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Friday, August 31, 2018

Your Daily Pesukim Aug. 31, 2018

 Ki Tavo /  כי־תבוא

  • Fri, 31 August 2018 = 20th of Elul, 5778
  • כ׳ בֶּאֱלוּל תשע״ח


Great blessings introduce our pesukim for today, however even greater curses are meted out to those who turn their backs on Adonai and His Torah.  These pesukim reminds me of the pesuk in the 10th chapter of Sefer Haigret Ivirim (Hebrews):

Hebrews 10:30b-31  “...Adonai will judge His people.” 31 It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

On the positive side of these "curses" comes the reality of the history of the Jewish People, the Nation of Israel, and these pesukim become a powerful testimony to those who refuse to believe, namely self-labeled "atheists".

These warnings for disobedience are actually "proof statements", that Adonai is a God who speaks and does.  The history of Israel follows the path of these curses.  Exiles, persecution, annihilation, genocide, holocaust, pogroms, inquisitions, and all kinds of Anti-Semitism throughout the last 2,000 years actually proves that God has kept His promises, that if "WE" (not someone else), us/we/ourselves, continue to turn our backs on Adonai and His Torah, all of these curses written in the book will continue...

As our pesukim say:

45 “All these curses will come upon you and pursue you and overtake you until you are destroyed—because you did not listen to the voice of Adonai your God, to keep His mitzvot and statutes that He commanded you. 46 They will be a sign and a wonder on you and your descendants forever

As Jewish Messianic believers, we have a calling, Adonai gave us Eternal Life in Messiah Yeshua - NOT THAT WE SHOULD GO ON SINNING.  

Rather, now, if we are saved, Born Again, and filled with the Ruach Elohim, now we CAN KEEP HIS TORAH!  And rightly - WE SHOULD BE ZEALOUS TO DO SO!  

And we should not think that it is impossible for us to keep Torah...(for that was our condition before we were saved), but now that we are saved, and we have the Righteousness of Yeshua dwelling IN US...then the pesuk written to the Philippians applies now to us:

Philippians 4:13 Tree of Life Version (TLV)
13 I can do all things through Messiah who strengthens me.

YES WE CAN DO ALL THINGS!!!  And we can live and walk and keep the Torah the way Messiah did through Him...

Not to merit our salvation - that has already been accomplished.  Rather, to walk with Him in the light of Torah, the way Messiah taught us, to let our Light Shine, that others will see our works and glorify our Father in Heaven!

Ya'akov (James) 1:21 So put away all moral filth and excess of evil and receive with humility the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.

22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deluding yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror— 24 for once he looks at himself and goes away, he immediately forgets what sort of person he was. 25 But the one who looks intently into the perfect Torah, the Torah that gives freedom, and continues in it, not becoming a hearer who forgets but a doer who acts—he shall be blessed in what he does.

As we now draw close to the end of Elul, and as the Rosh Chodesh of the 7th month approaches - let us be purified, dedicated and renewed once again to the Glorious Torah that our God has given us, and His Messiah taught us how to live.

Shabbat Shalom

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Your Daily Pesuk Aug. 30, 2018

 Ki Tavo /  כי־תבוא

  • Thu, 30 August 2018 = 19th of Elul, 5778
  • י״ט בֶּאֱלוּל תשע״ח


Today, what we have before us first is known as the "Curse of the Law"... it begins with Ch. 27, pesuk 13:

13 For the curse these are to stand on Mount Ebal: Reuben, Gad, Asher, Zebulun, Dan, and Naphtali.

On this mount, Mt. Ebal, the curses were pronounced and can all be summarized in this pesuk:

26 ‘Cursed is the one who does not uphold the words of this Torah by doing them.’ Then all the people are to say, ‘Amen.’

What are the implications of the Torah's Curse?  Simply put, it is basically saying that if one breaks any single one of the Torah's commandments by not doing them, or by doing when the Torah gives a negative command: (i.e. thou shall not...), he/she is under this "curse". 

So then, who has the perfection to uphold this Torah perfectly to the letter of each commandment to perform them exactly as Adonai has ordered without fail?  Which man or women by this definition is capable of being FULLY RIGHTEOUS?

Even with exertion and will power, does anyone have the capability to perform all of the 613 mitzvot, perfectly?  Honestly, which one of us could stand up and say - I AM FULLY RIGHTEOUS according to all that the Torah of Moses has commanded?

Even Isaiah wrote:  

Isaiah 64:4b...Behold, You were angry.
When we keep sinning all the time,
    would we be saved?
5 For all of us have become like one who is unclean,
and all our righteousness is like a filthy garment,
and all of us wither like a leaf,
and our iniquities carry us away, like the wind.
6 No one calls on Your Name,
or stirs himself up to take hold of You.
For You have hidden Your face from us,
    and have consumed us, because of our iniquities.

The curse of the Torah affects every single living human being.  There is not one of us, Jew or non-Jew who obeys, not one of us who is altogether righteous, and not one of us can say we keep all of the Torah perfectly.  Even Yeshua the Messiah said...

Matthew 5:20 Tree of Life Version (TLV)
For I tell you that unless your righteousness exceeds that of the Pharisees and Torah scholars, you shall never enter the kingdom of heaven!

So then, how is it possible for anyone to be saved?  Is it possible to be good enough at observing Torah that a man may inherit Eternal Life?

The answer is NO.  Torah was never given as a means to inherit "Eternal Life".  In fact, Shaliach Shaul, asked this of the Messianic believers in the first century, some of those who were not Jewish who were trying to be "Jewish" and keep the Torah by their own flesh and effort in order to become "acceptable to God"....

Galatians 3:3 Tree of Life Version (TLV)
Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Ruach, will you now reach the goal in the flesh? 

We could ask ourselves the same question.  How are we trying to become "justified" before God's eyes?  By our own 'righteousness'?  Or some other way?

What is the other way?

Galatians 3:10 For all who rely on the deeds of Torah are under a curse—for the Scriptures say, “Cursed is everyone who does not keep doing everything written in the scroll of the Torah.” 11 It is clear that no one is set right before God by Torah, for “the righteous shall live by emunah.” 12 However, Torah is not based on trust and faithfulness; on the contrary, “the one who does these things shall live by them.” 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.

Let this be clear to everyone.  Yeshua did not "liberate" us from the Torah - on the contrary, He liberated us from the "Curse of the Torah" which is simply pesuk 26 of Deuteronomy 27. 

26 ‘Cursed is the one who does not uphold the words of this Torah by doing them.’ Then all the people are to say, ‘Amen.

If you believe and put your trust in Yeshua Hamashiach and "HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS", (not your own) and repent of all of your sins before God; you then my friend...are NO LONGER UNDER THE CURSE OF THE TORAH...

For all those who try to do it all by their own power, flesh and personal will power....GOOD LUCK WITH THAT...HOPE IT WORKS OUT FOR YOU...

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Your Daily Pesuk Aug. 29, 2018

 Ki Tavo /  כי־תבוא

  • Wed, 29 August 2018 = 18th of Elul, 5778
  • י״ח בֶּאֱלוּל תשע״ח

Deuteronomy 27:1-10 (10 p'sukim)

Deuteronomy 27:1-10 Tree of Life Version (TLV)
27 Moses and the elders of Israel commanded the people, saying, “Keep the whole mitzvah that I am commanding you today. 2 Now on the day when you cross over the Jordan to the land that Adonai your God is giving you, you are to set up large stones for yourself and coat them with plaster. 3 Then you are to write on them all the words of this Torah when you cross over—so that you may enter the land that Adonai your God is giving you, a land flowing with milk and honey just as Adonai, the God of your fathers, promised you. 4 Now when you cross over the Jordan, you are to set up these stones about which I am commanding you today on Mount Ebal, and coat them with plaster. 5 There also you will build an altar to Adonai your God, an altar of stones—you are not to use an iron tool on them. 6 You are to build the altar of Adonai your God of whole stones, and you are to offer up burnt offerings on it to Adonai your God. 7 You are to sacrifice fellowship offerings and eat there, and you will rejoice before Adonai your God. 8 You are to write on the stones all the words of this Torah very clearly.”

9 Then Moses and the Levitical kohanim spoke to all Israel, saying, “Be silent and listen, O Israel—this day you have become a people for Adonai your God. 10 Therefore listen to the voice of Adonai your God, and do His mitzvot and statutes that I am commanding you today.”

27 וַיְצַ֤ו מֹשֶׁה֙ וְזִקְנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל אֶת־הָעָ֖ם לֵאמֹ֑ר שָׁמֹר֙ אֶת־כָּל־הַמִּצְוָ֔ה אֲשֶׁ֧ר אָנֹכִ֛י מְצַוֶּ֥ה אֶתְכֶ֖ם הַיּֽוֹם׃

2 וְהָיָ֗ה בַּיּוֹם֮ אֲשֶׁ֣ר תַּעַבְר֣וּ אֶת־הַיַּרְדֵּן֒ אֶל־הָאָ֕רֶץ אֲשֶׁר־יְהוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֶ֖יךָ נֹתֵ֣ן לָ֑ךְ וַהֲקֵמֹתָ֤ לְךָ֙ אֲבָנִ֣ים גְּדֹל֔וֹת וְשַׂדְתָּ֥ אֹתָ֖ם בַּשִּֽׂיד׃

3 וְכָתַבְתָּ֣ עֲלֵיהֶ֗ן אֶֽת־כָּל־דִּבְרֵ֛י הַתּוֹרָ֥ה הַזֹּ֖את בְּעָבְרֶ֑ךָ לְמַ֡עַן אֲשֶׁר֩ תָּבֹ֨א אֶל־הָאָ֜רֶץ אֲ‍ֽשֶׁר־יְהוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֶ֣יךָ׀ נֹתֵ֣ן לְךָ֗ אֶ֣רֶץ זָבַ֤ת חָלָב֙ וּדְבַ֔שׁ כַּאֲשֶׁ֥ר דִּבֶּ֛ר יְהוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֵֽי־אֲבֹתֶ֖יךָ לָֽךְ׃

4 וְהָיָה֮ בְּעָבְרְכֶ֣ם אֶת־הַיַּרְדֵּן֒ תָּקִ֜ימוּ אֶת־הָאֲבָנִ֣ים הָאֵ֗לֶּה אֲשֶׁ֨ר אָנֹכִ֜י מְצַוֶּ֥ה אֶתְכֶ֛ם הַיּ֖וֹם בְּהַ֣ר עֵיבָ֑ל וְשַׂדְתָּ֥ אוֹתָ֖ם בַּשִּֽׂיד׃

5 וּבָנִ֤יתָ שָּׁם֙ מִזְבֵּ֔חַ לַיהוָ֖ה אֱלֹהֶ֑יךָ מִזְבַּ֣ח אֲבָנִ֔ים לֹא־תָנִ֥יף עֲלֵיהֶ֖ם בַּרְזֶֽל׃

6 אֲבָנִ֤ים שְׁלֵמוֹת֙ תִּבְנֶ֔ה אֶת־מִזְבַּ֖ח יְהוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֑יךָ וְהַעֲלִ֤יתָ עָלָיו֙ עוֹלֹ֔ת לַיהוָ֖ה אֱלֹהֶֽיךָ׃

7 וְזָבַחְתָּ֥ שְׁלָמִ֖ים וְאָכַ֣לְתָּ שָּׁ֑ם וְשָׂ֣מַחְתָּ֔ לִפְנֵ֖י יְהוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֶֽיךָ׃

8 וְכָתַבְתָּ֣ עַל־הָאֲבָנִ֗ים אֶֽת־כָּל־דִּבְרֵ֛י הַתּוֹרָ֥ה הַזֹּ֖את בַּאֵ֥ר הֵיטֵֽב׃ ס

9 וַיְדַבֵּ֤ר מֹשֶׁה֙ וְהַכֹּהֲנִ֣ים הַלְוִיִּ֔ם אֶ֥ל כָּל־יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל לֵאמֹ֑ר הַסְכֵּ֤ת׀ וּשְׁמַע֙ יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל הַיּ֤וֹם הַזֶּה֙ נִהְיֵ֣יתָֽ לְעָ֔ם לַיהוָ֖ה אֱלֹהֶֽיךָ׃

10 וְשָׁ֣מַעְתָּ֔ בְּק֖וֹל יְהוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֑יךָ וְעָשִׂ֤יתָ אֶת־מִצְוֺתָו֙ וְאֶת־חֻקָּ֔יו אֲשֶׁ֛ר אָנֹכִ֥י מְצַוְּךָ֖ הַיּֽוֹם׃ ס

Here we have an account of the events of Israel's "first day" as the chosen people of God!  Also, the beginning of the sacrificial system of worship that God had commanded Moses.  Long before there was a Tabernacle or a Temple in Gilgal or Shiloh, or Nob, or later in Jerusalem; here in the Jordan Israel built their first Altar.  It was to be plastered and covered and written on those stones was a copy of the Torah.

Interestingly, pesuk 5 says that no iron tool is to be used on these stones, rather they are to remain "whole stones".  Why?

Commenting on Exodus 20, a parallel passage, Rev. John Gill explains, "thou shall not build it of hewn stone; which would require time and occasion expense, to hew and polish them in an artificial way; but it was to be built of rude and unpolished stones, just as they were taken out of the quarry, or found lying by the way, and which were laid up in an heap one upon another, and was done with little trouble, and without any ornament, and easily separated and thrown down, when become useless: the reason of this law, as given by Maimonides, is this,"because the idolaters of that time built their altars of hewn stones, therefore God forbad it, lest we should be like them, and that we might shun it in all things, he commanded the altar to be made of earth, as it is said, an altar of earth shalt thou make unto me; and if it could not be made without stones, that the stones should remain in their own natural form, and be neither hewn nor polished; as he after forbad a painted stone, and a plantation of trees by an altar; for in each of these there is one and the same intention and design, namely, that we might not worship him in the same manner in which idolaters used to worship their fictitious deities:"

We see this same principle repeated at the construction of the First Temple in Jerusalem by Sh'lomo Melech Yisrael:

1 Kings 6:7 Tree of Life Version (TLV)
For the House, while being constructed, was built of stone finished at the quarry; with neither hammer, axe nor any iron tool heard in the House during its construction.

So there is indeed a spiritual lesson for us in all of this...

Just as God instructed Israel to simply pick up the stones as they are found on the ground and put them together to build an altar and even later a great Temple... so it is with all of us.

God picks us up as we are, and uses us to build for Himself a Temple...

Ephesians 2:22 Tree of Life Version (TLV)
In Him, you also are being built together into God’s dwelling place in the Ruach.

And as Shaliach Shimon Kefa said:

1 Peter 2:4 As you come to Him, a living stone rejected by men but chosen by God and precious, 5 you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house—a holy priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Messiah Yeshua. 6 For it says in Scripture,

“Behold, I lay in Zion a stone,
    a chosen, precious cornerstone.
    Whoever trusts in Him
    will never be put to shame.”

7 Now the value is for you who keep trusting; but for those who do not trust,

“The stone which the builders rejected—
    this One has become the chief cornerstone,”

8 and

“a stone of stumbling,
and a rock of offense.”

They stumble because they are disobeying the word—to this they were also appointed. 9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the praises of the One who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.

10 Once you were “not a people,”
    but now you are “God’s people.”
You were shown “no mercy,”
    but now you have been shown “mercy.”

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Your Daily Pesuk Aug. 28, 2018

 Ki Tavo /  כי־תבוא

  • Tue, 28 August 2018 = 17th of Elul, 5778
  • י״ז בֶּאֱלוּל תשע״ח

Deuteronomy 26:16-19 (4 p'sukim)

Deuteronomy 26:16-19 Tree of Life Version (TLV)
16 “This day Adonai your God is commanding you to do these statutes and ordinances—so you are to take care and do them with all your heart and with all your soul. 17 Today you have affirmed Adonai as your God, that you will walk in His ways, keep His statutes, mitzvot and ordinances, and listen to His voice. 18 Now today Adonai has affirmed you as His treasured people, as He promised you; that you are to keep all His mitzvot; 19 that He will set you high above all the nations He has made, for praise, fame and honor; and that you are to be a holy people to Adonai your God, as He has promised.”

16 הַיּ֣וֹם הַזֶּ֗ה יְהוָ֨ה אֱלֹהֶ֜יךָ מְצַוְּךָ֧ לַעֲשׂ֛וֹת אֶת־הַחֻקִּ֥ים הָאֵ֖לֶּה וְאֶת־הַמִּשְׁפָּטִ֑ים וְשָׁמַרְתָּ֤ וְעָשִׂ֙יתָ֙ אוֹתָ֔ם בְּכָל־לְבָבְךָ֖ וּבְכָל־נַפְשֶֽׁךָ׃

17 אֶת־יְהוָ֥ה הֶאֱמַ֖רְתָּ הַיּ֑וֹם לִהְיוֹת֩ לְךָ֨ לֵֽאלֹהִ֜ים וְלָלֶ֣כֶת בִּדְרָכָ֗יו וְלִשְׁמֹ֨ר חֻקָּ֧יו וּמִצְוֺתָ֛יו וּמִשְׁפָּטָ֖יו וְלִשְׁמֹ֥עַ בְּקֹלֽוֹ׃

18 וַֽיהוָ֞ה הֶאֱמִֽירְךָ֣ הַיּ֗וֹם לִהְי֥וֹת לוֹ֙ לְעַ֣ם סְגֻלָּ֔ה כַּאֲשֶׁ֖ר דִּבֶּר־לָ֑ךְ וְלִשְׁמֹ֖ר כָּל־מִצְוֺתָֽיו׃

19 וּֽלְתִתְּךָ֣ עֶלְי֗וֹן עַ֤ל כָּל־הַגּוֹיִם֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר עָשָׂ֔ה לִתְהִלָּ֖ה וּלְשֵׁ֣ם וּלְתִפְאָ֑רֶת וְלִֽהְיֹתְךָ֧ עַם־קָדֹ֛שׁ לַיהוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֶ֖יךָ כַּאֲשֶׁ֥ר דִּבֵּֽר׃ ס

We have again before us "today"; another short portion of only 4 Pesukim, noticeably however, the word "Ha yom" rendered "Today" and "This Day" are repeated significantly. What is significant about that day?

Gill, citing the sages of Israel, says, "Moses had been several days repeating former laws, and acquainting them with new ones; yet this being the last day, in which the whole account was finished, they are said to be commanded that day, and though commanded that day were to be observed and done every day; for, as Jarchi (a.k.a. Rashi), says, every day was to be considered and reckoned as new, as if on that day they were commanded them."

Often, in the Scriptures, we find the phrase: "B'yom Ha Hu"... meaning: "In that Day", referring to either a prophetic day in which a fulfillment of a prophecy will occur or the actual "Day of the Lord" itself.  

In our pesukim today, we see this last day that Moses wrote down the Torah and it was affirmed by the nation that they made Adonai their God.  And as Gill points out, we are to regard every day as if the Torah was just given to us fresh and new and observed everyday.

This is the same lesson that the writer of the Letter to the Hebrews was trying to convey to first century Messianic Jews:

Hebrews 3:12 Take care, brothers and sisters, that none of you has an evil heart of unbelief that falls away from the living God. 13 But encourage one another day by day—as long as it is called “Today”—so that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. 14 For we have become partners of Messiah, if we hold our original conviction firm until the end. 15 As it is said,

“Today if you hear His voice,
    do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”

Everyday is a day to serve Adonai by keeping His commandments, and everyday is a day of Salvation and Shabbat if we walk in the Shabbat and we reflect His Glory to this world, everyday is a day for another soul to enter the Malchuyot Hashamayim! (Kingdom of Heaven).

Let's make it a Great Day!  Amen

Monday, August 27, 2018

Your Daily Pesuk Aug. 27, 2018

 Ki Tavo /  כי־תבוא

  • Mon, 27 August 2018 = 16th of Elul, 5778
  • ט״ז בֶּאֱלוּל תשע״ח

Deuteronomy 26:12-15 (4 p'sukim)

Deuteronomy 26:12-15 Tree of Life Version (TLV)
12 “When you finish tithing the full tenth of your produce in the third year, the year of the tithe, you are to give it to the Levite, to the outsider, to the orphan and to the widow, so that they may eat within your town gates and be satisfied. 13 Then you are to say before Adonai your God, ‘I have removed the holy tithe from my house and also have given it to the Levite and to the outsider, to the orphan and to the widow, according to all Your mitzvah that You have commanded me. I have not transgressed or forgotten any of Your mitzvot. 14 I have not eaten from the tithe in my mourning, or removed any of it while unclean, or given any of it to the dead. I have obeyed the voice of Adonai my God; I have done all just as You commanded me. 15 Look down from Your holy dwelling place, from the heavens and bless Your people Israel and the soil You have given us, as You swore to our fathers—a land flowing with milk and honey.’

12 כִּ֣י תְכַלֶּ֞ה לַ֠עְשֵׂר אֶת־כָּל־מַעְשַׂ֧ר תְּבוּאָתְךָ֛ בַּשָּׁנָ֥ה הַשְּׁלִישִׁ֖ת שְׁנַ֣ת הַֽמַּעֲשֵׂ֑ר וְנָתַתָּ֣ה לַלֵּוִ֗י לַגֵּר֙ לַיָּת֣וֹם וְלָֽאַלְמָנָ֔ה וְאָכְל֥וּ בִשְׁעָרֶ֖יךָ וְשָׂבֵֽעוּ׃

13 וְאָמַרְתָּ֡ לִפְנֵי֩ יְהוָ֨ה אֱלֹהֶ֜יךָ בִּעַ֧רְתִּי הַקֹּ֣דֶשׁ מִן־הַבַּ֗יִת וְגַ֨ם נְתַתִּ֤יו לַלֵּוִי֙ וְלַגֵּר֙ לַיָּת֣וֹם וְלָאַלְמָנָ֔ה כְּכָל־מִצְוָתְךָ֖ אֲשֶׁ֣ר צִוִּיתָ֑נִי לֹֽא־עָבַ֥רְתִּי מִמִּצְוֺתֶ֖יךָ וְלֹ֥א שָׁכָֽחְתִּי׃

14 לֹא־אָכַ֨לְתִּי בְאֹנִ֜י מִמֶּ֗נּוּ וְלֹא־בִעַ֤רְתִּי מִמֶּ֙נּוּ֙ בְּטָמֵ֔א וְלֹא־נָתַ֥תִּי מִמֶּ֖נּוּ לְמֵ֑ת שָׁמַ֗עְתִּי בְּקוֹל֙ יְהוָ֣ה אֱלֹהָ֔י עָשִׂ֕יתִי כְּכֹ֖ל אֲשֶׁ֥ר צִוִּיתָֽנִי׃

15 הַשְׁקִיפָה֩ מִמְּע֨וֹן קָדְשְׁךָ֜ מִן־הַשָּׁמַ֗יִם וּבָרֵ֤ךְ אֶֽת־עַמְּךָ֙ אֶת־יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל וְאֵת֙ הָאֲדָמָ֔ה אֲשֶׁ֥ר נָתַ֖תָּה לָ֑נוּ כַּאֲשֶׁ֤ר נִשְׁבַּ֙עְתָּ֙ לַאֲבֹתֵ֔ינוּ אֶ֛רֶץ זָבַ֥ת חָלָ֖ב וּדְבָֽשׁ׃ ס

Within these short 4 pesukim, there is alot of refreences to the different tithes and years of tithes.  Yesterday, I shared about the First, Second and Third tithes.  Rashi comments on these 4 pesukim as follows:

I have removed the holy [portions] from the house: This refers to: a) “the second tithe,” and b) נֶטַע רְבָעִי, the fruit yielded by a tree in its fourth year of growth [both of which are termed קֹדֶשׁ, holy (portions)], they must be brought up to Jerusalem and eaten there in purity. [Accordingly,] the verse here teaches us that if one has delayed bringing these tithes up to Jerusalem for two years, he must take them up now [in the third year].
בערתי הקדש מן הבית: זה מעשר שני ונטע רבעי, ולמדך שאם שהה מעשרותיו של שתי שנים ולא העלם לירושלים, שצריך להעלותם עכשיו:
and I have also given it to the Levite: This refers to “the first tithe.” - [ibid.] [The seemingly superfluous word “also”] comes to include terumah, [the part given to the kohen] and the firstfruits [which are also given to the kohen. Since Kohanim stem from the tribe of Levi, they are referred to here as Levites]. — [Yerushalmi Ma’aser Sheni 5:5]
וגם נתתיו ללוי: זה מעשר ראשון. וגם לרבות תרומה ובכורים:
the stranger, the orphan and the widow: This refers to “the tithe for the poor.” - [Sifrei 26:13]
ולגר ליתום ולאלמנה: זה מעשר עני:
according to all Your commandment: I have given them [the tithes] in their proper sequence (ibid). I did not give terumah before the firstfruits; I did not give tithes before terumah; I did not give the second tithe before the first tithe. For terumah is termed רֵאשִׁית, “the first one,” because it is the first portion to be separated when the produce has become [matured] “grain,” and it is written [regarding the separation of tithes]: מְלֵאָתְךָ וְדִמְעֲךָ לֹא תְאַחֵר (Exod. 22:28), which means that one must not change the order [set out in Scripture for separating tithes]. - [Mechilta , Exod. 22:28]
ככל מצותך: נתתים כסדרן ולא הקדמתי תרומה לבכורים, ולא מעשר לתרומה ולא שני לראשון, שהתרומה קרויה ראשית, שהיא ראשונה משנעשה דגן, וכתיב (שמות כב כח) מלאתך ודמעך לא תאחר, לא תשנה את הסדר:
I have not transgressed Your commandments: I did not separate tithes from one species [of produce to fulfill the obligation of tithe-separation due] from another species [of produce], and I did not separate tithes from the new crop [of the year to fulfill the obligation of tithe-separation due] from the old crop. — [Sifrei, Ma’aser Sheni 5:11]
לא עברתי ממצותיך: לא הפרשתי ממין על שאינו מינו ומן החדש על הישן:
nor have I forgotten: to bless You [on the performance of the mitzvah] of separating tithes. — [ibid.]

As you can see, during the Biblical period, when the Temple stood and while most people were living in an agricultural society; tithing was not as "simple" as it is today, to simply write a check for 10% of your income on a weekly basis!  It was much more complicated than that!

But I would like you to notice this second "liturgy" that the Torah requires you to recite "after" you are finished giving your tithes.  Notice how the worshiper is to recite the following... "I have done this... and I have done that... and I have not failed to... etc... etc...  This liturgy which was intended to remind the worshiper of the proper order and procedure for giving and bringing in the First, Second and Third Tithes; actually later became used as a source of pride and arrogance for some Jews who were very scrupulous to fulfill all of these laws and all of their particulars down to the very minutia of each of the kinds of tithes and how they are seperated; but at the same time, they failed to simply "love their neighbor" as the Torah commanded.

This was what Yeshua of Nazareth brought up when He scolded the P'rushim for their hypocrisy.  He was not against "Tithing".  Nor was it wrong to perform all of these details when someone tithes; but what is the point of becoming a master at tithing but forgetting the simpler but more weightier matters of the Torah?

Matthew 23:23 “Woe to you hypocritical Torah-teachers and P’rushim! You pay your tithes of mint, dill and cumin; but you have neglected the weightier matters of the Torah — justice, mercy, trust. These are the things you should have attended to — without neglecting the others! 24 Blind guides! — straining out a gnat, meanwhile swallowing a camel!

Our Messiah warned us against the Chometz of the P'rushim, which is "Pride".  We often take pride in being Jewish, and having the Torah given to us and being the "Chosen".  Shabbat is a beautiful heritage and as we say in the Siddur, Ashreinu!  How beautiful our portion and pleasant is our lot, and how beautiful is our heritage!

Nonetheless, if we become arrogant and begin to look down on others, especially Gentiles who do not have the Torah, and other Jewish believers who do not live to our level of Torah observance; and forget that we are supposed to be a light to the Gentiles... then the yeast of the P'rushim begins to ferment in our nefesh...

Just as Yeshua pointed out...

Luke 18:9 Also, to some who were relying on their own righteousness and looking down on everyone else, he told this parable: 10 “Two men went up to the Temple to pray, one a Parush and the other a tax-collector. 11 The Parush stood and prayed to himself, ‘O God! I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity — greedy, dishonest, immoral, or like this tax-collector! 12 I fast twice a week, I pay tithes on my entire income, . . . ’ 13 But the tax-collector, standing far off, would not even raise his eyes toward heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God! Have mercy on me, sinner that I am!’ 14 I tell you, this man went down to his home right with God rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but everyone who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Instead of reciting b'ruchas thanking God that He did not create us to be slaves, Gentiles, or women, let us beat our breasts and thank Him that despite our grave sins and errors and all of our wanton rebellion against Him, He who is merciful and compassionate is "slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness and truth, showing mercy to a thousand generations, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, yet by no means leaving the guilty unpunished, but bringing the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, to the third and fourth generation.” (Exodus 34:6-7)

Especially now at this season of Elul and prepare our hearts for the day of the trumpet blast and when the Books are opened on Yom Kippur.


Your Daily Pesuk Aug. 26, 2018

 Ki Tavo /  כי־תבוא

  • Sun, 26 August 2018 = 15th of Elul, 5778
  • ט״ו בֶּאֱלוּל תשע״ח
Deuteronomy 26:1-11 (11 p'sukim)

Deuteronomy 26:1-11 Tree of Life Version (TLV)
Parashat Ki Tavo
Firstfruits and Tithes
26 “Now when you enter the land that Adonai your God is giving you as an inheritance, and you possess it and dwell in it, 2 you are to take some of the first of all the produce of the soil, which you gather from your land that Adonai your God is giving you, put it in a basket and go to the place Adonai your God chooses to make His Name dwell. 3 You are to go to the kohen in charge in those days and say to him, ‘I declare today to Adonai your God, that I have entered into the land Adonai swore to our fathers to give us.’ 4 The kohen is to take the basket from your hand and set it down before the altar of Adonai your God.

5 “Then you are to respond before Adonai your God, ‘My father was a wandering Aramean, and he went down to Egypt and lived there as an outsider, few in number. But there he became a great nation—mighty and numerous. 6 The Egyptians treated us badly, afflicted us, and imposed hard labor on us. 7 Then we cried out to Adonai, God of our fathers, and Adonai listened to our voice and saw our affliction, our toil and our oppression. 8 Then Adonai brought us out from Egypt with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, with great terror, and with signs and wonders. 9 He brought us to this place and gave us this land—a land flowing with milk and honey. 10 So now, look! I have brought the first of the fruits of the soil that You have given me, Adonai.’ Then you are to set it down before Adonai your God and worship before Adonai your God. 11 You will rejoice in all the good that Adonai your God has given to you and to your house—you, the Levite, and the outsider in your midst.

26 וְהָיָה֙ כִּֽי־תָב֣וֹא אֶל־הָאָ֔רֶץ אֲשֶׁר֙ יְהוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֔יךָ נֹתֵ֥ן לְךָ֖ נַחֲלָ֑ה וִֽירִשְׁתָּ֖הּ וְיָשַׁ֥בְתָּ בָּֽהּ׃

2 וְלָקַחְתָּ֞ מֵרֵאשִׁ֣ית׀ כָּל־פְּרִ֣י הָאֲדָמָ֗ה אֲשֶׁ֨ר תָּבִ֧יא מֵֽאַרְצְךָ֛ אֲשֶׁ֨ר יְהוָ֧ה אֱלֹהֶ֛יךָ נֹתֵ֥ן לָ֖ךְ וְשַׂמְתָּ֣ בַטֶּ֑נֶא וְהָֽלַכְתָּ֙ אֶל־הַמָּק֔וֹם אֲשֶׁ֤ר יִבְחַר֙ יְהוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֔יךָ לְשַׁכֵּ֥ן שְׁמ֖וֹ שָֽׁם׃

3 וּבָאתָ֙ אֶל־הַכֹּהֵ֔ן אֲשֶׁ֥ר יִהְיֶ֖ה בַּיָּמִ֣ים הָהֵ֑ם וְאָמַרְתָּ֣ אֵלָ֗יו הִגַּ֤דְתִּי הַיּוֹם֙ לַיהוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֔יךָ כִּי־בָ֙אתִי֙ אֶל־הָאָ֔רֶץ אֲשֶׁ֨ר נִשְׁבַּ֧ע יְהוָ֛ה לַאֲבֹתֵ֖ינוּ לָ֥תֶת לָֽנוּ׃

4 וְלָקַ֧ח הַכֹּהֵ֛ן הַטֶּ֖נֶא מִיָּדֶ֑ךָ וְהִ֨נִּיח֔וֹ לִפְנֵ֕י מִזְבַּ֖ח יְהוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֶֽיךָ׃

5 וְעָנִ֨יתָ וְאָמַרְתָּ֜ לִפְנֵ֣י׀ יְהוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֗יךָ אֲרַמִּי֙ אֹבֵ֣ד אָבִ֔י וַיֵּ֣רֶד מִצְרַ֔יְמָה וַיָּ֥גָר שָׁ֖ם בִּמְתֵ֣י מְעָ֑ט וַֽיְהִי־שָׁ֕ם לְג֥וֹי גָּד֖וֹל עָצ֥וּם וָרָֽב׃

6 וַיָּרֵ֧עוּ אֹתָ֛נוּ הַמִּצְרִ֖ים וַיְעַנּ֑וּנוּ וַיִּתְּנ֥וּ עָלֵ֖ינוּ עֲבֹדָ֥ה קָשָֽׁה׃

7 וַנִּצְעַ֕ק אֶל־יְהוָ֖ה אֱלֹהֵ֣י אֲבֹתֵ֑ינוּ וַיִּשְׁמַ֤ע יְהוָה֙ אֶת־קֹלֵ֔נוּ וַיַּ֧רְא אֶת־עָנְיֵ֛נוּ וְאֶת־עֲמָלֵ֖נוּ וְאֶת־לַחֲצֵֽנוּ׃

8 וַיּוֹצִאֵ֤נוּ יְהוָה֙ מִמִּצְרַ֔יִם בְּיָ֤ד חֲזָקָה֙ וּבִזְרֹ֣עַ נְטוּיָ֔ה וּבְמֹרָ֖א גָּדֹ֑ל וּבְאֹת֖וֹת וּבְמֹפְתִֽים׃

9 וַיְבִאֵ֖נוּ אֶל־הַמָּק֣וֹם הַזֶּ֑ה וַיִּתֶּן־לָ֙נוּ֙ אֶת־הָאָ֣רֶץ הַזֹּ֔את אֶ֛רֶץ זָבַ֥ת חָלָ֖ב וּדְבָֽשׁ׃

10 וְעַתָּ֗ה הִנֵּ֤ה הֵבֵ֙אתִי֙ אֶת־רֵאשִׁית֙ פְּרִ֣י הָאֲדָמָ֔ה אֲשֶׁר־נָתַ֥תָּה לִּ֖י יְהוָ֑ה וְהִנַּחְתּ֗וֹ לִפְנֵי֙ יְהוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֔יךָ וְהִֽשְׁתַּחֲוִ֔יתָ לִפְנֵ֖י יְהוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֶֽיךָ׃

11 וְשָׂמַחְתָּ֣ בְכָל־הַטּ֗וֹב אֲשֶׁ֧ר נָֽתַן־לְךָ֛ יְהוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֶ֖יךָ וּלְבֵיתֶ֑ךָ אַתָּה֙ וְהַלֵּוִ֔י וְהַגֵּ֖ר אֲשֶׁ֥ר בְּקִרְבֶּֽךָ׃ ס

There is a direct connection between the Tithe, and the Land, (Eretz Yisrael, the Holy Land).  Thus, when Hashem commanded the Tithe, it wasn't until the b'nei Yisrael (Children of Israel), actually inherited and entered into the Land itself.  Some may ask, why then the commandments for giving the Tithes?

It was to teach Israel the importance of the Land in their relationship with Hashem.  Which is also the reason for the "declaration".  To remind them what God has done for them, for their forefathers, and each and every year how God continues to provide the sustenance from the Land.  The Land, God, and the People of Israel are interconnected, and CANNOT BE SEPARATED!

This concept of the three Biblical pillars of the covenants with Israel (God, People & the Land) are largely ignored in Western Civilization, and even in Christian circles the emphasis is on God, and not as much on the People (Israel), and the Land of Israel.  Zionism has become a "bad word" in today's political environment, but no one can dispute that God Himself is a Zionist!

The commandment for the worshiper to make this "declaration" of the history of Israel when making the Tithe is similar to a Passover Seder.  There is a liturgy, Hashem spells out exactly what should be recited out loud by the worshiper.  

The next point that needs to be made is the importance of pesuk 2, which says: Vi'likhatah Me'raysheet kol p'ri ha'adamah...(take 'some' of the first, of all the produce...).  Emphasis on the word "some"....

Rashi explains this and the concept of the 7 species of fruits of the Land:

"some of the first: but not all the first, because not all fruits are subject to [the mitzvah of] “firstfruits”-only the seven species [for which the land of Israel is noted]. Here, in our verse, it says the word אֶרֶץ, “land,” and there [in the verse describing the praise of Eretz Israel], it says, “A land (אֶרֶץ) of wheat and barley, vines and figs and pomegranates, a land of oil-producing olives and honey” (Deut. 8:8). Just as the earlier verse (Deut. 8:8) is referring to the seven species through which Eretz Israel is praised, here too, [the verse is dealing with] the praise of the Land. [Rashi proceeds to explain two expressions in Deut. 8:8, which are relevant to the mitzvah of firstfruits, in light of the connection taught by our Rabbis above:] “Oil-producing olives” [refers to] “אֲגוּרִי olives,” [see Sifrei 26:2, meaning superior quality] olives that retain their oil, keeping it gathered (אָגוּר) [as it were] inside it. [Hence, it is the superior fruits which must be brought here]. — [Ber. 39a] [And in the same verse (Deut. 8:8):] “honey”-that is the honey of dates. — [Sifrei 26:2]
מראשית: ולא כל ראשית, שאין כל הפירות חייבין בבכורים אלא שבעת המינין בלבד. נאמר כאן ארץ, ונאמר להלן (לעיל ח, ח) ארץ חטה ושעורה וגו', מה להלן משבעת המינים שנשתבחה בהם ארץ ישראל, אף כאן שבח ארץ ישראל שהן שבעה מינין זית שמן זית אגורי ששמנו אגור בתוכו ודבש הוא דבש תמרים:

of the first [of all the fruit]: [What is the process of taking these fruits?] A man goes down into his field and sees a fig that has ripened. He winds a reed around it for a sign and declares:“This is the firstfruit (בִּכּוּרִים).” - [Mishnah Bikkurim 3:1]
מראשית: אדם יורד לתוך שדהו ורואה תאנה שבכרה כורך עליה גמי לסימן ואומר הרי זו בכורים:

Rashi continues with the explanation of the "years of the tithes"...

"the year of the tithe: [The third year of each shemittah cycle is called“the year of the tithe” because] it differs from its preceding two years insofar as it is a year in which only one of the tithes separated in the two preceding years is separated. During the first and second years of the shemittah cycle, the tithes separated are: a) מַעֲשֵׂר רִאשׁוֹן, “the first tithe,” as the verse says, “[Speak to the Levites, and say to them,] When you take from the children of Israel the tithe…” (Num. 18:26) [referring to“the first tithe,”] and b) מַעֲשֵׂר שֵׁנִי, “the second tithe,” as the verse says, “And you shall eat before the Lord, your God… the tithes of your grain, of your wine and of your oil…” (Deut. 14:23) [which is a reference to “the second tithe”]. Thus, we have two tithes [being separated during the first two years of the shemittah cycle]. Now Scripture comes and teaches us that in the third year, only one of these two tithes is separated. And which one is that? It is “the first tithe.” [“The second tithe is not separated during the third year.”] Instead of “the second tithe,” one must give “the tithe for the poor,” for it says here in our verse “you shall give [them] to the Levite” what belongs to him, namely “the first tithe” ; [then our verse continues:] “the stranger, the orphan, and the widow”-this is “the tithe for the poor.” - [Sifrei 26:12; R.H. 12b]

Considering the Shemittah cyle and the Third Year Tithe, helps us Messianic believers understand the teaching of our Messiah regarding the Malchut Hashamayim (Kingdom of Heaven)...

Luke 13:6 Then Yeshua began telling this parable: “A man had a fig tree he had planted in his vineyard, and he came looking for fruit on it and found none. 7 So he said to the gardener, ‘Indeed, for three years I‘ve come searching for fruit on this fig tree and found none. Remove it! Why does it use up the ground?’

8 “But answering, the gardener said to him, ‘Master, leave it alone for this year also, until I dig around it and apply fertilizer. 9 And if it bears fruit, good. But if not, cut it down.’”

Our days are short, we have little time to produce fruit for the Malchut Hashamayim.  Just as this midrash teaches.  One day soon the Son of Man will come to see if there is any fruit on our trees, if not, we are removed.  Many times Hashem in His mercy gives us "more time", even though the Third Year has come...

James 5:7 So be patient, brothers and sisters, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient for it until it receives the early and late rain.  8 You also be patient. Strengthen your hearts because the coming of the Lord is near. 9 Do not grumble against one another, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be judged. Behold, the judge is standing at the doors. 10 As an example of suffering and patience, brothers and sisters, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.

11 Behold, we consider blessed those who showed endurance. You have heard of the endurance of Job, and you have seen the outcome of Adonai—that Adonai is full of compassion and mercy.

Shavuah Tov

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Your Daily Pesuk Aug. 25, 2018

 Ki Teitzei /  כי־תצא

  • Sat, 25 August 2018 = 14th of Elul, 5778
  • י״ד בֶּאֱלוּל תשע״ח


In chapter 25, pesukim 5-12, we find some very strange and bizzare regulations and a ritual that is carried out whenever two brothers dwell together, and one of them dies, leaving his widow childless.  The Torah says that the surviving brother must marry his widowed sister-in-law and perform what is called Yibum (Levirate Marriage), in order to produce a child that will be considered the child of the deceased and carry on the family lineage and property.  For a great explanation of how Yibum is observed or not observed today, see this article by Ari Klein: (CLICK HERE).  

In order to comprehend this strange practice and rituals, you need to view the context of this entire passage.  Notice how justice pertaining to orphans, widows and the poor are thematically laid out in this entire portion...

The "Widow" is mentioned no less than 7 times in our pesukim today.  24:17, 19, 20, 23, (twice in 25:7), and again in pesuk 9 of ch. 25.  However, with all that the Torah affords as duties to, and rights thereof for the widow, most of the time when we find them in Scripture, they seem to always be poor and unprovided for...

  • In I Kings 17, God tells Elijah to go to a widow and ask her for a meal:  12 “As surely as the Lord your God lives,” she replied, “I don’t have any bread—only a handful of flour in a jar and a little olive oil in a jug. I am gathering a few sticks to take home and make a meal for myself and my son, that we may eat it—and die.
  • The prophet Isaiah rebukes Judah for forgetting the widow... Isaiah 1:23 Thy princes are rebellious, and companions of thieves: every one loveth gifts, and followeth after rewards: they judge not the fatherless, neither doth the cause of the widow come unto them.
  • Ezekiel says the same thing:  Ezekiel 22:7 Tree of Life Version (TLV) 7 Father and mother have been treated with contempt; the outsider has been oppressed in your midst; the orphan and the widow have been mistreated in you.
  • The Psalms speak of this same type of neglect:  Psalm 94:6 Tree of Life Version (TLV) 6 They slay the widow and the outsider, and murder the fatherless.
  • In the Book of Ruth, Naomi and Ruth both were widows that had no hope until they arrived back in Israel where the first kinsman redeemer did not want to marry Ruth at all!  
Without an heir, a childless widow was often left to herself with no options other to live on the street. (there was no Social Security or Welfare State), all they had were the commandments of the Torah to provide for them., but if those commandments went forgotten, there was no one, no assistance.

While most examples in the Scriptures depict widows being left to themselves and these commandments going "unheeded", we know of One, who had compassion on these widows...

Luke 7:11 The next day Yeshua traveled to a town called Nain, and coming along with Him were His disciples and a large crowd. 12 Just as He came near the town gate, behold, a dead man was being carried out, the only son of his mother, a widow. A considerable crowd from the town was with her.  13 When the Lord saw her, He felt compassion for her and said, “Don’t cry.” 14 Then He came up and touched the coffin, and the pallbearers came to a standstill. He said, “Young man! I tell you, get up!” 15 The dead man sat up and began speaking, and Yeshua gave him to his mother.

The purpose of all of these strange rituals of Yibum Levirate Marriage was to teach the people of Israel the same compassion God has on all of us!  Just as childless widows are completely helpless - we who are all spiritually bankrupt, devoid of any and all righteousness of our own are completely helpless and dependent on Adonai to be our Husband and provide for us!!!

The problem is, the leaders of our people throughout our history never really learned these lessons and that is why throughout the Scriptures most all of the widows were all completely neglected.  This part of Torah largely went unnoticed and unheeded.

And because of this ignorance, widows suffered and Adonai was displeased with our people, and when in His compassion He sent us our Bridegroom, our leaders tried to use Yibum as a way to discredit and trip up Yeshua in his understanding of Torah:

Matthew 22:23 On that day, Sadducees (who say there is no resurrection) came to Yeshua and questioned Him, saying, 24 “Teacher, Moses said, ‘If someone dies having no children, his brother as next of kin shall marry his widow and father children for his brother.’ 25 Now there were seven brothers among us. The first married and died; and having no offspring, left his wife to his brother. 26 In the same way also the second, and the third, down to the seventh. 27 Last of all, the woman died. 28 So in the resurrection, whose wife of the seven will she be? For they all had married her.”

29 But answering, Yeshua said to them, “You’ve gone astray, because you don’t understand the Scriptures or the power of God. 30 For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. 31 But concerning the resurrection of the dead, haven’t you read what was spoken to you by God, saying, 32 ‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not the God of the dead, but of the living!”  33 When the crowds heard this, they were astounded at His teaching.

Truly, there is NO ONE, who knows Torah or who has kept the Torah PERFECTLY - as did Yeshua of Nazareth.  He is the ONE who was with the Father in the Beginning, He is the Living Torah, who was made flesh and dwelt among us!  He is the embodiment of the Torah!  He is our Messiah, He is the Son of God, He is our Bridegroom who comes to us and takes us "Widows" as His Bride when everyone else has left us to die.  He is our Redeemer!

Amen.  Shabbat Shalom

Friday, August 24, 2018

Your Daily Pesuk Aug. 24, 2018

 Ki Teitzei /  כי־תצא

  • Fri, 24 August 2018 = 13th of Elul, 5778
  • י״ג בֶּאֱלוּל תשע״ח

Deuteronomy 24:5-13 (9 p'sukim)

Deuteronomy 24:5-13 Tree of Life Version (TLV)
5 “When a man takes a new wife, he is not to go out with the army or have any duty passed over to him. He is to be free at home for one year and make his wife happy.

Preserving Life and Property
6 “No one is to take a pair of millstones or the upper one as collateral, for this would be taking a livelihood as collateral.

7 “If a man is caught kidnapping any of his brothers from Bnei-Yisrael, whether he treats him like property or sells him, then that kidnapper must die. So you are to purge the evil from your midst.

8 “Take care in the plague of tzara’at—be very careful to do all that the Levitical kohanim instruct you, just as I commanded them, so you are to take care to do. 9 Remember what Adonai your God did to Miriam, along the way when you were coming out from Egypt.

10 “When you make any kind of loan to your neighbor, you are not to go into his house to get his pledge. 11 You are to stand outside, and the man to whom you are making the loan is to bring the pledge outside to you. 12 If he is a poor man, you are not to sleep with his pledge. 13 You must certainly restore the pledge to him when the sun sets, so that he may sleep in his coat and bless you—and it is to be righteousness for you before Adonai your God.

5 כִּֽי־יִקַּ֥ח אִישׁ֙ אִשָּׁ֣ה חֲדָשָׁ֔ה לֹ֤א יֵצֵא֙ בַּצָּבָ֔א וְלֹא־יַעֲבֹ֥ר עָלָ֖יו לְכָל־דָּבָ֑ר נָקִ֞י יִהְיֶ֤ה לְבֵיתוֹ֙ שָׁנָ֣ה אֶחָ֔ת וְשִׂמַּ֖ח אֶת־אִשְׁתּ֥וֹ אֲשֶׁר־לָקָֽח׃ ס

6 לֹא־יַחֲבֹ֥ל רֵחַ֖יִם וָרָ֑כֶב כִּי־נֶ֖פֶשׁ ה֥וּא חֹבֵֽל׃ ס

7 כִּי־יִמָּצֵ֣א אִ֗ישׁ גֹּנֵ֨ב נֶ֤פֶשׁ מֵאֶחָיו֙ מִבְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל וְהִתְעַמֶּר־בּ֖וֹ וּמְכָר֑וֹ וּמֵת֙ הַגַּנָּ֣ב הַה֔וּא וּבִֽעַרְתָּ֥ הָרָ֖ע מִקִּרְבֶּֽךָ׃

8 הִשָּׁ֧מֶר בְּנֶֽגַע־הַצָּרַ֛עַת לִשְׁמֹ֥ר מְאֹ֖ד וְלַעֲשׂ֑וֹת כְּכֹל֩ אֲשֶׁר־יוֹר֨וּ אֶתְכֶ֜ם הַכֹּהֲנִ֧ים הַלְוִיִּ֛ם כַּאֲשֶׁ֥ר צִוִּיתִ֖ם תִּשְׁמְר֥וּ לַעֲשֽׂוֹת׃ ס

9 זָכ֕וֹר אֵ֧ת אֲשֶׁר־עָשָׂ֛ה יְהוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֶ֖יךָ לְמִרְיָ֑ם בַּדֶּ֖רֶךְ בְּצֵאתְכֶ֥ם מִמִּצְרָֽיִם׃ ס

10 כִּֽי־תַשֶּׁ֥ה בְרֵֽעֲךָ מַשַּׁ֣את מְא֑וּמָה לֹא־תָבֹ֥א אֶל־בֵּית֖וֹ לַעֲבֹ֥ט עֲבֹטֽוֹ׃

11 בַּח֖וּץ תַּעֲמֹ֑ד וְהָאִ֗ישׁ אֲשֶׁ֤ר אַתָּה֙ נֹשֶׁ֣ה ב֔וֹ יוֹצִ֥יא אֵלֶ֛יךָ אֶֽת־הַעֲב֖וֹט הַחֽוּצָה׃

12 וְאִם־אִ֥ישׁ עָנִ֖י ה֑וּא לֹ֥א תִשְׁכַּ֖ב בַּעֲבֹטֽוֹ׃

13 הָשֵׁב֩ תָּשִׁ֨יב ל֤וֹ אֶֽת־הַעֲבוֹט֙ כְּבֹ֣א הַשֶּׁ֔מֶשׁ וְשָׁכַ֥ב בְּשַׂלְמָת֖וֹ וּבֵֽרֲכֶ֑ךָּ וּלְךָ֙ תִּהְיֶ֣ה צְדָקָ֔ה לִפְנֵ֖י יְהוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֶֽיךָ׃ ס

The topic of collateral is mentioned several times, twice in pesuk 6, and in pesukim 10-12 it is alluded to in the form of a "pledge".  Once again the Torah speaks of "debt" and repayment, and this time how the creditor is supposed to act towards a brother (fellow believer/member of the Covenant), who is indebted to him.  One of these regulations is the return of the pledge/collateral daily by the creditor to the debtor (specifically if he is "poor").  pesuk 12...

Rabbi Moses ben Maimon, (aka. "Maimonides"), in his "Mishneh Torah" speaks of 24 sins, and within them is the withholding of a pledge, the rabbi says:

Mishneh Torah, Repentance 4:4
Among those (twenty-four sins), there are five, concerning which it may be assumed that he who commits them will not repent of them; the reason being that they are regarded by most people as trivial, with the result that one sins and imagines that it is no sin. Offenders coming under this category are the following: 

2)  he who uses a poor man's pledge. A poor man's pledge consists only of such articles as an axe or a plow, and the user says to himself: "the articles have not been diminished; I have not robbed him". 

In addition to returning the pledge daily to the poor debtor, the Torah goes further commanding the creditor to respect the debtor's dignity of his own home by restricting the creditor from entering his premises and taking whatever he wants for collateral.  Pesuk 10 & 11.

According to Sifre Rabbah, (a midrash on Deuteronomy):

"When your neighbor is indebted to you, any kind of debt, do not enter his house to claim his pledge." "When your neighbor is indebted to you": This tells me only of a loan. Whence do I derive (the same for) a laborer's wages and store-credit? From "any kind of debt." "do not enter his house": I might think that he could not take a pledge from inside (his house), but that he may do so from (the debtor's possessions) outside; it is, therefore, written (Ibid. 11) "and the man who is indebted to you shall bring out to you the pledge outside. I might think that he could enter inside (and wait for the debtor to give him the pledge); it is, therefore, written "Outside shall you stand." "Outside shall you stand and the man" includes the messenger of beth-din.

"Return shall you return to him the pledge when the sun sets": And elsewhere (Shemoth 22:25) "until the sun sets (in the daytime) shall you return it to him." We are hereby taught that he returns to him what is used during the day in the daytime, and what is used at night, in the evening — a mattress in the evening and a plow in the daytime, and not the reverse.  "and he shall bless you": We are hereby taught that he is commanded to bless you. I might think that if he blessed you, you will be blessed; and if not, not. It is, therefore, written "and for you it will be righteousness before the L-rd your G-d." We are hereby taught that righteousness ascends before the throne of glory, as it is written (Psalms 85:14) "His righteousness shall go before Him and shall set his steps on the path."

The Torah seems to spell out for us what God expects of us and how our Righteousness can extend up to Him.  This scenario was also found in a "midrash" from Yeshua of Nazareth.  It was a "humbling" lesson for all those who witnessed this incident, follow carefully...

Luke 7:36 Now one of the Pharisees was asking Yeshua if He would eat with him. Upon entering the Pharisee’s home, He reclined at the table. 37 And behold, a woman in the town who was a sinner, when she discovered that Yeshua was reclining at the Pharisee’s home, brought an alabaster jar of perfume. 38 As she stood behind Him at His feet, weeping, she began to drench His feet with tears and kept wiping them with her head of hair. Then she was kissing His feet and anointing them with perfume.

39 Now when the Pharisee who invited Him saw this, he said to himself, “If this were a prophet, He would know what sort of woman is touching Him—that she’s a sinner.”

40 And answering, Yeshua said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.”

And he said, “Say it, Teacher!”

41 “A moneylender had two debtors. One owed him five hundred denarii, but the other fifty. 42 When neither could repay him, he canceled both debts. So which of them will love him more?”

43 Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt canceled.”

“You have judged correctly,” Yeshua said. 44 Turning toward the woman, He said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered into your house, and you didn’t give Me water for My feet. But she has drenched My feet with tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You didn’t greet Me with a kiss; but from the time she entered, she has not stopped kissing My feet. 46 You didn’t anoint My head with oil, but she has anointed My feet with perfume. 47 For this reason I tell you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven—for she loved much. But the one who is forgiven little, loves little. 48 He then said to her, “Your sins have been forgiven.”

The parable of the 2 debtors speaks to us that we, (just like this prostitute) are all together "UNCLEAN" - we are all guilty of sinning against Adonai.  None of us can stand before Him in our own "righteousness".  

We all have a major "Sin-Debt", however, like this prostitute, when we come and kiss the feet of the Son of God, Yeshua, he has pity on us and forgives our Debts.  All of our sin-debt is forgiven, IN HIM.  

This Shabbat, don't forget to get down on your hands and knees and cry out to Him for mercy.  He is gentle and good, and there is abundant forgiveness waiting for us!

Amen & Shabbat Shalom.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Your Daily Pesuk Aug. 23, 2018

 Ki Teitzei /  כי־תצא

  • Thu, 23 August 2018 = 12th of Elul, 5778
  • י״ב בֶּאֱלוּל תשע״ח

Deuteronomy 23:25-24:4 (6 p'sukim)

Deuteronomy 23:25-24:4 Tree of Life Version (TLV)
25 “When you come into your neighbor’s vineyard, you may eat your fill of grapes; but you are not to put any in your basket. 26 When you come into your neighbor’s standing grain, you may pluck the ears with your hand; but you are not to swing a sickle on your neighbor’s standing grain.

24 “Suppose a man takes a wife and marries her. Now if she doesn’t find favor in his eyes because he has found something indecent in her, he is to write her a certificate of divorce, hand it to her and send her out from his house. 2 When she leaves his house, she may go and become another man’s wife. 3 Now suppose the second husband dislikes her and writes her a certificate of divorce, and he hands it to her and she leaves his house—or suppose the second husband who took her to be his wife dies. 4 Then her former husband, who sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife, after she has been defiled—for that would be detestable before Adonai. You are not to bring guilt on the land that Adonai your God is giving you as an inheritance.

25 כִּ֤י תָבֹא֙ בְּכֶ֣רֶם רֵעֶ֔ךָ וְאָכַלְתָּ֧ עֲנָבִ֛ים כְּנַפְשְׁךָ֖ שָׂבְעֶ֑ךָ וְאֶֽל־כֶּלְיְךָ֖ לֹ֥א תִתֵּֽן׃ ס

26 כִּ֤י תָבֹא֙ בְּקָמַ֣ת רֵעֶ֔ךָ וְקָטַפְתָּ֥ מְלִילֹ֖ת בְּיָדֶ֑ךָ וְחֶרְמֵשׁ֙ לֹ֣א תָנִ֔יף עַ֖ל קָמַ֥ת רֵעֶֽךָ׃ ס

24 כִּֽי־יִקַּ֥ח אִ֛ישׁ אִשָּׁ֖ה וּבְעָלָ֑הּ וְהָיָ֞ה אִם־לֹ֧א תִמְצָא־חֵ֣ן בְּעֵינָ֗יו כִּי־מָ֤צָא בָהּ֙ עֶרְוַ֣ת דָּבָ֔ר וְכָ֨תַב לָ֜הּ סֵ֤פֶר כְּרִיתֻת֙ וְנָתַ֣ן בְּיָדָ֔הּ וְשִׁלְּחָ֖הּ מִבֵּיתֽוֹ׃

2 וְיָצְאָ֖ה מִבֵּית֑וֹ וְהָלְכָ֖ה וְהָיְתָ֥ה לְאִישׁ־אַחֵֽר׃

3 וּשְׂנֵאָהּ֮ הָאִ֣ישׁ הָאַחֲרוֹן֒ וְכָ֨תַב לָ֜הּ סֵ֤פֶר כְּרִיתֻת֙ וְנָתַ֣ן בְּיָדָ֔הּ וְשִׁלְּחָ֖הּ מִבֵּית֑וֹ א֣וֹ כִ֤י יָמוּת֙ הָאִ֣ישׁ הָאַחֲר֔וֹן אֲשֶׁר־לְקָחָ֥הּ ל֖וֹ לְאִשָּֽׁה׃

4 לֹא־יוּכַ֣ל בַּעְלָ֣הּ הָרִאשׁ֣וֹן אֲשֶֽׁר־שִׁ֠לְּחָהּ לָשׁ֨וּב לְקַחְתָּ֜הּ לִהְי֧וֹת ל֣וֹ לְאִשָּׁ֗ה אַחֲרֵי֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר הֻטַּמָּ֔אָה כִּֽי־תוֹעֵבָ֥ה הִ֖וא לִפְנֵ֣י יְהוָ֑ה וְלֹ֤א תַחֲטִיא֙ אֶת־הָאָ֔רֶץ אֲשֶׁר֙ יְהוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֔יךָ נֹתֵ֥ן לְךָ֖ נַחֲלָֽה׃ ס

These pesukim have a "mystical" connection to each other.  Juxtaposition is important (always) but especially here.  At first glance one may not see any relationship between the regulations regarding eating your neighbor's standing grain, and divorce and remarriage of a wife; but I can assure you they are not random topics that have been slapped on parchment beside each other for no reason!  There is a hidden meaning a "Sod" (סוֹד‬), an esoteric meaning, in these pesukim.

There is a traditional zemirot, "song" that is chanted on Friday nights in our homes when we light the candles and welcome the Shabbat, called L'cha Dodi, based on the teaching of the Talmud in Shabbat 119a.  The chorus and first verse is this:

לְכָה דוֹדִי לִקְרַאת כַּלָּה. פְּנֵי שַׁבָּת נְקַבְּלָה: 

שָׁמוֹר וְזָכוֹר בְּדִבּוּר אֶחָד, הִשְמִיעָֽנוּ אֵל הַמְּיֻחָד. 
ה' אֶחָד וּשְמוֹ אֶחָד. לְשֵׁם וּלְתִפְאֶֽרֶת וְלִתְהִלָּה: 
לְכָה דוֹדִי לִקְרַאת כַּלָּה. פְּנֵי שַׁבָּת נְקַבְּלָה

"Come, my Beloved, to meet the bride; let us welcome the presence of the Sabbath. 

"Observe" and "Remember​ the Sabbath day," the only God caused us to hear in a single utterance​: the Lord is One, and his name is One to his renown and his glory and his praise. 

Come, my Beloved, to meet the bride; let us welcome the presence of the Sabbath." 

The Sabbath itself is symbolized as a "Bride" and when we receive God's Shabbat, like a "bride-groom/husband" we (Israel), are receiving our "bride".  God gave Shabbat to the people of Israel in Exodus 31.  We clearly see in our pesukim that like the Sabbath, a bride can be rejected and despised, and sometimes husbands send their wives off with a "get", (divorce certificate), so it has been with Shabbat.  

All the nations have sent the Shabbat away as a rejected bride.  No other nation receives Shabbat besides Israel, God's people.  The remnant of this nation, Born Again believers from the natural branches and the wild olive branches have accepted and received the true Lord of the Shabbat, Yeshua Hamashiach, of whom the physical 7th Day represents and foreshadows.  

Knowing this true fact, we can begin to see the connection between these pesukim, those that speak of plucking from the standing grain, and receiving your Sabbath Bride.... in this passage Brit Chadasha:

Luke 6 Tree of Life Version (TLV)
Shabbat in the Grain Fields
6 Now during Shabbat*, Yeshua was passing through grain fields; and His disciples were picking and eating heads of grain, rubbing them in their hands. 2 But some of the Pharisees said, “Why are you doing what is not permitted on Shabbat?”

3 Then answering them, Yeshua said, “Haven’t you read what David did when he was hungry, and those with him? 4 How he entered into the house of God, took and ate the showbread which only the kohanim are permitted to eat, and even gave it to those with him?”  5 He said to them, “The Son of Man is Lord of Shabbat.

NOTE: The original Greek word for "Shabbat" in pesuk 1 of Luke 6, is σάββατον (Sabbaton), equivelent to שַׁבָּתוֹן  (Shabbaton), which can mean more than one Sabbath or a "Second Sabbath".  This word is used instead of just the single שַׁבָּת  "Shabbat".  Which is why the KJV interprets this as: "And it came to pass on the second sabbath after the first, that he went through the corn fields; and his disciples plucked the ears of corn..."

Interpreting it this way, we have to ask, "which Sabbath is Luke referring to"?  Gill has a fantastic answer to this:

"And it came to pass on the second sabbath day after the first,.... Or "second first sabbath", concerning which interpreters are greatly divided. Some think, that it was either the seventh day of the feast of unleavened bread, or the eighth day of the feast of tabernacles. Others, that it was the sabbath which fell that year on the day of Pentecost; and that as there were three grand festivals among the Jews, the feasts of passover, Pentecost, and tabernacles; so when the sabbath day fell on the feast of the passover, it was called the first prime sabbath, when on the feast of Pentecost, it was called the second prime sabbath, and when on the feast of tabernacles, the third prime sabbath. Others have been of opinion, that as the Jews had two beginnings of their year, the one on civil accounts in Tisri, the other on ecclesiastical accounts in Nisan; so the first sabbath in Tisri was called the first first sabbath, and that in Nisan, which was this, the second first sabbath: but what seems most likely is, that this sabbath was, as it may be rendered, "the first sabbath after the second"; that is, the first sabbath after the second day of the passover, when the sheaf of the firstfruits was offered, and harvest might be begun; which suits well with ears of corn being ripe at this time, which the disciples rubbed. So the Jews reckoned the seven weeks from thence to Pentecost by sabbaths; the first after the second day they called the second first, or the first after the second day; the second they called the second second; and the third was named the second third; and so on, the second fourth, the second fifth, the second sixth, and second seventh, which brought on Pentecost, when the harvest was ended. So in the Jewish liturgies, there are collects for the first sabbath after the passover, and for the second sabbath after the passover, and so on to the sabbath before Pentecost. The eastern versions, Syriac, Arabic, Persic, and Ethiopic, not knowing what should be meant by it, have only rendered it, "on the sabbath day", as in Mat_. 12:1."

Therefore, what is happening here with Yeshua and His talmidim, is that the Pharisees, (representing those who've rejected the "Bride-groom" (Yeshua), are challenging Him and His students for plucking the ears in the field on the physical "Shabbat".  However, our Torah portion says:

"you are not to swing a sickle on your neighbor’s standing grain." Deut. 23:26

The Talmidim had received their "Shabbat Bride"!  He was standing right there with them in the flesh!  They were NOT "harvesting" or working and violating Shabbat, eating the standing grain with your hands are NOT a violation of Torah Law!  

And Yeshua, like a bride that has been given a certificate of divorce by all those who REJECT HIM; He is received by others some from the House of Israel, and others from the Nations, who are the Bride of the Bridegroom.  And as the Torah today clearly states:

4 Then her former husband, who sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife, after she has been defiled—for that would be detestable before Adonai. 

Yeshua indeed is Lord of the Shabbat, and may all Israel receive their true Shabbat!