs. You are to distribute the inheritance according to your ancestral tribes.

55 “But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you, whoever you allow to remain will become to you barbs in your eyes and thorns in your sides. They will give you trouble in the land in which you will be living. 56 Then what I had intended to do to them, I will do to you.”

Borders of Israel
34 Adonai spoke to Moses saying, 2 “Command Bnei-Yisrael and say to them: When you enter the land of Canaan, these are the boundaries of the land being allotted to you as an inheritance. 3 Your southern side will run from the wilderness of Zin along the border of Edom to the southern end of the Dead Sea on the east. 4 Your border will cross south of the Scorpion Pass and continue to Zin and south of Kadesh-barnea, then go on to Hazar-addar and on to Azmon. 5 Then the border will turn from Azmon to the Wadi of Egypt and end at the sea.

6 “Your western boundary will be the coast of the Great Sea. This will be your western border.

7 “Your northern boundary will be by running a line from the Great Sea to Mount Hor, 8 then from Mount Hor to Levo-Hamath[a], then the boundary will go to Zedad. 9 The border will continue on to Ziphron, ending at Hazar-Enan. This will be your northern border.

10 “For your eastern border, run a line from Hazar-Enan to Shepham. 11 From Shepham, the boundary will descend to Riblah on the east side of Ain, continuing along the eastern slopes of Kinneret. 12 From there the border will go down along the Jordan, ending at the Dead Sea. This will be your territory with its surrounding borders.”

13 Moses commanded Bnei-Yisrael, saying, “This is the land which Adonai has commanded that you are to assign by lot to the nine and a half tribes. 14 For the tribe of the sons of Reuben by their ancestral houses, the tribe of the sons of Gad by their ancestral houses, and the half-tribe of Manasseh have already received their inheritance. 15 These two and a half tribes have received their inheritance on the east side of the Jordan at Jericho, toward the sunrise.”

50 וַיְדַבֵּ֧ר יְהוָ֛ה אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֖ה בְּעַֽרְבֹ֣ת מוֹאָ֑ב עַל־יַרְדֵּ֥ן יְרֵח֖וֹ לֵאמֹֽר׃

51 דַּבֵּר֙ אֶל־בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל וְאָמַרְתָּ֖ אֲלֵהֶ֑ם כִּ֥י אַתֶּ֛ם עֹבְרִ֥ים אֶת־הַיַּרְדֵּ֖ן אֶל־אֶ֥רֶץ כְּנָֽעַן׃

52 וְה֨וֹרַשְׁתֶּ֜ם אֶת־כָּל־יֹשְׁבֵ֤י הָאָ֙רֶץ֙ מִפְּנֵיכֶ֔ם וְאִ֨בַּדְתֶּ֔ם אֵ֖ת כָּל־מַשְׂכִּיֹּתָ֑ם וְאֵ֨ת כָּל־צַלְמֵ֤י מַסֵּֽכֹתָם֙ תְּאַבֵּ֔דוּ וְאֵ֥ת כָּל־בָּמֹתָ֖ם תַּשְׁמִֽידוּ׃

53 וְהוֹרַשְׁתֶּ֥ם אֶת־הָאָ֖רֶץ וִֽישַׁבְתֶּם־בָּ֑הּ כִּ֥י לָכֶ֛ם נָתַ֥תִּי אֶת־הָאָ֖רֶץ לָרֶ֥שֶׁת אֹתָֽהּ׃

54 וְהִתְנַחַלְתֶּם֩ אֶת־הָאָ֨רֶץ בְּגוֹרָ֜ל לְמִשְׁפְּחֹֽתֵיכֶ֗ם לָרַ֞ב תַּרְבּ֤וּ אֶת־נַחֲלָתוֹ֙ וְלַמְעַט֙ תַּמְעִ֣יט אֶת־נַחֲלָת֔וֹ אֶל֩ אֲשֶׁר־יֵ֨צֵא ל֥וֹ שָׁ֛מָּה הַגּוֹרָ֖ל ל֣וֹ יִהְיֶ֑ה לְמַטּ֥וֹת אֲבֹתֵיכֶ֖ם תִּתְנֶחָֽלוּ׃

55 וְאִם־לֹ֨א תוֹרִ֜ישׁוּ אֶת־יֹשְׁבֵ֣י הָאָרֶץ֮ מִפְּנֵיכֶם֒ וְהָיָה֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר תּוֹתִ֣ירוּ מֵהֶ֔ם לְשִׂכִּים֙ בְּעֵ֣ינֵיכֶ֔ם וְלִצְנִינִ֖ם בְּצִדֵּיכֶ֑ם וְצָרֲר֣וּ אֶתְכֶ֔ם עַל־הָאָ֕רֶץ אֲשֶׁ֥ר אַתֶּ֖ם יֹשְׁבִ֥ים בָּֽהּ׃

56 וְהָיָ֗ה כַּאֲשֶׁ֥ר דִּמִּ֛יתִי לַעֲשׂ֥וֹת לָהֶ֖ם אֶֽעֱשֶׂ֥ה לָכֶֽם׃ פ

34 וַיְדַבֵּ֥ר יְהוָ֖ה אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֥ה לֵּאמֹֽר׃

2 צַ֞ו אֶת־בְּנֵ֤י יִשְׂרָאֵל֙ וְאָמַרְתָּ֣ אֲלֵהֶ֔ם כִּֽי־אַתֶּ֥ם בָּאִ֖ים אֶל־הָאָ֣רֶץ כְּנָ֑עַן זֹ֣את הָאָ֗רֶץ אֲשֶׁ֨ר תִּפֹּ֤ל לָכֶם֙ בְּֽנַחֲלָ֔ה אֶ֥רֶץ כְּנַ֖עַן לִגְבֻלֹתֶֽיהָ׃

3 וְהָיָ֨ה לָכֶ֧ם פְּאַת־נֶ֛גֶב מִמִּדְבַּר־צִ֖ן עַל־יְדֵ֣י אֱד֑וֹם וְהָיָ֤ה לָכֶם֙ גְּב֣וּל נֶ֔גֶב מִקְצֵ֥ה יָם־הַמֶּ֖לַח קֵֽדְמָה׃

4 וְנָסַ֣ב לָכֶם֩ הַגְּב֨וּל מִנֶּ֜גֶב לְמַעֲלֵ֤ה עַקְרַבִּים֙ וְעָ֣בַר צִ֔נָה ׳וְהָיָה׳ ״וְהָיוּ֙״ תּֽוֹצְאֹתָ֔יו מִנֶּ֖גֶב לְקָדֵ֣שׁ בַּרְנֵ֑עַ וְיָצָ֥א חֲצַר־אַדָּ֖ר וְעָבַ֥ר עַצְמֹֽנָה׃

5 וְנָסַ֧ב הַגְּב֛וּל מֵעַצְמ֖וֹן נַ֣חְלָה מִצְרָ֑יִם וְהָי֥וּ תוֹצְאֹתָ֖יו הַיָּֽמָּה׃

6 וּגְב֣וּל יָ֔ם וְהָיָ֥ה לָכֶ֛ם הַיָּ֥ם הַגָּד֖וֹל וּגְב֑וּל זֶֽה־יִהְיֶ֥ה לָכֶ֖ם גְּב֥וּל יָֽם׃

7 וְזֶֽה־יִהְיֶ֥ה לָכֶ֖ם גְּב֣וּל צָפ֑וֹן מִן־הַיָּם֙ הַגָּדֹ֔ל תְּתָא֥וּ לָכֶ֖ם הֹ֥ר הָהָֽר׃

8 מֵהֹ֣ר הָהָ֔ר תְּתָא֖וּ לְבֹ֣א חֲמָ֑ת וְהָי֛וּ תּוֹצְאֹ֥ת הַגְּבֻ֖ל צְדָֽדָה׃

9 וְיָצָ֤א הַגְּבֻל֙ זִפְרֹ֔נָה וְהָי֥וּ תוֹצְאֹתָ֖יו חֲצַ֣ר עֵינָ֑ן זֶֽה־יִהְיֶ֥ה לָכֶ֖ם גְּב֥וּל צָפֽוֹן׃

10 וְהִתְאַוִּיתֶ֥ם לָכֶ֖ם לִגְב֣וּל קֵ֑דְמָה מֵחֲצַ֥ר עֵינָ֖ן שְׁפָֽמָה׃

11 וְיָרַ֨ד הַגְּבֻ֧ל מִשְּׁפָ֛ם הָרִבְלָ֖ה מִקֶּ֣דֶם לָעָ֑יִן וְיָרַ֣ד הַגְּב֔וּל וּמָחָ֛ה עַל־כֶּ֥תֶף יָם־כִּנֶּ֖רֶת קֵֽדְמָה׃

12 וְיָרַ֤ד הַגְּבוּל֙ הַיַּרְדֵּ֔נָה וְהָי֥וּ תוֹצְאֹתָ֖יו יָ֣ם הַמֶּ֑לַח זֹאת֩ תִּהְיֶ֨ה לָכֶ֥ם הָאָ֛רֶץ לִגְבֻלֹתֶ֖יהָ סָבִֽיב׃

13 וַיְצַ֣ו מֹשֶׁ֔ה אֶת־בְּנֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל לֵאמֹ֑ר זֹ֣את הָאָ֗רֶץ אֲשֶׁ֨ר תִּתְנַחֲל֤וּ אֹתָהּ֙ בְּגוֹרָ֔ל אֲשֶׁר֙ צִוָּ֣ה יְהוָ֔ה לָתֵ֛ת לְתִשְׁעַ֥ת הַמַּטּ֖וֹת וַחֲצִ֥י הַמַּטֶּֽה׃

14 כִּ֣י לָקְח֞וּ מַטֵּ֨ה בְנֵ֤י הָראוּבֵנִי֙ לְבֵ֣ית אֲבֹתָ֔ם וּמַטֵּ֥ה בְנֵֽי־הַגָּדִ֖י לְבֵ֣ית אֲבֹתָ֑ם וַחֲצִי֙ מַטֵּ֣ה מְנַשֶּׁ֔ה לָקְח֖וּ נַחֲלָתָֽם׃

15 שְׁנֵ֥י הַמַּטּ֖וֹת וַחֲצִ֣י הַמַּטֶּ֑ה לָקְח֣וּ נַחֲלָתָ֗ם מֵעֵ֛בֶר לְיַרְדֵּ֥ן יְרֵח֖וֹ קֵ֥דְמָה מִזְרָֽחָה׃ פ

A very interesting translation of the word (Maskeetam) is translated by the TLV as "High Places", others translate it differently in pesuk 52 of chapter 33.

Rashi says, "Heb. מַשְׂכִּיֹּתָם, as the Targum [Onkelos] renders, סִגְדַּתְהוֹן, their houses of worship, so called because they would cover (מַסְכְּכִין) the ground with a marble floor, on which they would prostrate themselves with outstretched hands and legs, as it is written,“And in your land you shall not place a pavement stone on which to prostrate yourselves (אֶבֶן מַשְׂכִּית) in your land on which to prostrate yourselves” (Lev. 26:1)."

In Today's pesukim we find the commands to drive out the inhabitants of the Land, (Canaanites), dispossess the Land and divide it by lot for the 12 tribes of Israel.  But this command comes along with a severe warning that unfortunately, was NOT heeded.

55 “But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you, whoever you allow to remain will become to you barbs in your eyes and thorns in your sides. They will give you trouble in the land in which you will be living. 56 Then what I had intended to do to them, I will do to you.”

Pesuk 55 calls it "barbs" and "thorns" - of this Rashi also says:

as spikes in your eyes: Heb. לְשִׂכִּים, pins that will gouge out your eyes. The Targum [Onkelos renders], יְתֵדוֹת (Exod. 38:20), pins or spikes [as] סִכַּיָּא -
לשכים בעיניכם: ליתדות המנקרות עיניכם. תרגום של יתדות שיכיא:
and thorns: Heb. וְלִצְנִינִם. The commentators interpret this in the sense of a hedge of thorns which will surround you, fencing you in and confining you so that none can leave or enter. -
ולצנינם: פותרים בו הפותרים לשון מסוכת קוצים הסוככת אתכם לסגור ולכלוא אתכם מאין יוצא ובא:
and they will harass you: Heb. וְצָרְרוּ, as the Targum [Onkelos] renders [וִיעִיקוּן, and they will harass you, cause you distress].
וצררו אתכם: כתרגומו:

These pins, or spikes in your eyes are a reference to the licentious nature of Idolatry.  Idol worship has a direct connection with sexual immorality.  The pagan nations, (Canaanites), who were judged already by God, if allowed to stay would seduce the Israelites (just as the Moabites had already done), with sexual immorality, it would be a snare for Israel, and they too would fall into idolatry.

This is what the Jewish Apostles had in mind when deciding where to draw the line with Gentiles coming into our "Messianic Jewish Movement":

Acts 15:19 Therefore, I judge not to trouble those from among the Gentiles who are turning to God— 20 but to write to them to abstain from the contamination of idols, and from sexual immorality, and from what is strangled, and from blood.

NOTE: "How Idolatry and Sexual Immorality are Juxtaposed exactly next to each other in this pesuk!"

This too demonstrates how the spikes or pins in the eyes are a reference to sexual immorality.  

Furthermore this led the Messiah himself to refer to the eyes when speaking of this type of sin:

 Matthew 5:29 - וְאִם תַּכְשִׁילְךָ עֵין יְמִינְךָ נַקֵּר אוֹתָהּ וְהַשְׁלֵךְ מִמְּךָ כִּי טוֹב לְךָ אֲשֶׁר יֹאבַד אֶחָד מֵאֵבָרֶיךָ מֵרֶדֶת כָּל־גּוּפְךָ אֶל־גֵּיהִנֹּם׃

Matthew 5:29 Tree of Life Version (TLV)
29 And if your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away! It is better for you that one part of your body should be destroyed, than that your whole body be thrown into Gehenna.

Now what of the reference to the "thorn in the side"?

2 Corinthians 12:7 Tree of Life Version (TLV)
...even in the extraordinary quality of the revelations. So that I would not exalt myself, a thorn in the flesh was given to me—a a messenger of satan to torment me, so I would not exalt myself.

Dr. David Stern says, "What was Sha'ul's thorn in the flesh? Some think it was a physical incapacity, such as stuttering, epilepsy, or weak vision, some, the emotional suffering resulting from not winning Jews to the Messiah as he would have liked (but see Acts 28:24), others, a recurring temptation, such as greed (Ro. 7:8) and yet others take the following phrase, "a messenger [Greek angelos, "messenger, angel"] from the Adversary," to mean that his "thorn" was a demonic spiritual being especially dispatched by Satan, (Matt. 4:1) to pound away at him (compare Mt 25:41, Rv 12:7, 9). From vv. 8-9a we learn that the "messenger from the Adversary," whatever it was, even if it was a demon, was sent by God-the Adversary has no independent power; God is in control of the universe. We also learn that sometimes God's answer to prayer is not necessarily to grant the request as asked, but to change the person asking (3:18), so that he no longer wants what he wanted before."

Stern's commentary that the "thorns" were a reference to a demonic spiritual being dispatched to buffet Shaul, seems in line with the overall Biblical theme of a "curse".  Thorns are a symbol of a curse...

The Torah says, in Genesis 3 that man was cursed...

Genesis 3:Cursed is the ground because of you—
    with pain will you eat of it all the days of your life.
18 Thorns and thistles will sprout for you.
    You will eat the plants of the field,
19 By the sweat of your brow will you eat food,
    until you return to the ground,
        since from it were you taken.
    For you are dust,
        and to dust will you return.”

In Matthew 13, Yeshua uses midrash to teach that thorns grow up and choke out the seed, which is the Good News that leads to Salvation.  The thorns are a symbol of the Satanic battle against God and His People, Israel.  It is curses that come against our people and our nation in every stomp out the blessing and Salvation.  Thorns represent the constant never-ending Spiritual Warfare between the God of Israel and the adversary.

In our pesukim, if we allowed the Canaanites and their idols and places of worship to remain (which they did), the curses that were intended for them would fall on Israel.  That is what has brought us into Exile.  However, these curses, represented by the thorns were also carried by our Messiah...

Yochanan 19 Then Pilate took Yeshua and had Him scourged. 2 The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on His head, and dressed Him in a purple robe. 3 They kept coming up to Him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and slapping Him over and over.

4 Pilate came out again. He said to them, “Look, I’m bringing Him out to you, to let you know that I find no case against Him.” 5 So Yeshua came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. “Behold, the Man!” Pilate said to them.

He bore that crown of thorns that was designated to be on us and in our flesh, but because the Messiah carried that curse, we do not have to!

Galatians 3:13 Messiah liberated us from Torah’s curse, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”— 14 in order that through Messiah Yeshua the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so we might receive the promise of the Ruach through trusting faith.

This is why faith in Messiah Yeshua is so important and there is no other solution.  Without Yeshua's atonement there is no hope for humanity, not just Israel.  And there is yet another warning for those who fall away and choose to turn their backs on God's One and Only Son:

Hebrews 6:4 For it is impossible for those who once were enlightened—having tasted of the heavenly gift and become partakers of the Ruach ha-Kodesh, 5 and having tasted the good word of God and the powers of the olam ha-ba, 6 and then having fallen away—to renew again to repentance, since they are again crucifying Ben-Elohim for themselves and publicly disgracing Him. 7 For the earth—having soaked up the rain frequently falling on it—brings forth vegetation useful to those for whom it is farmed; and it shares in God’s blessing. 8 But if it produces thorns and thistles, it is worthless and near to being cursed—its end is to be burned over.



Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Your Daily Pesuk July 11, 2018

 Matot-Masei /  מטות־מסעי

  • Wed, 11 July 2018 = 28th of Tamuz, 5778
  • כ״ח בְּתַמּוּז תשע״ח


In Today's pesukim we finish Parasha Matot and begin Parasha Masei.  Within this transition from one portion of the Torah to the next the tragic story of Reuven & Gad's request to inherit the Land on the East Side (Transjordan), continues.  Even though they do keep their promise to fight along side their brothers for the conquest of Canaan - it should be seen as "tragic" considering that they chose Land that was NOT part of God's initial PERFECT PLAN for Israel His people.  Sometimes God's permissive will is exercised, however the end result is usually not good at all.  

In this case we can see the full story, and how much later in Israel's history these tribes (including Manasseh) fall victim to idolatry and extinction altogether.  Along with Manasseh, these tribes ultimately chose to live and reside "OUTSIDE ERETZ YISRAEL" and thereby they were exposed more to the idolatry of the Gentiles surrounding them, and this lead to their ultimate demise.  Tragic choices.

In his essay, Redeeming Relevance (Numbers), Rabbi Francis Nataf says, "The territory to the east of the Jordan River was not designated as part of the original Promised Land. It was neither where the forefathers sojourned nor inhabited by the seven Canaanite nations that God planned to expel.  

Rather, it became part of the Jewish homeland as a result of a rather unusual turn of events: the land’s inhabitants were vanquished after trying to attack the Jews. The default expectation, however, was that the Jews would continue their march on to their own homeland on the western side of the Jordan while other nations would eventually take the place of the vanquished peoples on the east. 

Instead, the tribes of Gad and Reuven requested to settle it, ostensibly to find ample grazing for their livestock. While initially taken aback, Moshe eventually grants it to them with the stipulation that they participate in the war of national conquest on the western side of the Jordan. Even from this thumbnail sketch we see that the hasty annexation of these lands lacks the pedigree evident in the settlement of the Land of Israel proper. When we focus on the details, however, we will truly appreciate the actual ambivalence of the Jewish tradition toward this territory.

Moshe’s conversation with the leaders of Gad and Reuven is not an easy one. To say that he is initially upset with their request would be an understatement. Perhaps most significant is Moshe’s allegation that Gad and Reuven are a new version of the infamous spies whom we know from Chapter Two. The reader will recall that it is they who caused the Jews to remain another ­thirty-eight years in the wilderness, as well as almost the entire adult generation of the time to die during that period. As we discussed at that point, there is reason to describe this as the worst calamity suffered by the Jews in the desert, and perhaps in all of Jewish history. To compare Gad and Reuven with the spies, then, is to place the strongest of accusations at their doorstep.

Upon reflection, it is difficult not to share Moshe’s surprise at the audacity of Gad and Reuven’s request. Especially in view of the incident of the spies, the centrality of the Land of Israel should have been so clear as to make their request only slightly short of heresy. Moreover, the wording of their request, “Do not bring us over the Jordan,” sounds as if they may well have been rejecting the Holy Land which the spies had rejected earlier....

It is important to realize that the bottom line of the anti-Israel movement (i.e. to choose to live elsewhere) is resistance to God’s plan for the Jewish people... Given what we have seen, we should not be surprised that the rabbis are highly critical of Gad and Reuven, and point out (Bemidbar Rabba 22:7) that their “rush to inherit land is connected to their being the first to be disinherited.”...

In our study, we noted how both Gad and Reuven came to their tragic preference for Transjordan due to discomfort with their God-given positions. Reuven didn’t know how to be a firstborn who was unequipped to be a leader; Gad didn’t know how to be in a group where it would be disadvantaged because of its lack of pedigree. We are all challenged by situations that are not of our choosing. Some are born into families into which they don’t “fit.” Others find themselves with responsibilities they wish they didn’t have. Still others are stuck with an image that they would prefer to dispel. There are many things that can be changed, and many others that cannot. One’s adaptation to undesired, unavoidable circumstances is often the most significant factor in his success. We are all familiar with stories that illustrate this point: crippled athletes or wounded veterans who find new careers with passion and enthusiasm, to name but two.

Reuven and Gad’s predicaments are actually the stuff of everyday life. Their tragedy is really the tragedy of all who become defined by their circumstances. No one is given a life where everything falls into place magically. It is our task to take control of our lives regardless of the situation in which we find ourselves. Ultimately, the failure of Gad and Reuven is that they neither coped nor adapted. Via their tragic, downward spiral, the Torah seeks to warn us about what can happen when we don’t take control of that which is in our power. That it happened to them should remind us that it need not happen to us."

Are you unhappy with your life and do you want to take control of the circumstances you are in?  If you do - then be warned - you better make sure your choices line up with God's Ultimate Perfect Plan for your life - you may just end up turning your back on Him altogether.