SHAVUOT – THE BETROTHAL TO THE BRIDE

“There is abundant peace for the lovers of Your Torah, and there is no stumbling block for them.” Psalms 119:165

As I put this Op together, it is 2 June 2022, just a few days before the great Feast of Shavuot arrives…Baruch HaShem! Now more than ever, with all that is going on around us in the world, it seems like we need to truly understand His Feasts and what they represent because the major prophetic events we read about in His Word all occur on or around His annual Feasts! The term we hear used in His Word i.e. ‘The Early and Late Rains’ is a Hebrew idiom referring to HaShem’s annual Feasts…the Spring Feasts i.e. Pesach, Unleavened Bread, Firstfruits and Shavuot and then the Late Rains i.e. Rosh HaShanah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot. Keep this in mind as we progress in this Op.

On a side note, I know I bash Replacement Theology constantly in my Op’s, again it is NOT directed at the people, it is solely directed at the doctrine that has been regurgitated through the centuries, unfortunately leading so many to their ruin. Baruch HaShem, He is ending this reign of deception and leading people out of the captivity to Replacement Theology just as He promised He would do in the very End of Days! So while I will frequently highlight the differences between Replacement Theology and the Word of HaShem in this Op, it is not a slap at the people. It is meant solely to hopefully get some to stop, think, analyze, reason and search out His Word for themselves and with the help of HaShem, break off that veil over their hearts and eyes so they too can see how awesome and how wonderful He and His Torah truly are.

Now, always remember when you proceed further into this Op, despite the claims of many in Replacement Theology, the Temple Services i.e. the procedures which the Kohanim, Levites and Israelites in the Temple adhere too i.e. the Tavnit (Blueprints), are NOT man made! They were given to Moshe and David by the Ruach (Spirit) of HaShem per Shemot (Exodus) 25 and I Chronicles 28!

So, with this all said, the Feast of Shavuot (erroneously referred to as Pentecost), is a VERY, VERY important Feast, one of the three pilgrimage Feasts in which all the men of Israel are required to appear before HaShem in His Temple and bring korbonot (Offerings). This Feast is so important I will go ahead and give you a little hint as to what this Feast and what this Op will entail…..this Feast is what sets apart the Bride!! No Shavuot….no Bride!!! Again, keep this in mind!

Now we can jump into this, but before we do, always remember the following because they never, ever change:

  • HaShem never changes per Num 23:19/Mal 3:6/Hebrews 13:8/James 1:17
  • His Word is firmly established per Psalm 119:89
  • He reveals the end out of the beginning per Is 46:10
  • He does nothing without first revealing it to His prophets per Amos 3:7
  • He says there is nothing new under the sun per Ecclesiastes 1:9
  • He says His Torah is the ONLY truth there is per Psalms 119:142
  • He says His Torah is a tree of life and eternal per Proverbs 3:18-19 and Psalm 119:160
  • He says His Torah is perfect and restores the soul per Psalm 19:7
  • He says His Torah makes the simple one wise per Psalm 19:7
  • He says His Torah Is freedom and liberty per Psalm 119:45 and James 1:25
  • He says His Torah is the only good doctrine there is Proverbs 4:2
  • He says His Torah will add length of days and years of life and peace per Proverbs 3:2
  • He says all of the ways of His Torah are ways of pleasantness and peace per Proverbs 3:17
  • He says His Torah is for our good and well-being per Deuteronomy 6:24
  • He says His Torah is health for our lives per Proverbs 3:8
  • He says His Torah is life to our soul and a graceful ornament for our neck per Prov 3:22
  • He says His Torah is better than pearls and all desires cannot compare to it per Prov 8:11
  • He says those who walk with His Torah are praiseworthy per Psalms 119:1
  • He says observing His Torah is how we purify our path per Psalms 119:9
  • He says His Torah is better than thousands in gold and silver per Psalms 119:72
  • He says His Torah brings abundant peace to those who love Him and His Torah per Psalms 119:165
  • He says there is one Torah for all per Exodus 12:49/Leviticus 24:22
  • He says those who hate His Torah love death per Proverbs 8:36
  • He says His Torah is the way of faith per Psalms 119:29-30
  • He says His Torah makes us wiser than our enemies per Psalms 119:98
  • He says His Torah is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path per Psalms 119:105
  • He says one who finds His Torah has found life per Proverbs 8:35
  • He says one who finds His Torah has found favor from HaShem per Proverbs 8:35
  • He says Messiah Yeshua is the GOAL of His Torah, meaning without His Torah, Messiah cannot be known per Romans 10:4
  • He says if we had believed Moshe/Torah, we would have believed Messiah per John 5:46
  • He says His Torah makes us wiser than our enemies per Psalms 119:98
  • He says His salvation is far from the wicked for they sought not His Torah per Psalms 119:155
  • He says to hold fast to and guard His Torah, for it is our life per Proverbs 4:13

Remember Yeshua is the AGENT of HaShem…please read the article from the Jerusalem Encyclopedia defining the ‘Law of Agency’. Here is an excerpt: “The Law of Agency deals with the status of a person (known as the agent) acting by direction of another (the principal), and thereby  legally binding the principal in his connection with a third person. The person who binds a principal in this manner is his agent, known in Jewish law as sheluaḥ or sheliaḥ (one that is sent): the relation of the former to the latter is known as agency (sheliḥut). The general principle is enunciated thus: A man’s agent is like himself (Ḳid. 41b).” – http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/894-agency-law-of

This means, Yeshua, can ONLY act, teach, do and say ONLY what HaShem i.e. The Principal Who charged His Agent i.e. Yeshua to act on His behalf. John 5:19 says “Therefore, Yeshua, responded and said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son is able to do none at all by Himself, but only that which He sees the Father doing, because whatever He does, the Son also likewise does.” Or John 8:28 says “So, Yeshua said to them, ‘When you lift up the Son of Adam, then you shall know that I am He, and that I do none at all of Myself, but as My Father taught Me, these words I speak.'” Finally, John 12:49-50 says “Because I spoke not from Myself, but the Father Who sent Me has given Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak. And I know that His command is everlasting life, what I should say and what I should speak.”

Is it then possible for the Messiah to come and teach a doctrine that is the complete opposite to what HaShem established in the beginning? Can the Messiah come teaching a doctrine of ‘Change’ and still legitimately claim to be from HaShem?

Before we examine the depths of Shavuot, we need to first lay the foundation for the Feast. Shavuot is on the sixth day of the Biblical month of Sivan i.e. the Third month of the year beginning with Nissan. This Feast is considered to be a continuation of Pesach (Passover). It is the 50th day after Pesach in which we have been Counting the Omer between Pesach and Shavuot.

On a side note, those who object to using the names for the Biblical months, there is biblical precedent for the names of the months as we see in the book of Esther 8:9 specifically refers to the month of ‘Sivan’ in Scripture, however, I am NOT looking to engage in arguments over the calendar issue…that is between HaShem and yourselves.

What is very interesting concerning the month of Sivan, i.e. the Third Month, is that it is in the Third Month HaShem brings Israel to Sinai and presents His marriage proposal i.e. His Torah. An excerpt from the book ‘The Book of Our Heritage’ by Rabbi Eliyahu Kitov, it says “Just as marriage can survive only if there is peace and love, so too the Torah, the instrument of betrothal between HaShem and Israel, could only be received when these conditions prevailed. The Torah is referred to as ‘Morashah’ (A Heritage) per Devarim (Deuteronomy) 33:4 which says ‘The Torah that Moshe commanded us is the heritage of the Congregation of Ya’akov.’ This word ‘Morashah’ is better understood as ‘Me’orasah’ meaning ‘Betrothed.'” We will discuss this much deeper coming up shortly in the Op.

To better understand Shavuot, we must understand the concept of Kedusha (Holiness)! Kedusha is very well defined by my teacher in the following statement: “The time, space and objects that are limited to us through the agency of kedusha (Holiness) are signs that as HaShem’s covenantal partners, we must relinquish some control in every sphere of our existence and reserve those elements for His service!” Joseph Good of HaTikvah Ministries – Jerusalem Temple Study.

Tractate Kelim 1.6-9 from the Mishnah gives us a very good example by listing locations in ascending order of severity: “There are ten sanctities – Eretz Israel (Land of Israel) is more sanctified than any of the other lands. And what is its sanctity? That we may bring from it the omer and the first fruits and the Two Loaves of bread, which we may NOT bring from any of the other lands.”

“Cities surrounded by a wall are more sanctified than this, for we send the metzora’im (Those with biblical Leprosy) out of them, and they may carry a dead body around within them until they decide (To take them outside the walls for burial, once they go outside the wall, they may not re-enter until going through the ritual purity process for having contact with a corpse). Once out, they may not bring it (The corpse) back (Inside the walls).”

“Within the walls is more sanctified than these, for we may eat there Kodashim Kalim (Offerings of minor degree of holiness) and Ma’aser Sheni (Second Tithes). Har Habayit (Temple Mount) is more sanctified than this, for zavim and zavot, niddot and yoldot (Ritually impure due to bodily discharges) may not enter there. The Cheil is more sanctified than this, for Gentiles, and one rendered impure by a corpse, may not enter there. Ezrat Nashim (Court of the Women) is more sanctified than this, for a tevul yom (One who has gone through the ritual purity process and has immersed in a mikvah, but must wait until sun down for their purity to be restored) may not enter there, but they are not liable to a sin offering for it. Ezrat Yisrael (Court of Israel) is more sanctified than this for one lacking atonement may not enter there, and they are liable to a sin offering for it. Ezrat Kohanim (Court of the Priests) is more sanctified than this, for Israelites may enter there only at a time when they are needed; for laying hands, for slaughtering, for heaving.”

“Between the Ulam (Outer portico of the Sanctuary building) and the Altar is more sanctified than this, for those with a blemish and those with wild hair (Uncut for thirty days) may not enter there. The Hekhal (The Sanctuary building) is more sanctified than this, for one may not enter there without washing hands and feet. The Holy of Holies is more sanctified than these, for only the Kohen Gadol (High Priest) may enter there, on Yom Kippur at the time of the service.”

Can you see the progression of severity as it pertains to the concept of Kedusha? Again, I ask the question, so now HaShem, Who says He never changes and His Word is firmly established for eternity, suddenly now changes His mind and says a group of people, i.e. Replacement Theology, which teaches everything about HaShem is now tossed aside and replaced and now this group of people who eat unclean, observe pagan feasts, rejects the Torah, and decides for themselves what is right and wrong, are now exactly what He has wanted from the beginning? Keep this in mind!

Shavuot has several names in His Word:

  • Feast of Reaping per Shemot (Exodus) 28:16
  • Feast of Shavuot per Shemot 34:22
  • Feast of Bikkurim (Firstfruits) per Bamidbar (Numbers) 28:26

The Feast of Shavuot is a Korbon Feast meaning HaShem requires animal and grain offerings be brought into His Temple. These korbonot are listed in Vayikra (Leviticus) 23:17 which tells us two minchah (Bread) offerings along with what is called an ‘External Chatat (Sin)’ korbonot of a young male goat. It is called an ‘External’ korbonot because it designates where the blood will be sprinkled, in this case on the external Mizbe’ach (Altar). Further this korbonot is also referred to as a ‘Communal’ obligatory korbonot in that this goat is offered up as a Chatat for ALL of Israel.

Additionally, per Bamidbar (Numbers) 28:26-27, two bulls, one ram and seven lambs are offered up as Olah (Burnt) korbonot, which means no one eats the meat as the meat is completely burned on the Mizbe’ach as a sweet aroma to HaShem.

One of the main korbonot brought to the Beis HaMikdash (Temple) is the Two Loaves (Shtei HaLechem) which is a Minchah korbonot i.e. a Bread Offering. Now when studying HaShem’s Word and utilizing the tools He gave us to study and learn, i.e. His Oral Torah (Mishnah, Talmud, Midrash, Etc), it is always very important to pay very close attention to the details! The Shtei HaLechem is no difference!

Vayikra (Leviticus) 23:17 says “From your dwelling places you shall bring bread that shall be waved, two loaves made of two tenth ephah, they shall be fine flour, they shall be baked leavened; first offerings to HaShem.”

The following excerpt from the Book of the Mitzvot #307 says “The Omer offering, a special Minchah (Bread) offering made of barley, is brought, in the Beis HaMikdash on the second day of Pesach (Passover). It permits consumption of the new crop of grain, any grain, that had taken root during the period of the preceding year’s Omer offering and this one. Fifty days later, on the Festival of Shavuos, we are commanded to bring another special Minchah. This offering, which is made of wheat, is known as the offering of the Two Loaves, Shtei HaLechem.” Notice the Minchah offered on Pesach is made of barley, but the Minchah offered on Shavuos is made from wheat?

Note #2 from the Book of the Mitzvot excerpt clarifies “As a general rule, offerings (Minchah) may not consist of leavened bread (Chametz). However, there are two offerings that are required to be made of chametz. These are the Two Loaves offering of Shavuos and ten of the forty loaves of the Todah (Thanksgiving) offering of Vayikra (Leviticus) 7:13. The Two Loaves offering is a form of thanksgiving to HaShem for this new harvest, and therefore shares this aspect with the Todah offering.”

Tractate Menahot from the Mishnah describes the Two Loaves: “The Two Loaves brought on Shavuot, thus Vayikra 23:15-17 ‘Until the morrow after the seventh Shabbat shall you number fifty days, and you shall offer a new meal offering to the Lord. You shall bring out of your habitations two wave loaves of two tenth measures, they shall be of fine flour…’ The above were eaten by the Kohanim.”

Tractate Menahot 5.6 from the Mishnah says “…How does he (Kohanim) proceed with the waving of the of the Two Loaves and the two lambs? He puts the Two Loaves on the two lambs. According to the Gemara (Talmud Commentary), he puts them beside the two lambs, ‘on’ actually signifying ‘near’ and puts his two hands underneath, and swings forward and backward in all four directions, and upward and downward, as it is written in Shemot (Exodus) 29:27: ‘Which is waved and heaved up’, ‘waved’ meaning forward and backward, and ‘heaved’ upward and downward. The above account of Aaron’s and his sons’ induction into the priesthood serves as a model for other waving’s”

Then, per Vayikra (Leviticus) 23:19 there are two male sheep offered up as a Shelamim (Peace) korbonot. It should also be noted all of these korbonot are considered to be ‘Communal’ and obligatory meaning they all are on behalf the entire people of Israel! This should be causing you to ask yourself some questions as it pertains to what we all were taught in Replacement Theology, which I will address shortly.

The biblical reference for Shavuot is found beginning in Shemot (Exodus) 19:1, which says “In the third month (Sivan) from the Exodus of the Children of Israel from the land of Egypt, on this day, they arrived at the Wilderness of Sinai. They journeyed from Rephidim and arrived at the Wilderness of Sinai and encamped in the Wilderness; and Israel encamped there, opposite the mountain.

Moshe ascended to Elohim, and HaShem called to him from the mountain, saying, ‘So shall you say to the House of Ya’akov (Jacob) and relate to the Children of Israel. You have seen what I did to Egypt, and that I have borne you on the wings of eagles and brought you to Me. And now, if you hearken well to Me and observe My covenant, you shall be to Me the most beloved treasure of all peoples, for Mine is the entire world. You shall be to Me a kingdom of ministers and a holy nation.’ These are the words that you shall speak to the Children of Israel.

Moshe came and summoned the elders of the people, and put before them all these words that HaShem had commanded him. The entire people responded together and said, ‘Everything that HaShem has spoken we shall do!’ Moshe brought back the words of the people to HaShem.”

Very interesting! So we see Israel arrived in the Wilderness of Sinai on the first day of Sivan and it was then HaShem made the proposal to Israel on the 2nd day of Sivan! “IF you hearken well to Me and observe My covenant, THEN you shall be to me the most beloved treasure of all the peoples, for Mine is the entire world.”

Consider this from an excerpt from the ‘Book of Our Heritage’ which says “The verse from Shir HaShirim (Song of Solomon) 2:2 states: ‘Like an apple tree among the trees of the forest, so is My beloved among the sons.’ Just as the apple tree gives fruit fifty days after blossoming, so too did Israel receive the Torah fifty days after their departure from Egypt!”

I have to stop here and address this point…I hear constantly from the adherents of Replacement Theology that anyone striving to keep the Torah is attempting to earn their salvation and thus are derived from the Kingdom of Satan for teaching lies and deceit. Well, these verses here once more prove them wrong…how do we know? Because the picture HaShem has shown is FIRST He ‘saved’ or ‘redeemed’ Israel from the bondage of Egypt due to no merit of their own and THEN He brings Israel to Sinai and we will see shortly it is AFTER He redeemed Israel that He gives His Torah and says and I will paraphrase “Now that I have redeemed you, here is My Torah to know how to live as My people!” Point is, FIRST comes salvation/redemption THEN comes the Torah to be set apart to HaShem as His Own by faith i.e. live it out, practice, study, learn and apply it, all of which are the biblical definition of faith in HaShem! Remember ‘Faith WITHOUT works i.e. Torah is dead’ per Ya’akov (James) chapter 2 in the Apostolic Writings! Okay, back on point.

So, we can see HaShem offered His proposal to Israel here on the 2nd day of Sivan, in which Israel responds with “Everything that HaShem has spoken we shall do!” Meaning Israel accepted His proposal!! Moshe then brings the response to HaShem on the 3rd day of Sivan. Baruch HaShem!

It should be noted that it is recorded HaShem did offer the Torah first to the Gentile nations, but they all refused Him. Israel is the only nation who accepted His proposal…which accounts as to why the world hates Israel so much since then to include today. This concept is derived from Devarim (Deuteronomy) 33:2 which states “He said: HaShem came from Sinai, having shone forth to them from Seir, having appeared from Mount Paran, and then approached with some of the holy myriads, from His right hand He presented the fiery Torah to them.” The commentary on this verse from the Talmud Bavli Tractate Avodah Zarah 2b says “With regard to the Revelation at Mount Sinai, our verse says, ‘HaShem came from Sinai, having shone forth to them from Seir, having appeared from Mount Paran.’ Seir is the homeland of the descendants of Eisav (Esau), and the descendants of Yishmael live on Mount Paran. This teaches that BEFORE HaShem gave the Torah to Israel at Mount Sinai, He offered it to the other nations of the world, and they all rejected His offer.”

Okay, moving on. So, now that Israel has accepted His proposal, He then tells Moshe in Shemot 19:9-15 “HaShem said to Moshe, ‘Behold! I come to you in the thickness of the cloud, so that the people will hear as I speak to you, and they will also believe in you forever.’ Moshe related the words of the people to HaShem (On the 3rd day of Sivan). HaShem said to Moshe, ‘Go to the people and sanctify (Kedusha/Kadosh/Set apart) them today and tomorrow and they shall wash their clothing. Let them be prepared for the third day, for on the third day HaShem shall descend in the sight of the entire people on Mount Sinai (6th day of Sivan). You shall set boundaries for the people roundabout saying, ‘Beware of ascending the mountain or touching its edge; whoever touches the mountain shall surely die. A hand shall not touch it, for he shall surely be stoned or surely thrown down; whether animal or person he shall not live; upon an extended blast of the shofar, they may ascend the mountain.’ Moshe descended from the mountain to the people. He sanctified the people and they washed their clothing. He said to the people, ‘Be prepared after a three day period; do not draw near a woman.’”

These verses are just astounding!! Remember HaShem reveals the end out of the beginning!! Here HaShem keeps reiterating ‘On the THIRD DAY!’ What is so significant about the THIRD DAY? Because HaShem established the pattern from the third day of creation that something or someone is revealed! On the third day dry land appeared during the week of creation! So, here on the THIRD DAY, HaShem will come down to Sinai and reveal Himself to Israel!

Consider that to HaShem a thousand years is but a day per Psalms 90:4 and 2 Kepha (Peter) 3:8, which again adds a prophetic element to this account and here is why: Hosea 6:1-2 says “Come, let us return to HaShem for He has mangled and He shall heal us; He has smitten and He shall bandage us. He will heal us AFTER TWO DAYS (Two thousand years of exile after the second Temple destruction); on the THIRD DAY He will raise us up and we will live before Him.” Remember HaShem has given mankind 7,000 years and then the World to Come. The first six days i.e. six thousand years mankind makes a mess out of things. Then on the Shabbat i.e. the Seventh Day or the last thousand years, Yeshua will rule and reign and we will rest in Him. So, how long has it been since Israel was scattered into the world after the destruction of the Temple by Rome? Approximately two days i.e. two thousand years! On the third day after the exile began, He will raise us up i.e. the resurrection of the righteous and the Gathering to HaShem on that Rosh Hashanah which begins on His calendar the seventh day i.e. the Day of HaShem! The point I am striving to drive home is that HaShem is completely consistent and unchanging…Yeshua changed NOTHING despite what Replacement Theology teaches!

We also see how HaShem gives Israel three days to purify themselves i.e. sanctify themselves….remember sanctification has nothing to do with salvation/redemption, it is all about being set apart to Him for service unto Him. Is it a coincidence then that when a person is being purified from corpse impurity during the SEVEN day purification process that the ashes the Parah Adumah (Red Heifer) are sprinkled on the person on the THIRD and SEVENTH days and then are clean before HaShem? Point is, pattern…consistency…He never changes! Moving on.

Then we see from these verses in Shemot HaShem establishes boundaries because of the kedusha issue. When one draws closer to HaShem, the level of kedusha increases…such as we see in the Temple. For example, Gentiles can only go so far in the Temple, they cannot cross the Soreg (Lattice worked wall). If they do, there is a death penalty. Israelite women can go only as far as the Ezrat Nashim (Court of the Women), if they violate this, there is a death penalty. Israelite men can only go to the Court of the Israelite’s. The Kohanim (Priests) can only go so far and then finally the Kohen HaGadol (High Priest) can only enter the Most Holy Place one time a year on Yom Kippur. If he violates this, then he will die by the Hand of Heaven in that year. Further, no one is allowed to turn their back towards the Most Holy Place anywhere in the Temple…to do so is a death penalty. No one is allowed to enter the Temple with their heads uncovered…again it is a death penalty…why? Kedusha!! Point is, HaShem is kadosh, and He commands we as His people are to be kadosh like Him.

With this all said, to be His people means we MUST have boundaries in our lives and MUST be kadosh…which is best defined by my teacher, Joseph Good of HaTikvah Ministries, who defined kedusha as: “The time, space and objects that are limited to us through the agency of kedusha (Holiness) are signs that as HaShem’s covenantal partners, we must relinquish some control in every sphere of our existence and reserve those elements for His service!” Can we be His people when we toss His Torah out and declare it null and void as Replacement Theology teaches? Nope! It is utterly impossible! This is why Replacement Theology doctrine is so tremendously dangerous as it is leading people to their utter ruin and they, in most cases, have no idea they are running headlong into a speeding freight train, figuratively speaking. I digress…moving on.

So, then on the THIRD DAY what happens? Per Shemot 19:16-24 says “On the THIRD DAY when it was morning, there was thunder and lightning and a heavy cloud on the mountain, and the sound of the shofar was very powerful, and the entire people that was in the camp shuddered. Moshe (Remember Moshe is a picture of Messiah Yeshua!) brought the people forth from the camp toward Elohim, and they stood at the bottom of the mountain. All of Mount Sinai was smoking because HaShem had descended upon it in the fire; its smoke ascended like the smoke of the furnace, and the entire mountain shuddered exceedingly. The sound of the shofar grew continually much stronger; Moshe would speak and Elohim would respond to him with a voice.

HaShem descended upon Mount Sinai to the top of the mountain; HaShem summoned Moshe to the top of the mountain, and Moshe ascended. HaShem said to Moshe, ‘Descend, warn the people, lest they break through to HaShem to see, and a multitude of them will fall. Even the Kohanim who approach HaShem should be prepared, lest HaShem burst forth against them.’ Moshe said to HaShem, ‘The people cannot ascend Mount Sinai, for You have warned us, saying, ‘Bound the mountain and sanctify it.’ HaShem said to him, ‘Go, descend. Then you shall ascend, and Aharon with you, but the Kohanim, and the people, they shall not break through to ascend to HaShem, lest He burst forth against them.’ Moshe descended to the people and said it to them.”

Again, HaShem is reinforcing the concept of kedusha! This is why it makes my blood boil every time I hear Replacement Theology go on and on about how ‘The veil is torn in two, now all of us have access to the Most Holy Place and go in whenever we want, however we want and answer to no one…’ No, no, no!!! Very, very, very wrong concept….think of how many people Replacement Theology would send to their deaths if the Temple were standing in Jerusalem today and people just waltzed in and tried to enter the Heichal (Sanctuary)? There would be piles of corpses laying around the place! Again can you see just how deadly Replacement Theology truly is?

So, now HaShem has descended onto the mountain and He then says in Shemot 20:1-14 says “Elohim spoke all these statements, saying: ‘I am HaShem, your Elohim, Who has taken you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of slavery. There shall not be to you the gods of others in My presence. You shall not make yourself a carved image nor any likeness of that which is in the heavens above or on the earth below or in the waters beneath the earth. You shall not prostrate yourself to them and you shall not worship them, for I am HaShem, your Elohim, a jealous Elohim, Who visits the sin of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations, for My enemies; but Who shows kindness for thousands of generations to those who love Me and observe My commandments (What did Yeshua, the Agent of HaShem, reiterate? ‘If you love Me, keep My commandments!’ Means again NOTHING changed!) You shall not take the Name of HaShem, your Elohim, in vain, for HaShem will not absolve anyone who takes His Name in vain.

Remember the Shabbat day to sanctify it. Six days shall you work and do all your labor; but the seventh day is Shabbat to HaShem, your Elohim; you shall not do any work, you, your son, your daughter; your slave, your maidservant, your animal, and your convert within your gates, for in six days HaShem made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and He rested on the seventh day. Therefore, HaShem blessed the Shabbat day and sanctified it.” So, what gives Replacement Theology the authority to declare HaShem’s Shabbat day now is null and void and any ole day can be Shabbat? The answer is, they CANNOT change what HaShem has decreed to be sanctified! Another reason why He will destroy Replacement Theology in the End!.

Honor your father and your mother, so that your days will be lengthened upon the land that HaShem, your Elohim gives you. You shall not kill; you shall not commit adultery; you shall not steal; you shall not bear false witness against your fellow. You shall not covet your fellow’s house. You shall not covet your fellow’s wife, his manservant, his maidservant, his ox, his donkey, nor anything that belongs to your fellow.”

So, again we see HaShem is giving the terms of the proposal to Israel i.e. He is giving Israel the Torah! In other words, HaShem, Who is the prospective Groom proposes to Israel i.e. the prospective Bride. She accepts His proposal and then He presents to her on the 6th day of Sivan what is called the ‘Ketubah’ i.e. the marriage contract, which stipulates everything the Groom will do and is responsible for taking care of His Bride and the responsibilities the Bride has to the Groom! Folks, understand, the Torah of HaShem IS the Ketubah which means Israel IS the Bride and it is on Shavuot, the 6th day of Sivan, He gave His Ketubah!

Does this change your perception of the Torah now? Can the so called ‘Church’ of Replacement Theology be the bride? Not a chance in Hades! Why? Because the Church has tossed out the Torah declaring it ‘Bondage, dung, human feces, deception, shackles of death, destruction, etc!’ I am not exaggerating either…many, many people in Replacement Theology really do believe this and claim Paul said these things in his letters, which is utter garbage and blasphemy! So, can there be a bride when the prospective bride claims the marriage contract has been tossed out? Or to put it another way, how can there be a wedding when the bride refuses to show up and has by default married someone else i.e. Replacement Theology/Torah Abolishing ‘Jesus’ whose entire doctrine is ‘Change’ culminating with the Torah is tossed out? I digress.

Consider a prophetic verse of the End of Days which is found in the book of Shoftim (Judges) 21:25 which says “In those days (Biblical idiom to reference the End of Days) there was no king in Israel; A MAN WOULD DO WHATEVER SEEMED PROPER IN HIS EYES.” In other other words, Torahlessness i.e. Lawlessness was the way people lived in the End. People spit on HaShem and embraced what was pleasing in their own eyes and thus would decide for themselves what is right and what is wrong, hence there was no king. This verse, in my opinion, sums up Replacement Theology and the devastating effects this Satanic doctrine has had on the world. Something to consider.

Additionally, during Shavuot, it is a part of the Feast for us to read the Book of Ruth. Why the Book of Ruth? Per the Book of Ruth Artscroll Commentary the Book of Ruth is indicative of being a picture of HaShem taking things which are impure and withdrawing purity from it! Job 14:3 says “Who can withdraw purity from impurity?” Further, the Bamidbar Midrash 19:1 says “Abraham came from Terach, Hezekiah from Achaz, Yoshiah from Omon, Mordechai from Shim’i, Israel from the nations, the World to Come from this world. Who could do this? Who could command this? Who could decree this? No one but HaShem, the only One on earth!” Keep all this in mind!

THE JEWISH WEDDING PROCESS

I am going to quickly discuss the Jewish wedding process because it relates to us today.

The Groom is required to “Pay the Bride Price” for the prospective bride. This MUST be something of value such as property, money or other forms of wealth. In this case, HaShem gave His Torah, something of immeasurable value for the Bride!

It is interesting to note that on Shavuot in the synagogues, a Ketubah is read and the date ‘6th of Sivan in the biblical year 2448’ (The number of years from Creation) is the date of the Betrothal between HaShem and Israel! Further, it is acknowledged that the Torah is the Bride Price that was paid for her!

There are TWO phases to a Jewish wedding:

  • Erusin = The Betrothal Phase – The husband and wife are technically married, but they do not live under the same roof together, they do not partake of marriage sexual relations, but if either party wants to end the relationship, or if either party violates the terms of the Ketubah, they will need to obtain a divorce document called a ‘Get’. Yirmiyah (Jeremiah) 3:8 says “And I saw that despite the fact that I (HaShem) divorced wayward Israel because of her adultery (Idolatry) and gave her a bill of divorce to her, unfaithful Judah, her sister, was not afraid; she too went and committed adultery.” So, HaShem DID divorce Israel………..BUT, there is hope! Since it is forbidden in His Torah for a man to remarry his divorced wife who married another man per Devarim 24:4, HaShem legally cannot remarry Israel….or can He? Again, this is where understanding the role of Yeshua comes into play as the ‘Agent of HaShem’. Yeshua comes on the scene, and what does He do? He offers Himself up and dies on Pesach, thus releasing HaShem from the prohibition of Devarim 24:4. HaShem then resurrects Yeshua on the THIRD DAY, the Ketubah is restored and renewed, and now HaShem can resume being in the Erusin stage of the marriage betrothal process! Does this change your perception of Yeshua’s role? If the Ketubah had been done away with as Replacement Theology teaches, then there is NO Marriage whatsoever! So, who is this Replacement Theology’s ‘Jesus’ married too? No one! There are no terms of marriage i.e. no Ketubah!
  • Nissuin = Full Marriage – This will happen on the Rosh HaShanah HaShem has designated when Yeshua will be crowned King and then the Wedding Ceremony takes place. Remember Yeshua is the ‘Agent of HaShem’, and as HaShem’s Agent, will be the One to literally marry Israel. Just before the Nissuin ceremony the Groom must agree to the terms of the Ketubah in the presence of two witnesses, whereupon these two witnesses sign the Ketubah. Is it possible then that Moshe and Elijah i.e. Torah and the Prophets, present at Yeshua’s transfiguration in Matthew 17 are the two witnesses?

The Nissuin ceremony takes seven days in which the couple spends those seven days secluded. Again we see the picture emerging of the seven years where the new couple is secluded in the Heavenly Temple during the seven years of the Birth Pangs here on earth, erroneously called ‘The Tribulation’ period. It is here Yeshua begins His reign as King and then at the end of the seven days, He and the Bride emerge, and on that Yom Kippur, He and His Bride return to the earth where He marches into Jerusalem, defeats and destroys the False Messiah and His Replacement Theology doctrine. Then on that Sukkot, five days later, the greatest celebration ever experienced by humanity takes place for those seven days as all of HaShem’s enemies are wiped out and obliterated.

Now with this said, consider what HaShem says in Hosea 2:18-25 which says “And it shall be on that day (An idiom to mean the Day of HaShem in the End), declares HaShem, you (Israel) will call Me, ‘my Husband’ and you will no longer call Me, ‘My Master.’ And I will remove the names of the Baal idols from her mouth and they will no longer be remembered by their name. And I will seal for them a covenant on that day with the beasts of the field and the birds of the sky and the creeping things of the ground; and the bow, the sword, and war I will eradicate from the land, and I will lay them down in safety. And I WILL BETROTH YOU TO ME FOREVER, AND  I WILL BETROTH YOU TO ME WITH RIGHTEOUSNESS AND WITH JUSTICE, BENEVOLENCE AND MERCY. AND I WILL BETROTH TO ME WITH FAITH, AND YOU WILL KNOW HASHEM. And it will be on that day, I will answer, declares HaShem; I will answer the heavens and they shall answer the earth. And the earth shall answer the grain, the wine, and the oil, and they shall answer Jezreel (Specific location in Israel where crops are grown). And I shall sow her to Me in the land, and I will have mercy upon the unpitied one, and I will say to those who are not My nation, ‘You are My nation’ and he shall say, ‘You are my Elohim.’” Whelp, this just destroyed Replacement Theology once and for all!

Consider what He says in Song of Songs 3:11 which says “Go forth and gaze, O daughters distinguished by loyalty to Elohim, upon the King Shlomo adorned with the crown His nation made, on that day, His Torah was given and HE BECAME ONE WITH ISRAEL, and on the day His heart was gladdened by His Tabernacle’s consecration.”

Also consider the interesting verses in Yirmiyah (Jeremiah) 23:5-6 which says speaking of Messiah Yeshua “Behold, days are coming, the Word of HaShem, when I will establish a righteous sprout from David; a king will reign and prosper and he will administer justice and righteousness in the land. In his days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely. THIS IS THE NAME PEOPLE WILL CALL HIM – ‘HASHEM IS OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.”

Now read this in contrast Yirmiyah (Jeremiah) 33:15-16 which says “In those days, at that time, I will cause a sprout of righteousness to sprout forth for David, and he will administer justice and righteousness in the land. In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will dwell in security; AND THIS IS WHAT PEOPLE WILL CALL JERUSALEM – HASHEM IS OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.”

What is so special about these verses? These verses show there was a wedding that took place and now both Messiah and His Bride i.e. Israel are called “HaShem is our righteousness!” Again I have to ask, can there be any truth to Replacement Theology and its doctrine the Ketubah/Torah have been tossed aside and replaced? Again not a chance in Hades!!

So, with all this said, Shavuot IS the date we celebrate as entering into the Erusin phase of the marriage between HaShem and Israel! The giving of the Torah is the Ketubah of this marriage and thus each Shavuot we acknowledge we re-dedicate ourselves to the Ketubah i.e. the Torah of HaShem.

Now consider, Yeshua dies on Pesach, is in the grave and HaShem resurrects Him on First Fruits. He is seen for the next 40 days and then what does He tell His Talmidim to do in preparation for Shavuot as is recorded in Acts 1:4? It is recorded “And meeting with them (His Talmidim), He commanded them NOT to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father which you have heard from Me.” So, Yeshua is telling them to stay in Jerusalem, go up to the Temple on Shavuot as required by the Torah, which remember requires animal korbonot to include Chatat (Sin) korbonot, and then wait for the Ruach i.e. the Promise of the Father. Why is this significant? Because this is Shavuot, the re-dedication to the Ketubah, which Yeshua just restored, renewed, and HaShem, like before, He gives His Ruach to His people to strengthen them to rebel and become a Lawless/Torahless bunch as Replacement Theology teaches? No, of course not, but His Ruach will help us KEEP His Torah i.e. the Ketubah and remain faithful to Him, leading us into all righteousness.

If Yeshua had ended everything to include the animal korbonot, then here would have been the perfect time to tell His Talmidim NOT to stay in Jerusalem and to go to another place…but instead, He tells them to keep the Torah! Again, nothing changed!

I hope and pray you can see the importance of Shavuot and why we WANT to keep this appointment with HaShem!! We WANT to rededicate ourselves to His Ketubah as His people and His Bride! If we truly love Him, then we will want to walk according to how He said to live…remember first comes salvation/redemption THEN the Ketubah/Torah as the means to express our faith, love, devotion and loyalty unto Him….not perfectly as that is unfortunately not possible right now, but striving for that. All I can say is, ‘May it be SO VERY, VERY soon in our days!!!’

Much to consider.

Shabbat Shalom!

SOURCE MATERIALS:

  • The Stone Edition Chumash by Artscroll
  • Song of Songs by Artscroll
  • The Milstein Edition Jeremiah by Artscroll
  • Tehillim by Artscroll
  • The Scriptures by the Institute for Scripture Research
  • The Milstein Edition Shemot of The Chumash with the Talmud by Artscroll
  • The Milstein Edition Vayikra of The Chumash with the Talmud by Artscroll
  • The Milstein Edition Bamidbar of The Chumash with the Talmud by Artscroll
  • The Milstein Edition Devarim of The Chumash with the Talmud by Artscroll
  • The Book of Our Heritage by Eliyahu Kitov
  • Tractate Menachot, Kehati Mishnah
  • The Early Prophets Joshua/Judges by Artscroll
  • The Book of Ruth by Artscroll

‘IF YOU WILL FOLLOW, OBSERVE AND PERFORM MY COMMANDMENTS!’

“Salvation is far from the wicked (Those who do not even care to learn about HaShem’s Torah), for they sought not Your statutes (Torah).” Psalms 119:155

As I begin to put this Op together, it is 27 May 2022, the Erev Shabbat i.e. Friday and going into day #42 of fifty days of the Counting of the Omer from Pesach towards Shavuot! It is also just a few days after the horrific elementary school shooting having taken place in Uvaldi, Texas in which 19 young children and two school teachers were brutally murdered. This event is in conjunction with the escalating economic problems which are more and more consuming the American public. Expected food, water, supply and medicinal shortages along with famine are actually now being considered as becoming a very real reality in the coming months! Law and order are breaking down, debauchery, evilness, corruption, wickedness and perversion are now the norm.

Our society is embracing vile idolatry more and more it seems, especially the idolatry of abortion i.e. embracing the god of Moloch i.e. slaughtering babies in the womb in the name of convenience and/or profit!

If children survive not being slaughtered and not being offered up to Moloch, children in America are being taught they can, upon a whim, up and decide their genders can literally be anything they want it to be, despite what they were naturally born with. Homosexuality is openly celebrated and encouraged. Rebellion against HaShem and the order He established from the beginning is being taught as the normal and evidence of a person being ‘enlightened!’

Military tensions between America and China, Russia, North Korea, Venezuela, Iran, etc, are rapidly escalating by the day it seems! Our enemies are becoming emboldened especially in light of weak, chaotic and confused American leadership!

With all this said, there is one common question I have been hearing being asked from people of all faiths and status, ‘Why is G-d allowing all these problems to happen?’ The answer to this question, is found in this weeks Torah portion i.e. ‘Bechukosai’ which is found in Vayikra (Leviticus) 26:3-27:34! Is it a coincidence the answer is in this week’s Torah portion? Remember, NOTHING is a coincidence with HaShem!

My intent is to make this Op as short as possible but still convey a message…we shall see if its possible or not…:)

Before we can examine this further, always remember the following eternal characteristics of HaShem and His Torah:

  • HaShem never changes per Num 23:19/Mal 3:6/Hebrews 13:8/James 1:17
  • His Word is firmly established per Psalm 119:89
  • He reveals the end out of the beginning per Is 46:10
  • He does nothing without first revealing it to His prophets per Amos 3:7
  • He says there is nothing new under the sun per Ecclesiastes 1:9
  • He says His Torah is the ONLY truth there is per Psalms 119:142
  • He says His Torah is a tree of life and eternal per Proverbs 3:18-19 and Psalm 119:160
  • He says His Torah is perfect and restores the soul per Psalm 19:7
  • He says His Torah makes the simple one wise per Psalm 19:7
  • He says His Torah Is freedom and liberty per Psalm 119:45 and James 1:25
  • He says His Torah is the only good doctrine there is Proverbs 4:2
  • He says His Torah will add length of days and years of life and peace per Proverbs 3:2
  • He says all of the ways of His Torah are ways of pleasantness and peace per Proverbs 3:17
  • He says His Torah is for our good and well-being per Deuteronomy 6:24
  • He says His Torah is health for our lives per Proverbs 3:8
  • He says His Torah is life to our soul and a graceful ornament for our neck per Prov 3:22
  • He says His Torah is better than pearls and all desires cannot compare to it per Prov 8:11
  • He says those who walk with His Torah are praiseworthy per Psalms 119:1
  • He says observing His Torah is how we purify our path per Psalms 119:9
  • He says His Torah is better than thousands in gold and silver per Psalms 119:72
  • He says His Torah brings abundant peace to those who love Him and His Torah per Psalms 119:165
  • He says there is one Torah for all per Exodus 12:49/Leviticus 24:22
  • He says those who hate His Torah love death per Proverbs 8:36
  • He says His Torah is the way of faith per Psalms 119:29-30
  • He says His Torah makes us wiser than our enemies per Psalms 119:98
  • He says His Torah is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path per Psalms 119:105
  • He says one who finds His Torah has found life per Proverbs 8:35
  • He says one who finds His Torah has found favor from HaShem per Proverbs 8:35
  • He says Messiah Yeshua is the GOAL of His Torah, meaning without His Torah, Messiah cannot be known per Romans 10:4
  • He says if we had believed Moshe/Torah, we would have believed Messiah per John 5:46
  • He says His Torah makes us wiser than our enemies per Psalms 119:98
  • He says His salvation is far from the wicked for they sought not His Torah per Psalms 119:155
  • He says to hold fast to and guard His Torah, for it is our life per Proverbs 4:13

Consider what HaShem when He begins Parashas ‘Bechukosai’ which is found in Vayikra (Leviticus) 26:3-27:34. Vayikra 26:3-5 says IF you will follow My decrees and observe My commandments and perform them, THEN I will provide your rains in their time, and the land will give its produce and the tree of the field will give its fruit. Your threshing will last until the vintage, and the vintage will last until the sowing; you will eat your bread to satiety and YOU WILL DWELL SECURELY IN YOUR LAND.”

The commentary on these verses is very clear, “Our pasuk (Verse) talks about the blessings that come to the nation when it observes the Torah properly. Had the Torah told us only these blessings, we may have thought that the blessings come when we observe the Torah and they do not come when we fail to do so, but we would not know that there are punishments associated with NOT keeping the Torah. This is why the Torah later describes the curses that come if the Torah is not properly observed. Our pasuk begins the list of blessings that we will receive if we keep HaShem’s mitzvos (Commandments). The word ‘IF’ should be understood as a plea. HaShem begs us to keep His mitzvos so that He can reward us.”

What we need to understand, is HaShem issues this same plea to His people repeatedly from Genesis to Revelation! His plea is always the same plea and one example is found in Yeshayah (Isaiah) 1:18-20 which says “Come now, let us reason together, says HaShem. If your sins are like scarlet they will become white as snow; if they have become red as crimson, they will become white as wool. If you are willing and obey (Torah), you will eat the goodness of the land. But if you refuse and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword (War, conflict, violence, etc), for the mouth of HaShem has spoken.” What is the significance of our sins being like scarlet or red as crimson? The commentary on these verses explains this further and says “Sin is likened metaphorically to a red stain on a garment, which is visible from afar and is hard to wash out. Repentance ‘bleaches’ it clean and white. Crimson is a deeper, darker shade of red i.e. if the sins were very serious, repentance will still help, but it will only change the crimson to the off white color of unprocessed wool.”

Tractate Kiddushin 61b from the Talmud Bavli says “If you walk in My statutes, quoting Vayikra 26:3, you will receive blessings; conversely; ‘And if you reject My statutes, quoting Vayikra 26:15, you will receive curses. However, according to the opinion of Rabbi Hanina ben Gamliel, why do I need both of these clauses? The Gemara (Commentary) answers: ‘They are both necessary, as it might enter your mind to say ‘If you follow My statutes you will receive a blessing, whereas if you reject My statutes you will receive neither a blessing or a curse.’ The verse therefore teaches us that the rejection of HaShem’s statutes warrants a curse.'”

HaShem gave Israel His Torah after His deliverance from Egypt at Mount Sinai. His spokesman was Moshe, whom HaShem had selected as His agent. Moshe, at one point, would sit and spend his time answering questions the people had concerning the Torah. His father in law, Yethro, quickly discerned this was not good as it would wear out Moshe and render him completely ineffective as a leader. Therefore, we read in Shemot (Exodus) 18:21-23 where HaShem commands the establishment of a court system: “And you shall discern from among the entire people, men of accomplishment, G-d fearing people, men of truth, people who despise money, and you shall appoint them leaders of thousands, leaders of hundreds, leaders of fifties, and leaders of tens. They shall JUDGE the people at all times, and they shall bring every great matter to you, and every minor matter they shall judge, and it will be eased for you, and they shall bear with you.”

Bamidbar (Numbers) 11:16-17 says “HaShem said to Moshe, ‘Gather to Me seventy men from the elders of Israel, whom you know to be the elders of the people and its officers; take them to the Ohel Moed (Tent of Meeting) and have them stand there with you. I will descend and speak with you there, and I will increase some of the spirit that is upon and place it upon them, and they shall bear the burden of the people with you, and you shall not bear alone.’”

Devarim (Deuteronomy) 16:18-20 says “Judges and officers shall you appoint in all your cities, which HaShem, your G-d, gives you for your tribes; and they shall judge the people with righteous judgment. You shall not pervert judgment, you shall not respect someone’s presence, and you shall not accept a bribe, for the bribe will blind the eyes of the wise and make the words of the righteous crooked. Righteousness, righteousness shall you pursue so that you will live and possess the Land that HaShem, your G-d, gives you.”

Devarim 17:8-13 says “If a matter of judgment is hidden from you, between blood and blood, between verdict and verdict, between affliction and affliction, matters of disputes in your cities, you shall rise up and ascend to the place that HaShem, your G-d shall choose. You shall come to the Kohanim, the Leviim, and to the judge who will be in those days; you shall inquire and they will tell you the word of judgment. You shall do according to the matter they will tell you, from that place that HaShem will choose, and you shall be careful to do according to everything they will teach you. According to the Torah that they will teach you and according to the judgment that they will say to you, shall you do; you shall not deviate from the word that they will tell you, right or left. And the man who will act with willfulness, not listening to the Kohen who stands there to serve HaShem, your G-d, or to the judge, that man shall die, and you shall destroy the evil from among Israel. The entire nation shall listen and fear, and they shall not act willfully any more.”

In other words, the ‘Halakah’ or ‘The way to walk in the Torah of HaShem’ is determined by the anointed Sanhedrin and their recorded right rulings for how to walk in the Torah. Where are these recorded rulings of the Sanhedrin? They are contained in the Mishnah and expounded upon in the Jerusalem and Babylonian versions of the Talmud which form the initial basis for the Oral Torah. Point is, once again, we see the Oral Torah IS derived from HaShem Himself and IS required for us to know how to walk in service to HaShem. To reject the Oral Torah is in fact sin and is in fact the rejection of HaShem and His Torah Himself! Keep this in mind as we proceed.

The following entries are derived from the book ‘The Handbook of Jewish Thought’ by Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan:

11:5 – “Therefore, only the Sanhedrin had the authority to appoint a king or High Priest over Israel. Only the Sanhedrin could appoint minor Sanhedrin’s, declare voluntary war, or add to the area of the Temple or Jerusalem. Similarly, only the Sanhedrin had the jurisdiction to judge an entire tribe, and apostate city, a false prophet, or a rebellious elder. If a High Priest was guilty of a capital offense, he could be judged only by the Sanhedrin.”

11:7 – “As representatives of all Israel, the Sanhedrin also administered the Temple. The Sanhedrin would judge the fitness of the Kohen-Priests for service and prepare the Red Heifer. They would also provide corrected copies of the Torah.”

11:8 – “The Sanhedrin was the FINAL authority in all questions of the Torah. Whoever believes in the authority of the Torah MUST accept the decisions of the Sanhedrin as binding.”

11:9 – “It is a positive commandment to obey the Sanhedrin in all questions of Torah law. It is thus written, ‘You must follow all that they declare to you, from the place G-d shall choose, and you must observe all that they teach you’ quoting Deuteronomy 17:10. This includes all questions of tradition and Torah interpretation, as well as legislation passed by the Sanhedrin.”

11:10 – “It is forbidden to dispute the authority of the Sanhedrin. It is thus written, ‘You must follow the law that they teach you and the judgment that they declare to you; you must not turn aside…to the right or to the left’ quoting Deuteronomy 17:11.”

11:11 – “Decisions of the Sanhedrin must be accepted even if they appear to be mistakes or illogical.”

11:24 – “Any legislation enacted by the Sanhedrin is called a ‘Rabbinical Commandment’ as distinguished from a commandment from the Torah. Even legislation enacted by the Sanhedrin of Moses is considered a Rabbinical Commandment.”

Tractate Avodah Zarah 5a from the Talmud Bavli says “The Sages taught with regard to the verse: ‘If you walk in My statutes (Leviticus) 26:3, in this context, ‘IF” is a term that means nothing other than supplication i.e. HaShem is hoping that the Jewish people will observe the Torah. And similarly, it is stated ‘Oh that My people would hearken to Me, that Israel would walk in My ways, I would soon subdue their enemies’ (Psalms 81:14-15). And it states: ‘Oh that you would hearken to My commandments! Then your peace would be as a river, and your righteousness as the waves of the sea. Your seed also would be as the sand, and the offspring of your body like its grains (Isaiah 48:18-19).'”

Continuing on with this Torah portion, ‘Bechukosai’!

Vayikra (Leviticus) 26:6-9 says “I will provide peace in the Land, and you will lie down with none to frighten you. I will cause wild beasts to withdraw from the Land, and a sword will not cross your Land. You will pursue your enemies; and they will fall before you by the sword. Five of you will pursue a hundred, and a hundred of you will pursue ten thousand; and your enemies will fall before you by the sword. I will turn My attention to you, I will make you fruitful and increase you; and I will establish My covenant with you.”

Vayikra (Leviticus) 26:10-13 says “You will eat very old grain and remove the old to make way for the new. I will place My Sanctuary (Temple) among you; and My Spirit will NOT reject you. I will walk among you, I will be Elohim unto you and you will be a people unto Me. I am HaShem your Elohim, Who took you out of the land of Egypt from being their slaves; I broke the staves of your yoke and I will lead you very high.”

The commentary says “The term ‘Mishkan’ literally, ‘Dwelling Place’, generally refers to the Mishkan (Tabernacle) that was built in the Wilderness after the Jews left Egypt. But in our Pasuk (Verse) HaShem says that ‘He will’ in the future tense, place His Sanctuary among the Jews. This cannot mean only the Mishkan, because the Mishkan was already built when this promise was given. We learn from this that the term ‘Mishkan’ also includes the ‘Beis HaMikdash’ i.e. the Temple in Jerusalem, which is where HaShem would dwell in the future.”

So, we can clearly see there are enormous benefits to walking in the Torah of HaShem as opposed to what most of Christendom in its Replacement Theology spews out in its anti-Torah doctrine of ‘change’! And then our society today constantly asks the questions as to why HaShem would allow all these terrible events to take place and the stability of our country to crumble while our enemies are emboldened? To teach the Torah is the problem and the source of all bondage and destruction as Replacement Theology teaches, is the height of rebellion and rejection of HaShem! Keep this in mind!

Now HaShem addresses what will happen if we as a people reject His Torah and by default embrace idolatry and determine to go our own ways according to our own desires. You read what He says Himself and then see if you can see any similarities to today!

Vayikra (Leviticus) 26:14-17 says “But IF you will NOT listen to Me and will NOT perform all of these commandments; if you consider My decrees loathsome (As Christendom and its Replacement Theology absolutely decrees His Torah to be loathsome), and if your being rejects My ordinances, so as not to perform all My commandments, so that you annul My covenant, THEN I will do the same to you; I will assign upon you panic (Terror), swelling lesions (Pandemics), and burning fever, which causes eyes to long and souls to suffer; you will sow your seeds in vain, for your enemies will eat it (Economic destruction and theft – consider the millions of illegals pouring into the country and stealing our economic benefits reserved for US citizens?) I will turn My attention AGAINST you, you will be struck down before enemies and those who hate you will subjugate you, you will flee with no one pursuing you.”

This sounds just like America today being consumed with the effects of terrorism, pandemics, inflation, the illegals pouring across our border stealing our resources. Meanwhile our enemies are emboldened and becoming more and more threatening. Our military power and effectiveness will be quickly eroded and we will be humiliated before our enemies and we are seeing this happen now, with the focus no longer being about training to defeat our mortal enemies, but rather focusing on embracing homosexuals and transgenders!

Vayikra (Leviticus) 26:18-20 says “If despite this you do not heed Me, then I shall punish you further, seven ways for your sins. I will break the pride of your might; I will make your heaven like iron and your land like copper. Your strength will be spent in vain; your land will not give its produce and the tree of the land will not give its fruit.” The commentary on these verses also includes the desecration of HaShem’s Name as well as desecrating HaShem’s Shabbat’s! Why is this significant? What greater form of desecration exists than for Replacement Theology to teach the Shabbat of HaShem is now done away with and replaced by either Sunday or any day of the week we choose, just cannot be the Seventh Day of the Week?

Vayikra (Leviticus) 26:21-22 says “If you behave casually with Me and refuse to heed Me, then I shall lay a further blow upon you, seven ways, like your sins. I will incite the wildlife of the field against you and it will leave you bereft of your children (Could this be a metaphor for the insane, violent people such as school shooters who attack schools and slaughter the children?) Decimate your livestock, and diminish you; and your roads will become desolate (Look at the inflation along with the gas prices destroying businesses and transportation across the country, truckers are not able to transport because its too expensive i.e. the roads are becoming desolate!)” Again, what is a more casual attitude towards HaShem than to embrace Replacement Theology thinking everything He has established from the beginning is now tossed away with and replaced?

Vayikra (Leviticus) 26:23-26 says “If through these you will not be chastised toward Me, and you behave casually with Me, then I, too, will behave casually toward you with casualness; and I will strike you, even I, seven ways for your sins. I will bring upon you a sword, avenging the vengeance of a covenant, you will be gathered into your cities, then I will send a pestilence among you and you will be delivered into the hand of your enemy. When I break for you the staff of bread, ten women will bake your bread in one oven, and they will bring back your bread by weight; you will eat and not be sated.” Sounds very much like the lockdowns of COVID and now the new pandemic beginning to emerge i.e. Monkeypox, which is spread by the ultimate form of rebellion against HaShem i.e. homosexual sex!

Vayikra (Leviticus) 26:27-32 says “If despite this you will not heed Me, and you behave toward Me with casualness, I will behave toward you with a fury of casualness; I will chastise you, even I, seven ways for your sins. You will eat the flesh of your sons; and the flesh of your daughters you will eat (How many abortions result in the harvesting of human organs and flesh for use in our food, cosmetic and medicinal products? Point is, how literal is this today?) I will destroy your altars and decimate your sun idols, I will cast your carcasses upon the carcasses of your idols, and My Spirit will reject you. I will lay your cities in ruin and I will make your sanctuaries desolate; I will not savor your satisfying aromas. I will make the land desolate, and your foes who dwell upon it will be desolate. And you, I will scatter among the nations, I will unsheathe the sword after you; your land will be desolate and your cities will be in ruin.” How many of America’s cities today are on the verge of collapse because of the violent crimes, corruption, debauchery, perversions, idolatry, etc?

Remember, HaShem also gives very strong prophetic decrees concerning the destruction of the End of Days Babylon i.e. the United States of America, in Jeremiah 50-51! I would encourage you to read those chapters yourselves and see how close to the final destruction of the US by the Hand of HaShem, we truly are!

This Op isn’t intended to condemn anyone, it is intended to answer the questions people are asking as of late as to why all terrible these things are happening in the US today! The answer is plain as day, walk in the Torah of HaShem, and He will bless everyone, reject Him and His Torah, and then all these terrible things will come as the result! Neither I nor you make the rules…HaShem, He is Master of the Legions of Heaven!

The Haftarah for this Torah portion is from Yirmiah (Jeremiah) 16:19-17:14 and it begins with “HaShem, my Strength, my Stronghold and my Refuge in the day of travail, to You nations will come from the ends of the earth, and say ‘Our ancestors inherited only falsehood, futility that has no purpose….” In other words, the gentiles will awaken and come to HaShem and say ‘Our ancestors inherited nothing but lies i.e. Christendom and its Replacement Theology, and now we recognize only You, HaShem, Master of Legions, are the One and Only true Elohim and there is no other….its all futile outside of HaShem!’ How often is this happening today with people being awoken out of their slumber by HaShem and realizing everything they were taught in the systems of religion are nothing but futile, worthless lies? Believe me, it is happening more and more each day! My point is, its a gigantic indicator we are truly at the end! May it be so very, very soon in our days!

Shabbat Shalom!

SOURCE MATERIALS:

  • The Milstein Edition Chumash with the Teachings of the Talmud by Artscroll
  • The Koren Tanach by Koren Publishers
  • The Steinsaltz Talmud Bavli
  • The Talmud Yerushalmi
  • The Kehati Mishnah

SHIR HASHIRIM – THE VOICE OF THE BRIDEGROOM PART 3

“And now, children, listen to me (Torah); praiseworthy are those who heed my ways. Harken unto discipline and grow wise and do not reject wisdom (Torah). Praiseworthy is the person who listens to me (Torah), to hasten to my (Torah) doors every day, to guard the doorposts of my (Torah) entrances. For one who finds me (Torah) has found life and he has elicited favor from HaShem. But one who sins against me (Torah) despoils his soul; all who hate me (Torah) love death.” Proverbs 8:32-36

We are currently living in what many would agree would be the most tumultuous and trouble consumed times any of us have had to endure! I do not know anyone who is having a good time right now! It truly is a time of trouble and pain, so it is fitting we should examine the next part in the Shir HaShirim series of Op’s especially in light of this season of Pesach!

In my opinion, the most difficult challenge we each have to face today is keeping ourselves encouraged and holding onto HaShem! Trying not to become overwhelmed and overcome by the circumstances we each are dealing with, whether they are medical issues, financial issues or just living in this world issues!

Speaking just for myself, I find I can encourage myself just by a quick glance at something from HaShem’s Torah! Just a simple, single word, can suddenly whet my desire to want to search and learn more! I love the quote from the Perkei Avos (Sayings of our Fathers) 7.71 which says “Therefore, a person who seeks to explore the true depths of the Torah finds himself on road that has no end. It is thus written, ‘Its measure is longer than the earth, and broader than the sea'” quoting Job 11:9. The Perkei Avos goes on and in 4.16 says “The world is like a vestibule before the world-to-come; prepare yourself in the vestibule, that you may enter into the Banquet Hall.”

I firmly believe HaShem is saying today that He knows our current exile in the wilderness, while it is very tough and full of pain, misery and trouble, it is necessary, but that to understand, it isn’t for too much longer, that His rescuing and redemption of His people is at hand! And as such, know that the current state we each are in, is NOT forever, just hang on to HaShem a little bit longer! His Mighty Right Arm is coming!!! Baruch HaShem!!

This is another reason why the Book of Shir HaShirim (Song of Solomon) is one of my absolute favorite! The detail and the relationship which is annotated between HaShem and Israel is so applicable for us today! If you need to refresh your memory, I encourage you to read parts one and two of these Op’s! Chapter three is even more expressive, which you will soon find out!

As a review, the whole book of Shir HaShirim makes constant references to HaShem’s Temple in Jerusalem and to the Temple Services! The same with the Apostolic Writings, which constantly reference and use Temple language but unfortunately Christendom has tossed out the Torah and the Temple of HaShem and thus cannot see it and has by default ended up fashioning doctrine diametrically opposed to and replacing HaShem’s eternal, unchanging doctrine.

For example, what was the essential daily service in the Temple of HaShem? Per Babmidbar (Numbers) 28 it is the daily Tamid (Eternal) offerings, which consisted of two unblemished male lambs in their first year, as an Olah (Burnt) offerings, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. These korbonot (Offerings) in the Temple of HaShem are NOT sacrifices! Sacrifices denotes slaughtering the animals to appease a god! These are korbonot, which in Hebrew means ‘To draw near to HaShem!’ We are drawing near to HaShem via the korbonot!

These are communal korbonot on behalf of all Israel, who would give a half shekel once a year to pay for all the korbonot! Were these lambs for sin? Nope! They are Olah korbonot thus the whole lamb is consumed in the fire on the Mizbe’ach (Altar) to HaShem! What’s the purpose of these Tamid korbonot? Per the Book of the Mitzvot #401, “So that we should be awakened through the twice daily performance of this action and should direct the entirety of our hearts and all of our thoughts, to attach ourselves to HaShem, blessed is He!”

Check this out from the Kehati Mishnah in describing the steps to part of the morning services and see the eschatological theme in it!! Tamid 1.4 says “The one (Kohen/Priest) chosen to pick up from the altar, he would pick up the altar. And they (The other Kohanim waiting to be assigned their duties for that day) would say to him, ‘Beware, lest you touch the utensil before you wash your hands and feet from the basin!’ And behold the shovel is placed on the corner, between the ramp and the altar, on the west side of the ramp! No man entered with him, and there was no candle in his hand; rather, he would walk by the light of the pile (The ashes burning on the altar from the previous days korbonot). THEY DID NOT SEE HIM, NOR DID THEY HEAR HIS VOICE, UNTIL THEY HEARD THE SOUND OF THE WOOD, that Ben Katin made as a mukni (Machine to draw up water from the basin), and they would say – ‘THE TIME HAS COME!’ or ‘HE HAS ARRIVED!’ He washed his hands and feet from the basin, took the silver shovel, and went up to the top of the altar, and pushed aside the coals this way and that way. He shoveled out from the burnt up inner ones, and went down. He reached the floor, turned his face to the north, walked alongside the east of the ramp about ten amot (Cubits). He piled up the coals on the floor, three tefahim (A measure of length, about nine cm each) away from the ramp, in the place where they put the bird crops, and the ashes of the inner altar and of the menorah.” In my opinion, this can be applied to us, today, waiting for the arrival of Mashiach! They did not see him or did they hear his voice, UNTIL they heard the sound of the machine drawing up the water from the basin, then they knew the time had come and he had arrived! I could keep going but for the sake of time, move on.

There is SO much for us to learn about HaShem’s House, His Throne on earth! It truly feels like standing at the bottom of Niagara Falls and trying to drink a cup of water there is so much information! Baruch HaShem He understands this and is awakening His people who have been caught up in these systems of religion and realizing just about everything being or have been taught is in fact a very destructive lie with no truth in it! Learning about His Temple reveals the lies and the deceptions! Baruch HaShem!

Keep this in mind! But before we jump into chapter three, always remember the following eternal, unchanging characteristics of HaShem:

  • HaShem never changes per Num 23:19/Mal 3:6/Hebrews 13:8/James 1:17
  • His Word is firmly established per Psalm 119:89
  • He reveals the end out of the beginning per Is 46:10
  • He does nothing without first revealing it to His prophets per Amos 3:7
  • He says there is nothing new under the sun per Ecclesiastes 1:9
  • He says His Torah is the ONLY truth there is per Psalms 119:142
  • He says His Torah is a tree of life and eternal per Proverbs 3:18-19 and Psalm 119:160
  • He says His Torah is perfect and restores the soul per Psalm 19:7
  • He says His Torah makes the simple one wise per Psalm 19:7
  • He says His Torah Is freedom and liberty per Psalm 119:45 and James 1:25
  • He says His Torah is the only good doctrine there is Proverbs 4:2
  • He says His Torah will add length of days and years of life and peace per Proverbs 3:2
  • He says all of the ways of His Torah are ways of pleasantness and peace per Proverbs 3:17
  • He says His Torah is for our good and well-being per Deuteronomy 6:24
  • He says His Torah is health for our lives per Proverbs 3:8
  • He says His Torah is life to our soul and a graceful ornament for our neck per Prov 3:22
  • He says His Torah is better than pearls and all desires cannot compare to it per Prov 8:11
  • He says those who walk with His Torah are praiseworthy per Psalms 119:1
  • He says observing His Torah is how we purify our path per Psalms 119:9
  • He says His Torah is better than thousands in gold and silver per Psalms 119:72
  • He says His Torah brings abundant peace to those who love Him and His Torah per Psalms 119:165
  • He says there is one Torah for all per Exodus 12:49/Leviticus 24:22
  • He says those who hate His Torah love death per Proverbs 8:36
  • He says His Torah is the way of faith per Psalms 119:29-30
  • He says His Torah makes us wiser than our enemies per Psalms 119:98
  • He says His Torah is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path per Psalms 119:105
  • He says one who finds His Torah has found life per Proverbs 8:35
  • He says one who finds His Torah has found favor from HaShem per Proverbs 8:35
  • He says Messiah Yeshua is the GOAL of His Torah, meaning without His Torah, Messiah cannot be known per Romans 10:4
  • He says if we had believed Moshe/Torah, we would have believed Messiah per John 5:46
  • He says His Torah makes us wiser than our enemies per Psalms 119:98
  • He says His salvation is far from the wicked for they sought not His Torah per Psalms 119:155
  • He says to hold fast to and guard His Torah, for it is our life per Proverbs 4:13

I must warn you right up front, this Op is likely going to be VERY long and VERY in-depth as there is so much to explore and learn! So, with this said, let’s jump right into Shir HaShirim, chapter three!!! Remember, Shir HaShirirm, is not just a book to be taken literally, it is also a very in-depth allegory which reveals not only the physical world but also the spiritual world, the realm in which HaShem dwells in!

Chapter three begins with Israel i.e. the Bride of HaShem, speaking out to HaShem! Keep this in mind as we proceed as it is very important to remember!

Shir HaShirim 3:1 says As I lay on my bed in the night of my desert travail, I sought Him whom my soul loves. I sought Him but I found Him not, for He maintained His aloofness. There are many, many very important issues being addressed in this one verse which we need to explore. Very interesting commentary on this verse which says: “Rashi explains ‘night’ as referring to the torment of Israel’s thirty eight year sojourn in the desert in spiritual darkness when they were under the ‘Ban’ incurred because of the sin of the Spies and the evil report of the Land, who turned the people against the Land. During this period, the Midrash explains HaShem did not speak with Moshe per Deuteronomy 2:14-16, which says ‘The days that we traveled from Kadesh-barnea until we crossed Zered Brook were thirty eight years, until the end of the entire generation, the men of war, from the midst of the camp, as HaShem swore to them. Even the Hand of HaShem was on them to confound them from the midst of the camp, until their end. So it was that the men of war finished dying from amidst the people.’ This verse (Shir HaShirim 3:1) metaphorically describes Israel’s quest for HaShem, ‘Whom my soul loves’, during these years of silence.”

The following excerpt from the Midrash 2:11 is very interesting. It says “The Midrash cites a teaching supporting Rabbi Levi’s statement that the people of Israel had longed for banners at the Sea. Scripture states after the Song of the Sea, and they went out to the Wilderness of Shur, quoting Exodus 15:22. This teaches that the people of Israel prophesied regarding themselves that they were destined to be formed into multiple encampments, multiple banners, and multiple rows, like the bed of a vineyard.” What should be noted here is the reference to the ‘banners’. This word ‘banners’ in Hebrew is a reference to freedom! When a banner is lifted up in Scripture it denotes freedom has arrived!! Moving on.

Another opinion from the commentary says “According to Alshich, the verse (Shir HaShirim 3:1) refers to the dark ‘nights’ of the Egyptian and Babylonian exiles when Israel sought out their G-d to redeem them and resume His love for them. The imagery is poignant. It depicts the anguish of a tormented, insomniac Israel, bereft of its former open, uninhibited relationship with HaShem, figuratively twisting and turning sleeplessly during its period of most pronounced separation, longing after Him, and a resumption of His love.”

“The plural ‘nights’, suggests incessant prayers, night after night, each going unanswered. Thus, the Talmud Bavli, specifically Tractate Berachos 32b, comments that if one prays and is not answered he should pray again!”” It specifically states “A person who prayed and saw that he was not answered, should pray again, as it is stated ‘Hope in the Master, strengthen yourself, let your heart take courage, and hope in the Master, quoting Psalms 27:14. One should turn to HaShem with hope, and if necessary turn to HaShem again with hope.”

Doesn’t this verse sound like most of us today who are calling out and crying out to HaShem for His immediate help, healing and deliverance in a world going completely and utterly insane with corruption, wickedness, tyranny and debauchery? We know HaShem is with us, but He also has chosen to remain aloof i.e. hidden, but He has NOT forsaken, forgotten or tossed us aside!

The Midrash in 3.1 says “What is the meaning of upon my ‘mishkav’ (Bed) during the nights? It means ‘upon my illness’. It is like that which is stated in the verse, ‘and he does not die, but falls ill’ quoting Exodus 21:18. The speaker i.e. Israel, thus recalls the spiritual illness and pain of being separated from her Beloved One during the long ‘nights’ of exile, when her efforts to achieve reconciliation through prayer and repentance came to naught.”

It should be noted, there are four prophesied exiles in which Israel must endure, which the fourth one is the most brutal, the longest but the one which leads to the Final Redemption: Israel began in Egypt and then were later exiled to Babylon, Media/Persia, Greece and Rome. We are currently under the Roman exile, the final and most oppressive exile, which is dominated by Christendom and its Replacement Theology. As we know throughout history, Christendom has been one of the most destructive and dominating oppressors in Israel’s history. The history of Christendom and its treatment of Israel throughout the centuries is NOT good and has been utterly brutal, culminating with the Holocaust less than a hundred years ago. For those who may object, yes it is a historical fact the Holocaust was concocted and supported by Christendom. Hitler himself declared the actions of the German government i.e. the Holocaust, was a ‘Christian movement ‘and done so in the name of its Jesus Christ, with the full support of the Catholic Church and many other denominations. I could go on, but that would have to be addressed in its own Op as its not appropriate here. Moving on.

HaShem explains why the exiles have been so long and so difficult in Jeremiah 9:11-15 which says “Who is the wise man who will understand this? Who is he to whom the mouth of HaShem speaks, that he may explain this? For what reason did the land (Israel) perish and become parched like the desert, without a passerby? But HaShem has said: ‘Because of their forsaking My Torah that I put before them, moreover, they did not heed My voice nor follow it. They followed the vision of their heart and they followed the Baalim (Idols), as their fathers taught them.’ Therefore, thus said HaShem, Master of Legions, G-d of Israel: ‘Behold, I am feeding this people wormwood and giving them poisonous water to drink. I shall scatter them among the nations that neither they nor their fathers have known; I shall send the sword after them until I annihilate them.'”

The commentary of these verses from Jeremiah says the following: “The verse gives three reasons for the destruction – 1. They (Israel) did not study Torah with love and enthusiasm; 2. They did not heed HaShem’s voice i.e. not only did they lack enthusiasm, they failed to perform the commandments even out of fear of HaShem and His retribution; and 3. They did not even perform mitzvos (Commandments) out of rote and routine.”

Remember the Torah of HaShem contains the 613 commandments i.e. the terms of the Covenant He made with us at Mount Sinai on Shavuot, the day He married Israel as His bride! It has nothing to do with earning salvation, as HaShem has already redeemed and saved us i.e. from Egypt, THEN He brings us to Mt Sinai and presents us His Torah which contain all the ‘If you, then I’ statements! Torah is the Ketubah, the terms of the marriage, which Israel accepted. By forsaking the Torah, it is akin to committing adultery, which is why idolatry is the same as adultery and carries such a harsh penalty. Since HaShem cannot remarry an adulterous bride, He has to do something to make it possible, therefore He sends His Agent, His Right Arm, His Messiah, Yeshua, and what does Messiah do? He voluntarily offers Himself up and dies, thus releasing HaShem from the prohibition to re-marry His bride. On the third day, Yeshua is raised from the dead and comes out of the grave, the ketubah, terms of the marriage contract i.e. covenant are restored and as the Agent of HaShem, HaShem can now re-marry His prophesied clean, restored, renewed and totally faithful people of Israel as His bride, who will keep the Torah of HaShem faithfully and out of love, devotion and loyalty unto HaShem, the Elohim of Israel, Master of Legions and King over all Creation!

Just a quick question…if HaShem divorced His wife i.e. Israel for forsaking Him and embracing idolatry i.e. adultery and exiled her into the nations, then how can it be He then takes a new wife i.e. Christendom, whose entire doctrine is Replacement Theology i.e. taking the Torah, the terms of the marriage contract, and tossing it aside as being irrelevant, be a legitimate marriage? It only works if HaShem is declared dead, replaced and a liar!! WOW…very, very dangerous to embrace this wicked theology! I digress as I am not making this Op comparing Replacement Theology. Moving on.

Shir HaShirim 3:2 says I resolved to arise then, and roam through the city, in the streets and squares; that I would seek through Moses, Him Whom my soul loved. I sought Him, but I found Him not. The commentary on this verse is very revealing. Its says “The Jews did not remain apathetic. They did not slumber off in acquiescence, but instead were determined to arise and seek Him out by every possible avenue!” Interesting example here in that the Jews resolved it within themselves to seek after HaShem, they didn’t just give up and go about their own ways, they resolved it i.e. they were wholeheartedly determined to seek Him out!

The commentary continues and says “This is alluded to in the verses from Shemot (Exodus) 32:11 which says ‘Moshe pleaded before HaShem, his Elohim, and said, ‘Why, HaShem, should Your anger flare up against Your people, whom You have taken out of the land of Egypt, with great power and a strong hand?'” So, here we see Moshe pleaded before HaShem and he did so reverentially! You don’t just casually approach HaShem in prayer! We must be respectful and solemn when approaching our King! Tractate Berachos 30b from the Talmud Bavli says “David says ‘But as for me, by Your abundant loving kindness I will enter Your House, at Your Holy Temple I will bow in reverence for You (Quoting Psalms 5:8).’ Entering into prayer like entering the Holy Temple must be performed reverentially.”

Shemot (Exodus) 32:30 says “On the next day, Moshe said to the people, ‘You have committed a grievous sin! And now I shall ascend to HaShem, perhaps I can win atonement in the face of your sin.'” What was the in Moshe is talking about here? The sin of the Golden Calf i.e. idolatry! Idolatry is considered to be one of the greatest sins because it denies HaShem’s existence! It is the height of rebellion! All of us, myself included, has at some point in life, embraced idolatry, whether we have known it or not! Embracing feasts and appointed times of the year not of HaShem is idolatry! Embracing Replacement Theology is idolatry! I could go on and on. Our society today is wracked full of idolatry and what is the result of this idolatry? HaShem tells us in Psalms 115:4-8 which says “Their idols are silver and gold, the handiwork of man. They have a mouth, but cannot speak; they have eyes, but cannot see; they have ears, but cannot hear; they have a nose, but cannot smell. Their hands, they cannot feel; their feet, they cannot walk, they cannot utter a sound from their throat. Those who make them should become like them, whoever trusts in them!” In other words, those who embrace idolatry, cannot see HaShem, cannot hear HaShem nor His Word, cannot feel HaShem, cannot walk according to the ways of HaShem and ultimately end up destroying themselves if they do not repent and seek after HaShem! No wonder the world and our country are collapsing faster and faster as they embrace this idolatrous insanity!

Shemot (Exodus) 32:33-35 says “HaShem said to Moshe, ‘Whoever has sinned against Me (Embraced the Golden Calf/Idolatry), I shall erase from My book (The Book of the Righteous). Now go and lead the people to where I have told you. Behold! My angel shall go before you, and on the day that I make My account, I shall bring their sin to account against them. Then HaShem struck the people with a plague, because they had made the calf that Aharon had made.'” The cost for idolatry against HaShem is severe!

Tractate Sanhedrin 102a from the Talmud Bavli says “Rabbi Hanina says, ‘After twenty four generations elapsed from the sin of the Golden Calf, the debt referred to in this verse was collected, as it is stated: ‘And he cried in my ears with a loud voice, saying: ‘Those who have charge over the city (Jerusalem) draw near, every man with his deadly weapon in his hand’ quoting Ezekiel 9:1. This prophecy occurred twenty four generations after the sin of the Golden Calf.” The commentary from Ezekiel 9:1 says “The catastrophe about to overtake Jerusalem (The destruction of the First Temple) was tied to the sin of the Golden Calf.”

Ultimately the commentary from ‘The Illuminated Shir HaShirim’ book on verse two says “The plaintive cry of the woman/Israel, who is searching to find her Beloved; she looks in the streets and marketplaces, yet there is no trace of Him, the beloved of her soul. The refrain of the forlorn woman is the same as in verse one: ‘I have sought out the Beloved of my soul; I have searched, but I have not found Him.’ The longing continues, and amid the pain of the exile, she suddenly comes upon the watchman, those who have been appointed to lead and take charge of the Jewish people, Moshe and Aharon. According to Alshich, the watchmen would also include Ezra and Nechemiah, the leaders who helped them in the exile in Babylon. The message of the Jewish people is still tinged with despair, ‘I have searched for Him, but I could not find Him.’ Perhaps the watchmen can intercede on behalf of the Children of Israel, and have Him look favorably upon us once again?”

Shir HaShirim 3:3 says “”They found me, Moshe and Aharon, the watchmen patrolling the city. ‘You have seen Him, whom my soul loves, what has He said?’ The commentary on this verse says “This is a reference to the leaders, Moshe and Aharon, who patrolled among them to instill the populace with the love of HaShem, guiding them, and inspiring them not to sin and to be patient, for Redemption was at hand.” It is interesting because the Shir HaShirim Midrash Rabbah commentary tells us “The watchmen who circle the city found me, this is an allusion to the Tribe of Levi. This is as it is stated elsewhere regarding the tribesmen of Levi, ‘Everyman…pass back and forth from gate to gate’ quoting Shemot/Exodus 32:27. Israel asked these Levite watchmen, ‘Him whom my soul loves’, this is Moshe.” Further note references says “Although the Exodus verse is written in the context of a later event, the Midrash cites it to prove that the Levites are called, ‘Those who circle.'”

Why is this significant concerning the Tribe of Levi? Because HaShem has charged the Levites with being the Kohanim (Priests) and Levites to not only serve HaShem and officiate the Temple Services in the Temple, but also to teach Israel the Torah and to know the differences between the holy and the profane, between clean and unclean, per Ezekiel 44:23.

Can you see how important the Torah is to the life of one following HaShem? Torah is central to our lives, not that it saves us, but is the way we have a relationship with HaShem and how to know His Messiah…without Torah, there is only idolatry, even with the best intentions.

Consider what Tractate Chagigah 1.7 says from the Talmud Yerushalmi (Jerusalem) says about Torah study…“We find that the Holy One, blessed is He, would have forgone the punishment of the people of Israel for the sins of idolatry, promiscuity, and bloodshed; but He did not forgo punishing them for their disdain of the TorahAnd HaShem said: ‘Because of their forsaking My Torah.’ Evidently, HaShem would overlook the three cardinal sins, but not the sin of forsaking Torah study.” Remember what we discussed in verse one of this Op concerning Torah study and the book of Jeremiah!

So, in verse three, we see Israel asking the watchmen i.e. the Levites, if they have seen HaShem and what has He said. It makes sense Israel would ask the watchmen i.e. the Levites because they officiate the Temple services and teach the Torah to Israel! Keep this in mind as we progress in this Op!

Shir HaShirim 3:4 says Scarcely had I departed from them when, in the days of Joshua, I found Him Whom my soul loves. I grasped Him, determined that my deeds would never again cause me to lose hold of Him, until I brought His Presence to the Tabernacle of my mother and to the chamber of her that conceived me. Wow…here Israel has found HaShem! The commentary from the Illuminated Shir HaShirim on this verse says “How does one who has been unfaithful to her beloved repent? How do the Children of Israel realize that indeed HaShem has acquiesced to their requests and will reunite with them once more? To achieve Divine forgiveness is no easy feat; there would have to be an action that would affirm a heavenly proclamation to indicate that HaShem had granted us forgiveness.”

“After the sin of the Golden Calf, Moshe was able to plead for the very existence of his people, and they were spared. After his entreaties, HaShem gave Moshe the command to bring offerings to build the Mishkan (Tabernacle), and allow the Divine Presence to rest among the Jewish people. Even after our lengthy sojourn in the Wilderness, for nearly 40 years, we were able to enter the land of Canaan under Joshua’s leadership, vanquish 31 kings, and settle the land. The Mishkan in Shiloh would be a resting place for the Shechinah (Divine Presence of HaShem). Ultimately, the first and second Holy Temples would allow us to hold on to our Beloved and never let go, having finally realized that the dwelling place in our midst affirms HaShem’s love for us.”

The Judaica Press book of Shir HaShirim commentary is very interesting. It interprets verse four as the following: “I had just passed them, shortly before their (The Watchmen i.e. Moshe/Aharon) separation from me, at the end of the forty years (Roaming the Wilderness). When I found that He was with me in the days of Joshua to vanquish the thirty one kings. I held Him and would not let Him go. I did not loosen my grasp from Him until I brought Him to the Tabernacle at Shiloh because of all that He had done for me.”

“It was but a short time after I passed them that I found Him Whom my soul loves, and when I found Him, I held Him with my hand, and did not loosen my grasp until I had brought Him to my mother’s house to dwell there with me. The maiden says this because she believes that her mother will help her preserve the love. The allegorical meaning is that as soon as those leaders separated from me i.e. when they died in the fortieth year, Joshua arose and took me across the Jordan to go and possess the Land, and he Omnipresent, blessed be He, waged war with the nations. I came to the Land of Israel which had been in my possession since the days of the Patriarchs, and it is a holy land, conducive to the worship of HaShem.” The midrash will define what is being said here!

The Midrash Rabbah Shir HaShirim 3.3 says “Verse four relates the successful conclusion and aftermath of the search – ‘Scarcely had I passed them, when I found Him Whom my soul loves’, this is an allusion to Moshe. ‘I grasped Him and I would not let Him go until I brought Him to my mother’s house.’ This is an allusion to Mount Sinai; ‘And to the chamber of the one who conceived me’ is an allusion to the Tent of Meeting, for it was from there that Israel became liable for the Torah through clear instruction in how they were to keep it.”

The Midrash continues: “Although God gave all the commandments to Israel at Mount Sinai, He did so only in general terms. He did not give the details of the commandments until He spoke to Moshe at the Tent of Meeting, and then Moshe taught them to the people. The Midrash is saying that although the Israelites had already been told the general principles of the commandments, they could not be punished for transgressing them until they were taught all their details.” In other words, this is showing us once more the absolute need for the Oral Torah! We cannot understand the Written Torah of HaShem without the Oral Torah which defines the commandments and teaches the halachah i.e. How to walk in the commandments of HaShem per the recorded right rulings of the Sanhedrin!

On a side note, remember from previous Ops, the Sanhedrin of HaShem IS commanded by HaShem in the Written Torah and to defy what the Sanhedrin ruled on, is to defy HaShem Himself! Yeshua Himself reiterated this when He commanded to obey the Seat of Moshe i.e. the Sanhedrin per Matthew 23:2! I digress.

So, where is the Tent of Meeting? In Hebrew the place is called the ‘Ohel Moed’ and per my teacher’s book ‘Measure the Pattern’ by Joseph Good of HaTikvah Ministries on page 146, it says “Originally the Ohel Moed was a tent set up outside the camp of Israel. When the Mishkan (Tabernacle) was built the Ohel Moed was transferred to the HaKodesh (The Holy Place). When the Temple was built the Ohel Moed was again the HaKodesh, also known as the Heichal (Temple).” We can see once again in order to understand the book of Shir HaShirim, we have to know the Torah and we must know the Temple of HaShem! Remember HaShem commanded each of us in Ezekiel 43:10-11 to learn every single aspect, tavnit, gate, ceremony, avodah, liturgy, etc of His House! Moving on.

Shir HaShirim 3:5 says I adjure you, O nations who are destined to ascend to Jerusalem, lest you become as defenseless as gazelles or hinds of the field, if you dare cause hatred or disturb this love while it yet gratifies.” Here is Israel, she has found her Beloved and is holding onto Him tightly and she is adjuring the nations and warning them they had better not attempt to sway her away from Him again! Israel had sinned with the sin of the Golden Calf i.e. idolatry as well as when they believed the words of the spies who spied out the Land rather than believing what HaShem had said about the Land! HaShem had then decreed Israel would not only wander in the Wilderness for forty years but also that everyone twenty years old and older would not enter into the Land, but the younger generation would enter into the Land. When HaShem’s plan comes to fruition and redemption is imminent, NOTHING in existence can stand in His way! Baruch HaShem!!

Shir HaShirim 3:6 says Who is this ascending from the desert, its way secured and smoothed by palm like pillars of smoke, burning fragrant myrrh and frankincense, of all the perfumer’s powders? Verse six here begins the next section i.e. verses six through 11, in which the nations of the world are speaking to or about Israel. The commentary from the Shir HaShirim Artscroll book says “The following verses follow Israel’s adjuration to the nations of the world, as if to say, ‘Do not attempt to disturb God’s love for us. It was we who followed Him into the desert; it was us whom He engulfed in His cloud; we accepted His Torah; we built the tabernacle as He commanded; we crowned Him as our God. He will, therefore, surely resume His love for us, and I adjure you not to attempt to interfere with our love.'”

The Illuminated Shir HaShirim commentary on this verse says “All the wonderful gifts that HaShem gave the Children of Israel were granted in the desert, as a result of the Torah that we received there. In addition to the Torah, the command to build the Mishkan, Tabernacle, was given there; the manna and the birds that fell miraculously were given in the desert; as was the Well of Miriam, the Divine Spirit and the Clouds of Glory. The spirit of prophecy rested upon Moshe when he was grazing the sheep in the desert, with his encounter at the Burning Bush. When the Jewish people came to the Sinai Desert, God said that they would be a kingdom of priests and a holy people per Exodus 19:6. This was an indication that the Kohanim (Priests) and Levites would be a critical component of the service of God, and was another of the gifts given in the desert.”

Now this is where things get very interesting! The commentary from the Shir HaShirim the Five Megillos Artscroll book says “Israel recalls that God sent pillars of fire and cloud to lead the way as the nation journeyed in the Wilderness. The pillars exterminated snakes and scorpions and burned thorns and thistles to clear the way. The nations that became aware of this exclaimed, ‘Who is this…'”

What is the significance of the Wilderness HaShem led Israel into? The Bamidbar (Numbers) Midrash Rabbah 1.7 expounds on this and says “The Sages derive that the Torah was given in three things: In fire, in water, and in the Wilderness. From where do we know that the Torah was given in fire? Because it states, ‘All of Mount Sinai was smoking because HaShem had descended upon it in the fire per Shemot (Exodus) 19:18).’ And from where do we know that the Torah was also given in water? Because it states, ‘Even the heavens trickled; even the clouds dripped water’ per Shoftim (Judges) 5:4.’ And finally, from where do we know that the Torah was given in the Wilderness? Because it states, HaShem spoke to Moshe in the Wilderness of Sinai. And why was the Torah given in these three things? But the explanation is that it is to teach us just as these three things are free for all who come to the world i.e. for all people, similarly the words of Torah are available for free, as it states, ‘Ho, everyone who is thirsty, go to the water, even one with no money, go, buy and eat; go and buy wine and milk without money and without price quoting Yeshayah (Isaiah) 55:1.”

The commentary on Yeshayah (Isaiah) 55:1 says “Water is a metaphor for Torah and wisdom, for just as the world cannot exist without water, it cannot exist without the Torah. Furthermore, just as one who is thirsty years for water, the wise soul yearns for Torah and wisdom. Torah is compared to water to teach that just as water leaves heights and flows to lower places, Torah wisdom can only remain in one who is humble. A humble person realizes that he has much to learn. He will not let pride prevent him from learning from others or from asking questions that will expose his lack of knowledge. The Midrash that compares Israel to fish. Fish love water so much that when it rains, they open their mouths to catch falling raindrops, as if they had never tasted water. Israel’s love of Torah is the same. When they hear a new Torah thought, they lap it up, as if they had never enjoyed the beauty of Torah.”

The Midrash Rabbah explains “Fire signifies the fact that the Torah illuminates the path of life and guides one in the direction HaShem wants him to follow. As King David said ‘Your Word is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path’ quoting Psalms 119:105. Water is a symbol of the humility one needs to succeed in Torah study. Just as water descends from a high place to a lower one, so the Torah abandons its haughty students in favor of its humble ones. From the very beginning, HaShem taught the same lesson by choosing the low, unassuming Mount Sinai for His Revelation instead of a higher, more impressive peak. Finally, the Torah was given in a wilderness, because the Torah reveals its secrets to those who lead a materially simple existence, the kind one would lead in a wilderness, where the struggle for survival crowds out any thought of unnecessary luxuries. ‘This is the way of the Torah – eat bread with salt, drink water in small measure, sleep on the ground, live a life of deprivation and toil in the Torah’ quoting Perkei Avos 6.4. but while the Torah deprives its students of luxuries, it supports them in ways that count, for HaShem looks after those immersed in Torah study and provides their sustenance even when they are stranded in the wilderness, that is, in a situation where He can do so only through miracles.

“Here is where the wilderness spoke for Israel. Desolate and forbidding, the Wilderness teemed with snakes, scorpions, and all manner of wild beasts. It offered no source of water to drink and no land for raising crops to eat. Yet the Jewish people, men, women and children, ventured into this wasteland for what they knew would be an extended journey; and they did so only out of a loving devotion to HaShem, as HaShem Himself later confirmed ‘I recalled for you the kindness of your youth, the love of your nuptials (The giving of the Torah to Israel was the marriage between HaShem and Israel), your following Me into the Wilderness, into an unknown land’ quoting Yirmiyah/Jeremiah 2:2.”

So, what do we see thus far in this verse? We see, all of us, who are following HaShem, WILL lead us into the Wilderness, figuratively speaking, to teach us and prepare us for what He has in store in the World to Come! Yeshua Himself went into the Wilderness for forty days and forty nights so if HaShem didn’t spare Yeshua, will He spare us? It is here in the Wilderness where He presents to each of us the terms of the marriage contract i.e. the Torah, and we can either accept it or reject it, He leaves the decision up to each of us. On a side note, just as a reminder, Yeshua didn’t come to remove or render the Torah obsolete, but in fact renewed the marriage contract in which the Torah of HaShem is still just as valid for us today as it was in the Wilderness, nothing has changed! Hebrews 10:28 says “Anyone who has disregarded the Torah of Moshe dies without compassion on the witness of two or three witnesses.”

It is interesting, the Shir HaShirim Midrash Rabbah 3.4 when discussing verse six, says “Our verse means to say Israel’s ascent to greatness is from the Wilderness; and, conversely, her removal is from the Wilderness which is to say that her death is from the Wilderness, like that which is stated, ‘In this Wilderness they shall cease to be, and there they shall die’ quoting Bamidbar (Numbers) 14:35 (That is the generation of the Wilderness was decreed to die as a result of the sin of the Spies). The Midrash enumerates all the elements of greatness that accrued to Israel in the Wilderness of Sinai:

  • The Torah is from the Wilderness – The Torah was given to Israel at Mount Sinai, which is in the Wilderness on Shavuot
  • The Mishkan (Tabernacle) is from the Wilderness – The Mishkan was constructed in the Wilderness
  • The Sanhedrin is from the Wilderness – The Sanhedrin comprising of seventy judges came into being in the Wilderness per Bamidbar (Numbers) 11:16
  • The Priesthood is from the Wilderness – Per Bamidbar 30:30 HaShem establishes the Kohanim/Levites by appointing Aaron and his sons
  • The Levite divisions are from the Wilderness – Per Bamidbar 3:5 and following which tells of the division of the Tribe of Levi into different groups
  • Monarchy is from the Wilderness, as it is stated ‘You shall be to Me a kingdom of priests’ quoting Shemot (Exodus) 19:6 – Since a kingdom must have a king, it is evident that the concept of marchy also began in the Wilderness.

With this said, what is the significance of the following from verse six mean which says: “Smoothed by palm like pillars of smoke, burning fragrant myrrh and frankincense, of all the perfumer’s powders?” The pillars of smoke like palm trees is describing the Ketoret (Incense) being offered up to HaShem in the Mishkan daily! The Shir HaShirim Artscroll commentary says “The metaphor alludes to the ‘Cloud of the incense’ which rose up from the Mizbe’ach (Altar) in the Inner Chamber; ‘Powders’ refers to the practice of crushing and grinding the spices fine as powder.”

As an overview, Mitzvah #103 in the Book of the Mitzvot, says ‘The obligation upon the Kohanim to offer the incense.’ The Torah reference is Shemot (Exodus) 30:7-8 which says “Aaron shall burn the spice incense upon it (The Golden Altar); every morning when he tends the lambs he shall burn it. And when Aaron kindles the lamps in the afternoon he shall burn it, continual incense before HaShem, for your generations.” So, we see the ketoret is to be offered up twice a day, just like the daily Tamid korbonot!

There are eleven spices which comprise the Ketoret. Tractate Karetot 6b from the Talmud Bavli lists them, referencing Shemot (Exodus) 30:34 which says “Take for you spices, stacte, and onycha, and galbanum; spices with pure frankincense. The plural form of the phrase, ‘Take for you spices’ is referring to two ingredients; ‘Stacte, and onycha, and galbanum’ are three ingredients; this results in a total of five; and the other mention of ‘Spices’ indicates that there are another five, i.e. that one should double the previous total, and this results in a total of ten. And finally, ‘Pure frankincense’ is one, and this results in a total of eleven.”

Vayikra (Leviticus) 16:13 discusses what the Kohen HaGadol (High Priest) does with the ketoret on Yom Kippur: “He (Kohen HaGadol) shall place the ketoret upon the fire before HaShem, so that the cloud of the ketoret shall blanket the Aron cover (Ark of the Covenant) that is atop the Tablets of the Testimony so that he shall not die.” One of the eleven ingredients is discussed in Tractate Yoma 53a of the Talmud Bavli and Tractate Yoma 1.5 of the Yerushalmi Talmud.

Tractate Yoma 1.5 from the Yerushalmi Talmud says “The one (Kohen) who prepares the incense mixture puts Maaleh Ashan into the mixture. Maaleh Ashan literally means ‘Something that makes smoke rise’ is the name of a certain herb that, when added to the ketoret, causes its smoke to rise in a straight shaft like a stick. The identity of this herb was jealously guarded by the House of Avtinas, who were charged with producing the ketoret in the Temple.”

Now what is interesting is the number eleven is not spoken of well in Scripture! Per the book Jewish Wisdom in the Numbers, number eleven is associated with wickedness, the pursuit of unnecessary excess, to pursue more and more, it is associated with Eisav (Esau). But what is more amazing is just as this number is not associated with anything good, it is also the number of the Ketoret i.e. the number of spices to comprise the Ketoret offered to HaShem daily! This book says on page 159 “Of these (The spices comprising the Ketoret), ten were sweet smelling spices. However, the ketoret was incomplete without the inclusion of the eleventh spice. This spice had a foul, repugnant odor. But mixed together, the combination of all eleven emitted the most marvelous aroma for which the ketoret was renowned.”

Now understand, a Kohen could only perform the Incense Service ONCE in their entire lifetime! It was one of the most sought after duties! Why? Because it was the closest they would ever come to the Kadosh HaKedoshim (Holy of Holies i.e. the Throne of HaShem!).

Are you overwhelmed yet with all the details thus far? And just think, this is just barely scratching the surface in explaining these various specific topics thus far! There is SO much to learn and understand, it will literally take an eternity to learn it all, if that is indeed possible as His Torah is eternal and endless!! Moving on.

Shir HaShirim 3:7 says Behold the resting place of Shlomo, with sixty myriads of Israel’s mighty encircling it. This verse is very interesting and has a lot of very important info to offer for us to examine! The commentary on this verse says a lot! It says “The Midrash perceives in this verse an additional allusion to the priestly blessing, per Bamidbar (Numbers) 6:24-26. Behold the Tribe of Shlomo, Elohim to Whom peace belongs. ‘Sixty mighty’ refers to the sixty letters of the priestly blessing; ‘Of the mighty’, because they fortify Israel; ‘They all handle the sword’ because each of the blessings contains HaShem’s Name and is thus fortified with strength, as the Sages proclaimed: ‘Every prayer containing HaShem’s Name is like a sword that tears through all obstacles.'”

Let’s quickly examine the Bircas Kohanim (Priestly Blessing) per Bamidbar (Numbers) 6:22-27 and see when and where this blessing is given and by whom! It says “HaShem spoke to Moshe, saying, ‘Speak to Aharon and his sons (Meaning only to the Kohanim): So shall you bless the Children of Israel, saying to them: May HaShem bless you and safeguard you. May HaShem illuminate His countenance for you and be gracious to you. May HaShem lift His countenance to you and establish peace for you. Let them place My Name upon the Children of Israel, and I shall bless them.” The Kohanim are commanded to confer the Bircas Kohanim on the people of Israel at a minimum of once per day!

So, we see only the Kohanim can utter this blessing and it can only be done in the Place where He has established His Name i.e. the Temple in Jerusalem! It is here at the Temple, by the Kohanim, who are reciting the Bircas Kohanim, the Kohanim actually recite HaShem’s Four Letter Name the way it is written!! Speaking His Four Letter Name can ONLY BE DONE WITHIN THE TEMPLE ITSELF AND ONLY BY THE KOHANIM, NO ONE ELSE OUTSIDE OF THE TEMPLE MAY UTTER HIS FOUR LETTER NAME because of the kedusha (Holiness) attached to His Name! This is commanded by HaShem Himself as He is the One Who gave the entire blueprint/tavnit of the Temple and the Temple Services to include the liturgy and prayers via His Ruach to both Moshe and David per Shemot (Exodus) 25 and I Chronicles 28! No one may add too or take away from what He said, therefore, the prohibition of reciting His Name outside of the Temple is a major issue concerning the authority of HaShem and is not something that was added by some Kohen a long time ago just because.

The Midrash Rabbah Shir HaShirim 3.12 says “The sixty mighty men round about it, these are the twenty four priesthood watches and the twenty-four Levite watches and the twelve monthly divisions for a total of sixty groups; of the mighty men of Israel, the sixty groups are called thus because they safeguard Israel.”

The tribes of Israel were divided up into districts. Each district would send a ‘Mishmar’ to serve one week in the Temple per year plus all the districts would serve simultaneously in the Temple on the three Pilgrimage Feasts of HaShem i.e. Pesach, Shavuot and Yom Kippur. The 24 Priestly watches are called ‘Mishmarot’. The 24 Mishmarot of the Kohanim (Priests) are identified by name. This is very important to understand as it pertains to the Apostolic Writings which you will see shortly. The names of the 24 Mishmarot are as follows:

  • Johaiarib
  • Jedaiah
  • Harime
  • Seorim
  • Malchijah
  • Mijamin
  • Hakkoz
  • Abijah
  • Jeshua
  • Shecaniah
  • Eliashib
  • Jakim
  • Huppah
  • Jeshebeab
  • Bilgah
  • Immer
  • Hezir
  • Happizzez
  • Pethahiah
  • Jehezkel
  • Gamul
  • Delaiah
  • Maaziah

Now with this, let’s quickly examine Luke 1:5 which says “There was in the days of Herodes, the soverign of Yehudah, a certain Kohen (Priest) named Zekaryah (Zechariah), OF THE DIVISION OF ABIYAH. And his wife was of the daughters of Aharon (Meaning Elizabeth is a Kohen as well, although she cannot serve in the Temple). And they both were righteous before Elohim, blamelessly walking in all the commands and righteousness of HaShem (Meaning they kept both the Written and Oral Torah).” Why is this so crucial to know? Because per the list of the Mishmarot above, we can see when Zekaryah was serving in the Temple, when he had his encounter with the angel of HaShem while performing the incense service, when the angel of HaShem told him he would have a son, in the likeness of Elijah, to announce the way of Messiah!

So, we know Zekaryah’s Mishmar was ‘Abiyah’ which according to the list is the eighth Mishmarot which means this Mishmar would be serving in the Temple in the month of Iyar, the third month of the year if one were to count on the religious calendar which begins on Nissan 1. The civil calendar begins on Tishrei 1. Biblically there are four calendars which are listed in the Torah, but that is a separate Op in itself. The point I am attempting to reinforce is once more knowing the Temple of HaShem, His Torah, His Sanhedrin, His Kohanim, His Temple Services, etc, will make the Apostolic Writings come alive and exposes all the garbage doctrine Christendom has done in its twisting and erasing of HaShem’s Word over the centuries.

There is SO much more we could examine but for the sake of time, I will move on. r

Shir HaShirim 3:8 says All of them gripping the sword of tradition, skilled in the battle of Torah, each with his sword ready at his side for fear lest he succumb in the nights of exile. The commentary on this verse says regarding the meaning of a person being skilled in the battle of Torah “Refers to one who knows how to dispute in the warfare of Torah i.e. knows how to deal with the argumentation essential to the study of the Torah; a keen minded debater. The verses also refer to priests who camped round about the Tabernacle and were skilled in the procedure of the Divine Service.”

“Sword refers to weapons i.e. the means to assure that the Torah is not forgotten and that it is transmitted intact from one generation to the next, for fear lest Torah be forgotten, and, if it is, that trouble will befall them. They are all equipped for the battles of life with the weapon of the Torah. The precepts of the Torah which apply to all the problems of life give them the means to emerge victorious from the battle. Therefore, each wears it always at his side, to protect him in the difficult hours of the night.”

These who are handling the swords are the Torah scholars! Psalms 149:6 says “The lofty praises of HaShem are in their throats, and a double edged sword in their hand.” This double edged sword is the Written and Oral Torah and per the commentary on this verse “The devout use their mouths in two ways to study Torah by reading from the text and by reciting by heart.”

So does this enhance what we read in Ephesians six about the Armor of HaShem and the ‘Sword of the Spirit, which is the Torah of HaShem’? Or how about Revelation 1:16 where it describes Yeshua having a ‘Two edged sword’ come out of His mouth? Again, more shining examples in the Apostolic Writings the Torah of HaShem was NOT done away with nor replaced! Moving forward!

The Midrash Rabbah Shir HaShirim 3.12 in the Insights Section says “At various locations in the Holy Temple, Kohanim and Leviim were required to stand guard. The purpose was not to protect against thieves. No such protection was needed in HaShem’s House. Rather, like ceremonial sentries posted about the palace of an earthly king, these guards were a display of honor for the King of Kings, Who made the Temple His earthly abode.”

Tractate Tamid 1.1 in the Mishnah gives a partial list of these sites. It says “At three sites, the Kohanim stand guard in the Temple – In Beit Avtinas, in Beit HaNitzotz, and in Beit HaMoked.” Tractate Middot 1.1 in the Mishnah lists the remaining locations: “At three sites the Kohanim stood guard in the Temple – In Beit Avtinas and in Beit HaNitzotz and in Beit HaMoked. And the Levites, in twenty one sites – Five for the five gates of Har HaBayit; four for its four corners, from inside it; five for the five gates of the Azarah; four for its four corners, from the outside; and one in Lishkat HaKorban, and one in Lishkat HaParokhet; and one for behind Beit HaKaporet.”

Now, for the sake of time, I am not going to list where all these locations are located in the Temple, suffice to say, you can see there are twenty four positions where these royal ceremonial guards would stand in order to enhance the royalty of HaShem’s House!

Shir HaShirim 3:9 says A tabernacle of His Presence has the King Shlomo made of the wood of Lebanon. This is pretty clear and is referring to the Mishkan (Tabernacle) in the Wilderness and later the Mikdash (Temple) in Jerusalem! The Place where HaShem has set His Name forever and ever! May it be rebuilt in very soon in our days! And for the record, no, the Temple will NOT be rebuilt solely for the False Messiah to reside in, as Christendom teaches in its blasphemy and willful misunderstanding of HaShem’s Word. I see that argument so many times from pastors and others within Christendom, mocking, scoffing and outright spewing their vile hatred for HaShem and His Temple, all done of course in the service of their god out of love. Yes, I will admit, seeing and hearing these types of statements and comments, speaking out against HaShem and His Temple makes me see purple. HaShem is the One Who set all this up and who are we to come along and tell Him He got it all wrong and not only is He wrong but He has been replaced and tossed aside! Okay, moving forward.

Shir HaShirim 3:10 says Its pillars He made of silver, His resting place was gold, its suspended curtain was purple wool, its midst was decked with implements bespeaking love by the daughters of Jerusalem. This is pretty self explanatory as He is describing His Temple in Jerusalem! The suspended paroket (Curtain) was purple wool, but again another mistake by Christendom in its erroneous doctrine is the tearing the curtain. Christendom teaches the curtain was torn and thus was proof HaShem had ended the Torah and the Temple Services. A very, very wrong teaching. How many paroket were in the Temple of HaShem? There were thirteen in total, with FOUR in the Temple Building itself and TWO that separated the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place! So, which paroket was it that tore as recorded in Matthew 27:51? It was the paroket on the outside entrance to the Temple Building itself. This paroket had a specific name i.e. ‘The Heavens’ because it had the Milky Way galaxy embroidered upon it! In fact this paroket tore once before in biblical history, when King Uzziah committed the grave sin of encroachment and offered up the ketoret (Incense) in 2 Chronicles 26:19. There was a great earthquake when he did so, he was instantly struck with leprosy and The Heavens tore in two!

Shir HaShirim 3:11 saysGo forth and gaze, O daughters distinguished by loyalty to HaShem, upon the King Shlomo adorned with crown His nation made Him, on the day His Torah was given and He became one with Israel, and on the day His heart was gladdened by His Tabernacle’s consecration.” The name ‘Shlomo’ is another name for HaShem Himself meaning He cannot be perceived by man. The commentary on this says “The daughters of Zion are bid to gaze upon His crown i.e. perceive Him through His earthly manifestation. The crown is the outward symbol of majesty, indicating the King’s public grandeur. His essence, however, can never be known to those who see Him only in public. Thus it is a simile for HaShem’s earthly manifestation in His humanly perceived deeds.” Again, this explains the role of Yeshua as the Agent of HaShem i.e. HaShem’s Messenger, not that Yeshua is HaShem, because He is not, but Yeshua IS the Agent of HaShem, Who speaks only what HaShem has instructed Him to speak and only does what HaShem has commanded Him to do. Yeshua, The Agent of HaShem, is the visible manifestation of HaShem per Colossians 1:15.

HaShem offers Israel the Torah as the wedding contract i.e. the Ketubah. Israel accepts and at Mount Sinai on Shavuot, Israel becomes the Bride of HaShem. Israel breaks the Ketubah and HaShem sends her away. Per His Own Torah, He cannot remarry her, so how does He fix this problem? He sends His Agent, Yeshua, Who dies, thus releasing HaShem, and through the death and resurrection of Yeshua, the Ketubah is renewed and restored, and now Israel can once again be His Bride, which He promises to be eternal. This includes all the nations of the world who join and are grafted into Israel, but MUST live per the terms of the Ketubah i.e. the Torah!

I hope and pray you can see thus far in this vast, huge and gigantic study of this seemingly small and uninteresting book of the Tanach how amazing HaShem is and how we all MUST learn everything concerning His Temple, His Temple Services, His Torah, etc, per Ezekiel 43:10-11, to actually know and understand His entire Word, especially the Apostolic Writings!

Life today is very, very tough and getting tougher it seems. Now more than ever, with the truth being suppressed and in some cases being outright banned in favor of the lies, we MUST take hold of HaShem and His Torah, for it truly is a tree of life to those who take hold of it! Maybe not much longer!

May it be so very, very soon in our days!

Stay tuned for chapter four!!!

SOURCE MATERIALS:

  • The Milstein Edition Chumash with the Teachings of the Talmud by Artscroll
  • Artscroll Tanach series Shir HaShirim
  • The Illuminated Shir HaShirim by Artscroll
  • The Koren Tanach by Koren Publishers
  • The Book of Song of Songs by Judaica Press
  • The Steinsaltz Talmud Bavli
  • The Talmud Yerushalmi
  • The Kehati Mishnah

TRUE FREEDOM IS SERVICE TO HASHEM!

“Then I would invoke the Name of HaShem: ‘Please HaShem save my soul!’ Gracious is HaShem and righteous, our Elohim is merciful. HaShem protects the simple; I was brought low, but He saved me!” Tehillim (Psalms) 116:4-6

There are no words to express how difficult the last few months have been not just for myself but for everyone I know whether friend or family member! Everyone I talk too has the same report…“Life is so very, very tough, scary and so very difficult right now, more so than I ever imagined it would be!” We are facing trials and difficulties unimaginable just a few years ago…truly, in my opinion, we are right on the last remaining precipice of the ‘Chevlei Mashiach’ i.e. the Birth Pains of Messiah!

While these hardships are striking everyone in unprecedented ways, we also have to know HaShem Himself is likewise moving in unprecedented ways, ways we may not even be aware of! We must, each day make the choice as to whom am I going to trust today myself, the world or The Sovereign of the Universe, Creator of ALL things, HaShem, Master of Legions, the Elohim of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the Elohim of Israel? When faced with emergency situations, making that decision can be very difficult!

This is why I find it very interesting HaShem has made the days preceding this years Pesach (Passover), which begins at sunset this coming Friday i.e. 15 April 2022, filled with opportunities to really learn and study the 15 elements of the Pesach Seder and what it all truly represents and what HaShem is trying to communicate to us, which I believe is infinitely significant this year especially, in light of what each of us are facing! Now more than ever we need to understand what all is going on in the Pesach Seder!

On a side note before continuing on, let me just say it up front to get it out of the way, I do observe Pesach and the Seder according to the Orthodox way as I personally believe this is the most accurate way. Do I believe Yeshua should be added into the Seder? Wholeheartedly, vehemently, one hundred percent NO! Yeshua is ALREADY in the Seder, we just need to learn the elements of the Seder and learn to see Yeshua in it because He is all over it!

A thought to ponder…if Yeshua were here for this Pesach, where would He hold His Seder, in a Messianic congregation or an Orthodox synagogue? In my opinion, He would absolutely hold it in an Orthodox synagogue! Why? Because the Orthodox Seder already discusses Him! Further, the Haggadah (The Seder Service) is absolutely Divinely inspired and directed and HaShem commands we are to obey the rulings of the Sanhedrin! Okay, now that this is covered, moving on.

My intention is to make this a short Op discussing various elements of Pesach as it relates to the madness of the world around us and in light of what each of us is currently facing, whether it be health issues, financial issues, employment issues, or a combination of everything. But as always, before we begin, always remember the following eternal characteristics of HaShem and hold onto them:

  • HaShem never changes per Num 23:19/Mal 3:6/Hebrews 13:8/James 1:17
  • His Word is firmly established per Psalm 119:89
  • He reveals the end out of the beginning per Is 46:10
  • He does nothing without first revealing it to His prophets per Amos 3:7
  • He says there is nothing new under the sun per Ecclesiastes 1:9
  • He says His Torah is the ONLY truth there is per Psalms 119:142
  • He says His Torah is a tree of life and eternal per Proverbs 3:18-19 and Psalm 119:160
  • He says His Torah is perfect and restores the soul per Psalm 19:7
  • He says His Torah makes the simple one wise per Psalm 19:7
  • He says His Torah Is freedom and liberty per Psalm 119:45 and James 1:25
  • He says His Torah is the only good doctrine there is Proverbs 4:2
  • He says His Torah will add length of days and years of life and peace per Proverbs 3:2
  • He says all of the ways of His Torah are ways of pleasantness and peace per Proverbs 3:17
  • He says His Torah is for our good and well-being per Deuteronomy 6:24
  • He says His Torah is health for our lives per Proverbs 3:8
  • He says His Torah is life to our soul and a graceful ornament for our neck per Prov 3:22
  • He says His Torah is better than pearls and all desires cannot compare to it per Prov 8:11
  • He says those who walk with His Torah are praiseworthy per Psalms 119:1
  • He says observing His Torah is how we purify our path per Psalms 119:9
  • He says His Torah is better than thousands in gold and silver per Psalms 119:72
  • He says His Torah brings abundant peace to those who love Him and His Torah per Psalms 119:165
  • He says there is one Torah for all per Exodus 12:49/Leviticus 24:22
  • He says those who hate His Torah love death per Proverbs 8:36
  • He says His Torah is the way of faith per Psalms 119:29-30
  • He says His Torah makes us wiser than our enemies per Psalms 119:98
  • He says His Torah is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path per Psalms 119:105
  • He says one who finds His Torah has found life per Proverbs 8:35
  • He says one who finds His Torah has found favor from HaShem per Proverbs 8:35
  • He says Messiah Yeshua is the GOAL of His Torah, meaning without His Torah, Messiah cannot be known per Romans 10:4
  • He says if we had believed Moshe/Torah, we would have believed Messiah per John 5:46
  • He says His Torah makes us wiser than our enemies per Psalms 119:98
  • He says His salvation is far from the wicked for they sought not His Torah per Psalms 119:155
  • He says to hold fast to and guard His Torah, for it is our life per Proverbs 4:13

What is Pesach truly all about? Is it a Feast of HaShem where a bunch of lambs are slaughtered and then we sit down to a meal, or is there much more significance which HaShem is attempting to teach all of us? Clearly there is so much more HaShem wants us to learn and apply to our lives and walk with Him!

The Haggadah I use for the Seder service is ‘The Family Haggadah’ from Artscroll, which is a very good Haggadah. To accompany this, I have the book ‘The Haggadah A New and Greatly Expanded Edition of the Acknowledged Classic’ by Rabbi Joseph Elias, which is a very good commentary explaining every little intricate detail of the Haggadah!

This commentary from Rabbi Elias is very good at explaining the significance of Pesach. It begins by discussing bondage to freedom: “Do not read that the Tablets were engraved, but that they were freedom – a man is only free if he occupies himself with Torah’ quoting Perkei Avos 6:2. In conveying the message of Pesach to his children, the father is given yet another directive ‘Begin with the shameful part of our history and conclude with the glorious’ quoting Pesachim 116a (Talmud Bavli). This too, helps us experience the liberation from Egypt, we MUST feel bondage and slavery in all their starkness, so that we should be able to truly appreciate our deliverance and take to heart its lessons. The commandments of the Seder symbolize both slavery and freedom; they force upon our consciousness both extremes of this night, and indeed of all our history. The perceptive child is aroused by this twin symbolism to ask ‘Why is this night different from all other nights? Why does it require us to demonstrate both bondage (Maror and Matzah, the bread of affliction) and freedom (Repeated dipping of our food, and reclining)?’ It is this very question of the child which the father answers by stressing that in this night we experienced both extremes i.e. bondage and freedom.

But what was the meaning of this bondage and freedomwas it simply slavery and emancipation, or was there some deeper significance? Two opinions are expressed by our Sages (Members of the Sanhedrin). One holds that we begin with the physical slavery of Egypt based upon the passage in Devarim (Deut) 6:21; the other goes back to the pagan beginnings of our history, when our earliest ancestors were enslaved to idolatry based on the passage in Yehoshua (Joshua) 24:2. We follow both opinions, we first answer our children, we were slaves in Egypt; then we go back and tell them that our forefathers were idol worshippers at the dawn of our history.

Very obviously, the Sages emphasize two aspects of our historical experience. From a purely socio-political perspective, we will recall the physical enslavement and emancipation, but then will wonder why we should be grateful for HaShem’s liberating hand when it was He Who thrust us into slavery. But this question disappears when we look at our Egyptian bondage from a wider SPIRITUAL perspective. From our earliest origins in a pagan society we carried a burden of spiritual imperfection, the most profound and destructive form of bondage, one which would not have permitted us to become HaShem’s people and to carry His message. Only by being cast into the iron melting pot of Egypt, and then being miraculously withdrawn from it, were we able to achieve insights and to scale spiritual heights that freed us once and for all from our ancient bondage of the spirit. The intense suffering made the Jews turn to HaShem and this gained their liberation, physical and spiritual, at HaShem’s Hand.

Thus we can speak of a dual slavery and a dual deliverance, clearly described by Rambam‘He should start by telling that, at first, in the times of Terach (Abraham’s father) and before him, our forefathers were unbelievers who pursued vanities and strayed after idols; and he should end with the true faith, that HaShem brought us close to Him, separated us from the nations, and brought us to acknowledge His oneness. Likewise he should start by explaining that were slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt, and all the evil he did us, and end with the miracles and marvels that were done for us, and our liberation.'”

So, what is being said here? We need to look at Pesach and the Seder service from the perspective of HaShem’s deliverance and freedom from both a physical bondage but from a more destructive bondage i.e. a spiritual bondage to idolatry and sin! Remember, what is the biblical definition of sin? The breaking of the commandments of HaShem as recorded in His Torah.

This again begs the question, did Yeshua come to free us from the bondage of Torah which Christendom teaches or from the bondage of sin and idolatry? Again, Yeshua came to restore and renew the broken covenant in order to allow mankind to have that fellowship with HaShem. Did He change the terms of that covenant i.e. the Torah? An utter impossibility! Had He done so, He would have immediately been disqualified as being Messiah!

Consider this video from my teacher, Joseph Good of HaTikvah Ministries, in which he discusses why we should NOT add Yeshua into the Pesach Seder:

https://www.facebook.com/HatikvaMinistries/videos/861776088555118

THE ELEMENTS OF THE SEDER SERVICE

Now I want to quickly examine the six elements on the Seder Plate as well as the fifteen steps to the Seder Service:

The Seder Plate has six items placed on it. They are the following:

  • Maror – Bitter Herbs which are eaten twice during the Seder Service, Horseradish is used as the Maror
  • Chazeres – Bitter Herbs, which most people use Romaine Lettuce
  • Charoses – The Bitter Herbs are dipped into Charoses, which is a mixture of grated apples, nuts, other fruit, cinnamon and other spices, mixed with red wine. The Charoses has the appearance of mortar to symbolize the lot of the Hebrew slaves, whose livers were embittered by hard labor with brick and mortar.
  • Z’roa – A roasted bone with some meat on it, to commemorate one of two korbonot (Offerings) brought to HaShem in the Temple on the eve of Pesach
  • Beitzah – Roasted hard boiled egg – The egg is the symbol of mourning, is used in place of the second korbonot and is the symbol of our mourning over the destruction of the Second Temple
  • Karpas – A vegetable (Celery or parsley) other than bitter herbs completes the Seder Plate. It will be dipped in salt water and eaten.

What is interesting is the number six has a very specific meaning as it relates to HaShem and His Torah. Per the book ‘Jewish Wisdom in the Numbers’ it says “Six represents full physical expression in the natural world.”

  • Six days of creation
  • Six days in the work week
  • Six compass directions
  • Six words comprise the opening phrase of the Shema Prayer
  • Six orders/sections comprise the Mishnah (The recorded rulings of the Sanhedrin as commanded by HaShem to teach us how to walk in His Torah)
  • The sixth letter of the Hebrew alphabet is the letter ‘Vav’ which means ‘The symbol of completion, redemption and transformation.’

We should never take for granted or just glance over a number which HaShem is listed in His Word, because He is communicating and teaching us something very important!

The Seder Table ready for the fifteen steps of the Seder Service:

What is interesting is the number fifteen has a very specific meaning as it relates to HaShem and His Torah. Per the book ‘Jewish Wisdom in the Numbers’ it says “15 are the steps that man takes to rise or to fall. Climbing these steps represents an upward ascent toward HaShem.”

  • There are 15 steps to the Pesach Seder Service
  • There are 15 steps leading from the Court of the Women into the Court of the Israelites in the Temple of HaShem
  • There are 15 songs in the Songs of Ascent found in Psalms 120-134 which correspond to the 15 steps going up from the Court of the Women into the Court of the Israelites in the Temple of HaShem
  • The moon is at its brightest on the 15th day of each month!
  • Pesach begins on the 15th of the month of Nissan
  • Tu B’Shevat (The new year for the trees) is on the 15th of the month of Shevat
  • Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles) begins on the 15th of the month of Tishrei
  • Purim is on the 15th of the month of Adar
  • Abraham died when Jacob was 15
  • HaShem appeared to the forefathers on a total of 15 occasions
  • The 15th letter of the Hebrew alphabet is the letter ‘Samech’ which means ‘The symbol of support, protection and memory. It represents the active sense that HaShem provides support to man and in the passive sense that man relies on HaShem.’

So we can see there is a lot just in understanding the significance of the number 15 which HaShem is teaching us! The following are the fifteen steps in the Pesach Seder Service:

  • Kaddish – Recite the Kiddush over the festival and then the first of four cups of wine is drunk at this point
  • U’rechatz – Wash hands in preparation
  • Karpas – After washing hands, eating of Karpas (Vegetable dipped in salt water) to arouse children’s curiosity
  • Yachatz – Break the middle Matzah (Total of three pieces of Matzah are used in the Seder), the smaller half serving as being the ‘Bread of Affliction’
  • Maggid – The Haggadah is recited and draws attention to the ‘Bread of Affliction’ over which the Haggadah is recited. Here the youngest asks the questions as contained in the Haggadah in which the father replies to teach his children how we were enslaved, and HaShem freed us, and therefore we should recount the story at length; shows that our greatest Sages did so; shows the duty to do so at all times; shows how every type of child is to be instructed at the Seder; explains when the special duty applies; shows the deeper roots of the exile, and the Exodus as the way to spiritual redemption; the Midrash presents the details of the Pesach story to its triumphant end; explains the concrete Mitzvos ordained for the Seder i.e. Pesach, Matzah, Maror (Bitter herbs); emphasizes that in celebrating the Seder, we must see ourselves as having gone out from Egypt, and therefore we praise HaShem for His kindness, ending with a Brachah (Blessing) over the Haggadah. At this point the second cup of wine is drunk.
  • Rachtzah – Wash hands, in preparation
  • Motzi – Customary Brachah (Blessing) over bread in this case the Matzah
  • Matzah – And a special Brachah over Matzos, from which we then eat
  • Maror – And a special Brachah is said over the Maror (Bitter Herbs) and it is eaten after we dip it into Charoses (Sweet mixture of walnuts, grated apples, cinnamon, other spices and red wine)
  • Korech – Combination of Matzah and Maror is eaten in what is commonly known as ‘The Hillel Sandwich’
  • Shulchan Orech – The table is prepared for the festive meal, ending with…
  • Tzafun – Eating the Afikoman (Piece of Matzos which had been hidden for the children to go and find as a hide and seek type of game)
  • Barech – The Birchas HaMazon i.e. the Blessing after the meal is recited and then the third cup of wine is drunk
  • Hallel – The Psalms of Praise (Psalms 113-118) and declaration of our faith in HaShem are recited and then the fourth and final cup of wine is drunk
  • Nirtzah – The Seder is completed with our prayers that our service be accepted by HaShem, and Mashiach come speedily!

Consider the following video by my teacher, Joseph Good of HaTikvah Ministries, as he teaches his weekly online teaching, with this topic being ‘The Passover Seder’:

So, I will end this Op here and just say, this Pesach is far more important to each of us then I believe we really understand! We all must suffer trials and tribulations, bondage and enslavement before we can be miraculously released by the Hand of HaShem! We cry for freedom and deliverance from our oppressors and from those crushing us, but this freedom is not so we can do whatever we want, focusing on ourselves, no, this freedom is freedom to study, learn and walk out His Torah in service unto our Great King and in doing so we will experience unimaginable blessings and paradise!

There is a reason why HaShem refers to the final seven years of this current era as being the ‘Chevlei Mashiach’ i.e. the Birth PAINS of Messiah! It is through these extreme days of HaShem’s judgement which will bring in Messiah Yeshua once and for all and defeat the False Messiah, ushering in 993 years of world shalom before going into the Olam HaBa (The World to Come i.e. Eternity)! May it be so very, very soon in our days!!

Chag Sameach and Shabbat Shalom!

SOURCE MATERIALS

  • The Family Hagaddah by Artscroll
  • The Haggadah Commentary by Artscroll
  • Jewish Wisdom in the Numbers by Artscroll
  • The Wisdom in the Hebrew Alphabet by Artscroll

WORDS OF LIFE IN A WORLD OF DEATH

“Behold the storm of HaShem: A rage shall go forth, a tempest shall seek rest; it will rest upon the head of the wicked. HaShem’s burning wrath will not recede until He has accomplished it, and until He has upheld the plans of His heart. In the End of Days you will be able to understand it. At that time, the Word of HaShem, I will be a Elohim for all the families of Israel, and they will be a people for Me.” Jeremiah 30:23-25

Trouble is certainly the word which best describes the days and times we currently live in! The powers of darkness are no doubt working double time against the people of HaShem! While we struggle to hold onto life, the world around us seems to run that much faster, defiantly towards destruction and death! Some may be asking why HaShem would be allowing this to happen?

As I put this Op together, it is 14 March 2022, just a few days before the biblical celebration of Purim begins in which we celebrate HaShem rescuing Israel from the evil plans of Haman! A very prophetic picture of HaShem rescuing Israel once more at the end! May it be so very soon in our days!

HaShem, the Elohim of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the Elohim of Israel, is in absolute control over all things, and over all things, nothing is beyond His gaze, His ears nor His grasp. So, how do we effectively hold onto Him in this time of trouble? I hope to examine this question further in this Op.

As always, before we get into the nuts and bolts of this Op, always remember the following eternal characteristics of HaShem:

  • HaShem never changes per Num 23:19/Mal 3:6/Hebrews 13:8/James 1:17
  • His Word is firmly established per Psalm 119:89
  • He reveals the end out of the beginning per Is 46:10
  • He does nothing without first revealing it to His prophets per Amos 3:7
  • He says there is nothing new under the sun per Ecclesiastes 1:9
  • He says His Torah is the ONLY truth there is per Psalms 119:142
  • He says His Torah is a tree of life and eternal per Proverbs 3:18-19 and Psalm 119:160
  • He says His Torah is perfect and restores the soul per Psalm 19:7
  • He says His Torah makes the simple one wise per Psalm 19:7
  • He says His Torah Is freedom and liberty per Psalm 119:45 and James 1:25
  • He says His Torah is the only good doctrine there is Proverbs 4:2
  • He says His Torah will add length of days and years of life and peace per Proverbs 3:2
  • He says all of the ways of His Torah are ways of pleasantness and peace per Proverbs 3:17
  • He says His Torah is for our good and well-being per Deuteronomy 6:24
  • He says His Torah is health for our lives per Proverbs 3:8
  • He says His Torah is life to our soul and a graceful ornament for our neck per Prov 3:22
  • He says His Torah is better than pearls and all desires cannot compare to it per Prov 8:11
  • He says those who walk with His Torah are praiseworthy per Psalms 119:1
  • He says observing His Torah is how we purify our path per Psalms 119:9
  • He says His Torah is better than thousands in gold and silver per Psalms 119:72
  • He says His Torah brings abundant peace to those who love Him and His Torah per Psalms 119:165
  • He says there is one Torah for all per Exodus 12:49/Leviticus 24:22
  • He says those who hate His Torah love death per Proverbs 8:36
  • He says His Torah is the way of faith per Psalms 119:29-30
  • He says His Torah makes us wiser than our enemies per Psalms 119:98
  • He says His Torah is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path per Psalms 119:105
  • He says one who finds His Torah has found life per Proverbs 8:35
  • He says one who finds His Torah has found favor from HaShem per Proverbs 8:35
  • He says Messiah Yeshua is the GOAL of His Torah, meaning without His Torah, Messiah cannot be known per Romans 10:4
  • He says if we had believed Moshe/Torah, we would have believed Messiah per John 5:46
  • He says His Torah makes us wiser than our enemies per Psalms 119:98
  • He says His salvation is far from the wicked for they sought not His Torah per Psalms 119:155
  • He says to hold fast to and guard His Torah, for it is our life per Proverbs 4:13
Arizona monsoon storm

There are some astounding verses HaShem gave in Mishlei (Proverbs) 4:20-27 which I want to examine as it relates to the theme of this Op, i.e. words of life in a world embracing death!

Mishlei 4:20 says “My child, be attentive to my speech; incline your ear to my words. Let them not depart from your eyes; safeguard them in your heart.” King Solomon may have spoken these words, but we know they are from HaShem, therefore, we must ask, what are the words of HaShem as referenced here? Mishlei 4:4 says “He taught me, and said to me, ‘Let my words sustain your heart; observe my commandments and live.'” We know then the words of HaShem are His Torah!

This verse absolutely shows us, studying and applying His Torah in each of our lives is vital to our survival in this world, but the words He uses in this verse also show it is NOT easy! To be attentive, to incline our ears to His words and to safeguard them, denotes, there is great opposition we will have to choose and commit ourselves to overcome! While it definitely requires effort and discipline, there is great reward!

Mishlei 4:21 says “Let them not depart from your eyes; safeguard them in your heart.” We have to constantly be on guard to not let His words be drowned out or smothered by the trials and troubles of this world! Point is, yes it takes effort, but the reward is beyond our imagination!! For the record, I am NOT talking about earning salvation or anything like that…I am referring to our walk with HaShem in this evil, vile, wicked, violent and war torn world we currently live in!

****This is the key verse: Mishlei 4:22 says “For they (The Words of HaShem i.e. Torah) are life to him who finds them, and healing for all his flesh.” How profound is this verse especially in light of the world we live in today? The commentary on this verse is very interesting. It says: “Just as there are two aspects to Torah i.e. its outer and inner facets, so, too, there are two aspects of the person i.e. his body and his soul. Study of the secrets of Torah, its inner essence, provides vitality to one’s inner self i.e. the soul; while the study of the outer words of Torah in its revealed state provides physical healing to the external encasement of the soul i.e. the body. Thus, the 248 words of the Shema prayer (Derived from the Torah) correspond to and provide a healing for each of man’s 248 bodily organs.”

Is it just a coincidence there are 248 words which comprise the Shema and it just so happens there are 248 organs in the human body? Nothing is a coincidence with HaShem! For further information on the Shema, refer to the Op ‘The Greatest Commandment’ https://torahandtempleinvestigations.com/2021/12/07/what-is-the-greatest-commandment/

The commentary on this verse continues which says “This verse specifies that the words of Torah will be a source of life to one who finds them i.e. to one who toils and labors until he succeeds in attaining them. One cannot expect to attain something without investing time and effort. This verse implies that a person must avoid the trait of laziness, if he is to succeed.” Nothing of value comes easy! There is always a great price to be paid!

The commentary continues “The Talmud suggests another interpretation which can be read ‘Those who enunciate them’ meaning to take out, express, verbalize. One who studies Torah audibly is far more likely to retain what he learns than one who studies silently, and he will also merit long life.”

The following excerpt is from Tractate Eiruvin 54a from the Steinsaltz Talmud Bavli which says “One who feels pain in his head should engage in Torah study, as it is stated: ‘For they shall be a graceful wreath for your head.’ One who feels pain in his throat should engage in Torah study, as it is stated: ‘And chains (Necklace) about your neck.’ One who feels pain in his intestines should engage in Torah study, as it is stated: ‘Shall be health to your navel’ per Proverbs 3:8. One who feels pain in his bones should engage in Torah study as it is stated: ‘And marrow to your bones’ per Proverbs 3:8. One who feels pain in his entire body should engage in Torah study, as it is stated: ‘And health to all their flesh’ per Proverbs 4:22.”

This Tractate says further “What is the meaning of that which is written: ‘For it is a pleasant thing if you keep them within you, let them be firmly attached together to your lips’ quoting Proverbs 22:18? When are words of Torah pleasant? When you keep them within you and know them. And when will you keep them within you? When they will be attached together to your lips i.e. when you articulate them audibly and expound them. It is proper to study Torah out loud, as in this way one’s studies will endure and will not be quickly forgotten.”

“But the matter is very near to you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it per Deuteronomy 30:14. When is it very near to you? When it is in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it i.e. when you articulate your Torah study.”

“You have given him his heart’s desire, and have not withheld the request of his lips, Selah per Psalms 24:3. When have You given him his heart’s desire? When You have not withheld the request of his heart’s desire? When have You not withheld the request of his lips, Selah, i.e., when he converses in words of Torah.”

The commentary finishes with “The Talmud cites this verse in recommending Torah study to one suffering from a bodily ailment. Indeed, the Talmud notes that the tonic of Torah study remedies the entire body, unlike conventional medicines, which cure only one malady but may also cause side effects.”

The Book of Mishlei from Judaica Press concerning this verse says “The one who finds the wisdom of the Torah will find that it is life for him and healing for all his flesh.”

Arizona Sunset!

Mishlei 4:23 says “More than you guard anything, safeguard your heart, for from it are the sources of life.” This is a very important verse to quickly explore. The commentary on this verse is very revealing as it says “More than anything he protects, a person must be careful to guard his heart (Thought life) from improper thoughts, for one cannot contemplate using the heart, the very vortex of life, to harbor thoughts that are inimical to life. The physiological centrality of the heart as ‘King of the body’ that distributes man’s lifeblood, symbolizes its preeminent role as the source of spiritual life in the Hereafter, for it inculcates Torah thought and commitment to the service of HaShem. This leads each of the person’s limbs to perform its specific commandment. Realizing its importance, one must be careful to guard his heart as well.”

Again, I need to stress, this is not talking about earning one’s salvation per se. Even Tractate Sanhedrin 106b from the Talmud Bavli says “The Holy One, Blessed be He, seeks the heart, and the barometer of greatness is devotion of the heart and not the amount of Torah that one studies, as it is written ‘But the Lord looks on the heart’ quoting I Samuel 16:7.”

I Samuel 16:7 says in its fullness “But HaShem said to Samuel, ‘Do not look at his appearance or at his tall stature, for I have rejected him. For it is not as man sees, man sees what his eyes behold, but HaShem sees into the heart.'”

Mishlei 4:24 says “Remove from yourself distortion of the mouth and distance perversity of lips from yourself.” The commentary on this verse says “Beware of acting in a manner that will cause others to twist their mouth or widen their mouths concerning you, i.e., to speak badly of you. The previous verse’s noble intentions of the heart cannot suffice when others perceive your behavior as ignoble, for that results in a desecration of HaShem’s Name. Therefore, even when your intentions are pure, avoid acting in a manner which may arouse suspicion of wrongdoing on your part. According to the Midrash, distortion of the mouth refers to gossip, which can cause such harm that it is comparable to murder. Perversity of lips refers to duplicitous speech, treating one’s fellow in an outwardly friendly manner while inwardly harboring animosity towards him.”

Mishlei 4:25 says “Let your eyes look ahead, and your eyelids will straighten your path before you.” The commentary is very interesting and important. It says “Your eyes should look for truth and for uprightness in order to find the proper path. That to which a person exposes his vision can be an extremely potent factor in his spiritual ascent or, HaShem forbid, his decline. In spiritual matters, a person’s eyes should be open to observe HaShem’s deeds and the manifestations of His greatness, and to enable one to walk in His ways.”

Now, again let me reiterate, this has nothing to do with securing salvation! We live in this world, and as such when we sin i.e. break His Torah as this is the definition of sin, there are punishments and chastisements we must endure in this life, just as there are rewards He bestows upon us when we walk in His Torah in this life. Okay, moving forward.

Arizona night sky!

Mishlei 4:26 says “Weigh the course of your foot, and all your ways will be established.” From the Perkei Avos (Ethics of Our Fathers) 2.1 it says “Which is the right course that a man should choose for himself? One which is a credit to the person who chooses it and which also earns him respect from his fellow man. Be careful to perform a minor mitzvah (Commandment) in the same manner as a major one for you do not know the reward for each mitzvah. Consider the loss incurred in the performance of a mitzvah against the reward secured by its observance, and the gain received from a sin against the loss which will be suffered. Reflect upon three things and you will not come into the clutches of sin: Know what is above you i.e. An Eye that sees, an Ear that hears, and a book in which all your deeds are recorded.”

The Mishnah Perkei Avos 2.1 expounds this further and says “Know what is above you, and be constantly aware that high in heaven there is: 1. A seeing Eye from which nothing is hidden, as it is written in Job 34:21 ‘For His eyes are upon the ways of man, and He sees all his steps,’ and from Proverbs 5:21 ‘For the ways of a man are in the sight of the Lord, and He ponders all his goings;’ 2. A listening Ear which hears all you say, even the murmurs within your heart, as it is written in Psalms 94:9 ‘He who planted/created the ear, shall He not hear?’ 3. And all your deeds are written in a book.'”

I am adding the following verse concerning the books which is recorded in Revelation 20:12 which says “And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before the throne, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged from what was written in the books, according to their works.” This verse in Revelation is from Daniel 7:10 which says “A stream of fire flowing forth from before Him, a thousand thousands serving Him and myriad myriads standing before Him, the judgment was set, and the books were opened.” On a side note, again we see there is NOTHING new in the Apostolic Writings and again whatever is written in the Apostolic Writings MUST be found in the Tanakh, for there is nothing new under the sun! I digress.

Mishlei 4:27 says “Do not deviate right or left; remove your foot from evil.” The commentary on this verse says “Though the previous verse teaches the methods to correct one’s course and regain the medium road, ideally a person should have been careful not to veer right or left off this road. In this way he will have removed his foot from evil.” In other words, no matter how difficult it gets or how frustrating or scary it becomes, we, myself included, must grab hold of HaShem and His Torah, study, learn and apply these principles to our own lives if we are to survive this awful, wicked, world we live in!

Yeshua Himself said we are to imitate Him as He lived in this world and how did He live? He was a Torah Sage, He walked, talked, ate, worked and slept the Torah of HaShem. So, if we are to imitate Him, we must learn HaShem’s ways i.e. His Torah.

Know Torah, know Yeshua!

No Torah, No Yeshua!

May it be so very soon in our days!

SOURCE MATERIALS

  • Artscroll Tanach Series Mishlei (Proverbs)
  • The Book of Proverbs by Judaica Press
  • The Scriptures by Institute for Scripture Research
  • The Illuminated Perkei Avos by Artscroll
  • Kehati Mishnah
  • Tractate Eiruvin from the Steinsaltz Talmud Bavli
  • Tractate Sanhedrin from the Steinsaltz Talmud Bavli

THE SONGS OF ASCENT IN A WORLD AT WAR

“O that you will strengthen yourself and persevere very much in order to observe, to do, according to all of the Torah that Moshe My servant has commanded you. Do not deviate from him to the right or to the left, that you may succeed wherever you may go.” Joshua 1:7

Baruch HaShem, do not be afraid, stand still and see the salvation of HaShem! My goodness, it has been a very eventful and disastrous time since I posted my last Op, both internationally and personally. No doubt we are at the cusp of the beginning of the prophesied Birth Pains! We are facing growing disasters on all fronts now, both collectively and individually, more so than I think any of us thought we would have to face!

Global war, global famine, global economic collapses, the unprecedented corruption, wickedness, violence and lawlessness coupled with the effects they are having on our physical bodies! No doubt it must be soon!

How is this uplifting you ask? Because nothing is too difficult for HaShem, the Elohim of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the Elohim of Yisrael! This said, I very much feel compelled to put this Op together to remind all of us, myself included, we are NOT alone, HaShem, Master of Legions, is with us and is helping us and He will continue to do so until THE day arrives!

As I said in my previous Op, HaShem willing, I plan on doing more Op’s focusing on the Temple of HaShem and how it operated. This Op will continue that theme as we focus on a very specific event which occurred in the Temple every Sukkot and you will see how it applies to each of us today and the hope and confidence He makes available to each of us. But as always, before we jump into this, always remember the following eternal characteristics of HaShem:

  • HaShem never changes per Num 23:19/Mal 3:6/Hebrews 13:8/James 1:17
  • His Word is firmly established per Psalm 119:89
  • He reveals the end out of the beginning per Is 46:10
  • He does nothing without first revealing it to His prophets per Amos 3:7
  • He says there is nothing new under the sun per Ecclesiastes 1:9
  • He says His Torah is the ONLY truth there is per Psalms 119:142
  • He says His Torah is a tree of life and eternal per Proverbs 3:18-19 and Psalm 119:160
  • He says His Torah is perfect and restores the soul per Psalm 19:7
  • He says His Torah makes the simple one wise per Psalm 19:7
  • He says His Torah Is freedom and liberty per Psalm 119:45 and James 1:25
  • He says His Torah is the only good doctrine there is Proverbs 4:2
  • He says His Torah will add length of days and years of life and peace per Proverbs 3:2
  • He says all of the ways of His Torah are ways of pleasantness and peace per Proverbs 3:17
  • He says His Torah is for our good and well-being per Deuteronomy 6:24
  • He says His Torah is health for our lives per Proverbs 3:8
  • He says His Torah is life to our soul and a graceful ornament for our neck per Prov 3:22
  • He says His Torah is better than pearls and all desires cannot compare to it per Prov 8:11
  • He says those who walk with His Torah are praiseworthy per Psalms 119:1
  • He says observing His Torah is how we purify our path per Psalms 119:9
  • He says His Torah is better than thousands in gold and silver per Psalms 119:72
  • He says His Torah brings abundant peace to those who love Him and His Torah per Psalms 119:165
  • He says there is one Torah for all per Exodus 12:49/Leviticus 24:22
  • He says those who hate His Torah love death per Proverbs 8:36
  • He says His Torah is the way of faith per Psalms 119:29-30
  • He says His Torah makes us wiser than our enemies per Psalms 119:98
  • He says His Torah is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path per Psalms 119:105
  • He says one who finds His Torah has found life per Proverbs 8:35
  • He says one who finds His Torah has found favor from HaShem per Proverbs 8:35
  • He says Messiah Yeshua is the GOAL of His Torah, meaning without His Torah, Messiah cannot be known per Romans 10:4
  • He says if we had believed Moshe/Torah, we would have believed Messiah per John 5:46
  • He says His Torah makes us wiser than our enemies per Psalms 119:98
  • He says His salvation is far from the wicked for they sought not His Torah per Psalms 119:155
  • He says to hold fast to and guard His Torah, for it is our life per Proverbs 4:13

In the Temple of HaShem in Jerusalem, there is an amazing event which takes place on the Feast of Sukkot (Erroneously referred to as Tabernacles). This Feast of HaShem is the third of the required Three Pilgrimage Feasts in which all of Israel is to come before HaShem in His Temple in Jerusalem. The First Pilgrimage Feast is Pesach (Passover), the Second Pilgrimage Feast is Shavuos (Erroneously called Pentecost) and then Sukkot.

HaShem commands Sukkot in Devarim (Deuteronomy) 16:13-16 where He says “Make for yourself a Succot festival for SEVEN DAYS when you gather in the produce from your threshing floor and your wine vat. And you are to REJOICE on your festival, you with your son and your daughter, your slave and your maidservant, the Levite, the convert, the orphan, and the widow within your gates. For SEVEN DAYS you are to CELEBRATE to HaShem, your Elohim in the place that HaShem will choose (The Temple in Jerusalem), for HaShem your Elohim will bless you in all your crops and in all your under takings, and you shall be nothing but joyous.”

So, we can see HaShem is focusing Sukkot on rejoicing and celebrating, but what are we to celebrate? Sukkot comes five days after the most solemn Feast and day of HaShem i.e. Yom Kippur in which HaShem decides and judges each of us to determine who lives and who dies for that year. Then five days later we celebrate for seven days for the Feast of Sukkot. Prophetically, at the end of the seven year Birth Pains, Yeshua will march into Jerusalem on that Yom Kippur and defeat the False Messiah then five days later on that Sukkot there will be the greatest celebration in human history as we celebrate HaShem rescuing His people and defeating His enemies once and for all! Baruch HaShem!!

You may be asking how this applies to the Temple and each of us? Please, be patient and hang on…:)

During Sukkot there is an amazing Temple service which takes place on the last day of the Feast. This service is called the ‘Celebration of the Place of the Drawing of the Water.’ Inside the Court of the Women in the Temple of HaShem, there would be massive celebrations taking place. Per Tractate Sukkah 51b from the Talmud Bavli it says “The pious and the men of action would dance before the people who attended the celebration with flaming torches that they would juggle in their hands, and they would say before them passages of song and praise to HaShem. And the Levites would play on lyres, harps, cymbals and trumpets, and countless other musical instruments.” In fact, in Tractate Sukkah 51a from the Talmud Bavli it describes this celebration “One who did not see the Celebration of the Place of the Drawing of the Water, never saw celebration in his days.”

I won’t go into describing how this celebration was performed, but instead want to focus on where in the Temple the Kohanim and Levites performed this ceremony and celebration!

In the Court of the Women, walking Westward, towards the Sanctuary itself, there is a giant gate, called ‘The Nikanor Gate’ which separated the Court of the Women from the Court of Israel and the Azarah i.e. the Courtyard where the Mizbeach (Altar) was located. In front of this gate were FIFTEEN STEPS GOING UP FROM THE COURT OF THE WOMEN…Now this is key you hold onto this as we proceed.

Tractate Middot 2.5 from the Kehati Mishnah which says “And fifteen steps that led up from within it to Ezrat Yisrael (Court of Israel), corresponding to the fifteen steps that are in Psalms, for on them the Levites would recite the song. They were not straight, but curved, like half a round threshing floor.”

These fifteen steps were unlike the other sets of stairs in the Temple in that they were rounded steps. On the last day of Sukkot, the Levites would stand on these fifteen steps, during the Celebration of the Place of the Drawing of the Water, and they would sing a song. This song is called ‘The Song of Ascents’ which correspond to the Psalms of Ascent we read in our bibles! These Psalms are specifically Psalms 120-134, and is why when we read in our English translations these specific Psalms start off with ‘A Psalm of Ascent’ because it is part of the Song of Ascent! Now, remember, when approaching HaShem in His Temple, one is ALWAYS going up and closer one draws to HaShem, the higher level of kedusha (Holiness) is required! It is these Psalms of Ascent I want to focus on in this Op and will include below. When you read the Psalms of Ascent, remember, the Levites are singing these Psalms during a time of great rejoicing and you will see how they apply to each of us today in this world at war.

What is amazing is we see Yeshua Himself participating in this celebration!! Yochanan (John) 7:37 says “And on the LAST GREAT DAY OF THE FESTIVAL (Sukkot), Yeshua stood (In the Court of the Women in the Temple in Jerusalem) and cried out saying ‘If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me, and let him who believes in Me drink!'” Remember this celebration is called the ‘Celebration of the Place of the Drawing of the Water’ and Yeshua is calling people to drink from HaShem!!! Not a coincidence He chose to shout this during this ceremony!!

THE PSALMS OF ASCENT

Now remember, each Psalm corresponds to a step going up towards HaShem’s Throne!

First Step: Psalm 120 says “A Song of Ascents. To HaShem, in my distress I cried and He answered me. HaShem, rescue my soul from lying lips, from a deceitful tongue. What can He give you, and what can He add to you, O deceitful tongue? You are like the sharp arrows of the mighty; with coals of rotem wood. Woe unto me, for my drawn out sojourn; I dwelt with those who inhabit the tents of Kedar. Long has my soul dwelt with those who hate peace. I am peace, but when I speak, they are for war.”

Second Step: Psalm 121 says “A Song of Ascents. I raise my eyes upon the mountains; whence will come my help? My help is from HaShem, Maker of Heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to falter; your Guardian will not slumber. Behold, He neither slumber nor sleeps, the Guardian of Israel. HaShem is your Guardian; HaShem is your Shade at your right hand. By day the sun will not harm you, nor the moon by night. HaShem will protect you from every evil; He will guard your soul. HaShem will guard your departure and your arrival, from this time and forever.”

Here is a music video filmed in Ein Gedi, Israel, a very prophetically significant location concerning Messiah and the defeat of our enemies:

Third Step: Psalm 122 says “A Song of Ascents. By David. I rejoiced when they said to me, ‘Let us go to the House of HaShem (Temple in Jerusalem).’ Immobile stood our feet, within your gates, O Jerusalem. The built up Jerusalem is like a city that is united together. For there the tribes ascended, the tribes of HaShem, a testimony for Israel, to give thanks to the Name of HaShem. For there sat thrones of judgment, thrones for the House of David. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem; those who love you will be serene. May there be peace within your wall, serenity within your palaces. For the sake of my brethren and my comrades, I shall speak of peace in your midst. For the sake of the House of HaShem, our Elohim, I will request good for you.”

Posted here is a music video from Joshua Aaron, a singer who lives in Israel singing Psalm 122:

Fourth Step: Psalm 123 says “A Song of Ascents. To You I raised my eyes, O You Who dwell in the heavens. Behold! Like the eyes of servants unto their masters hand, like the eyes of a maid unto her mistress hand, so are our eyes unto HaShem, our Elohim, until He will favor us. Favor us, HaShem, favor us, for we are fully sated with contempt. Our soul is fully sated with mockery of the complacent ones, with the contempt of the arrogant.”

Fifth Step: Psalm 124 says “A Song of Ascents. By David. Had not HaShem been with us, let Israel declare it now! Had not HaShem been with us when men rose up against us, then they would have swallowed us alive, when their anger was kindled against us. Then the waters would have inundated us; the current would have surged across our soul. Then they would have surged across our soul, the treacherous waters. Blessed is HaShem, Who did not present us as prey for their teeth. Our soul escaped like a bird from the hunters snare; the snare broke and we escaped. Our help is through the Name of HaShem, Maker of heaven and earth.”

Sixth Step: Psalm 125 says “A Song of Ascents. Those who trust in HaShem are like Mount Zion that falters not, but abides forever. Jerusalem, mountains enwrap it, and HaShem enwraps His nation, from this time and forever. For the rod of wickedness shall not rest upon the lot of the righteous, so that the righteous shall not stretch their hands into iniquity. Do good, HaShem, to good people, and to the upright in their hearts. But those who turn to their perverseness, HaShem will lead them with the workers of iniquity, peace upon Israel.”

Seventh Step: Psalm 126 says “A Song of Ascents. When HaShem will return the captivity of Zion, we will be like dreamers. Then our mouth will be filled with laughter and our tongue with glad song. Then will they declare among the nations, ‘HaShem has done greatly with these’. HaShem has done greatly with us, we were gladdened. O HaShem, return our captivity like springs in the desert. Those who tearfully sow will reap in glad song. He who bears the measure of seeds walks along weeping, but will return in exultation, a bearer of his sheaves.”

Eighth Step: Psalm 127 says “A Song of Ascents for Solomon. If HaShem will not build the house, in vain do its builders labor on it; if HaShem will not guard the city, in vain is the watchman vigilant. It is vain for you who rise early, who sit up late, who eat the bread of sorrows, for indeed, He gives His beloved ones restful sleep. Behold! The heritage of HaShem is children; a reward is the fruit of the womb. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of youth. Praiseworthy is the man who fills his quiver with them; they shall not be shamed, when they speak with enemies in the gate.”

Ninth Step: Psalm 128 says “A Song of Ascents. Praiseworthy is each person who fears HaShem, who walks in His paths. When you eat the labor of your hands, you are praiseworthy, and it is well with you. Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine in the inner chambers of your home; your children shall be like olive shoots surrounding your table. Behold! For so is blessed the man who fears HaShem. May HaShem bless you from Zion, and may you gaze upon the goodness of Jerusalem, all the days of your life. And may you see children born to your children, peace upon Israel.”

Tenth Step: Psalm 129 says “A Song of Ascents. Much have they distressed me since my youth, let Israel declare now. Much have they distressed me since my youth, but they never conquered me. On my back the plowers plowed, they lengthened their furrow. HaShem is righteous, He cut the ropes of the wicked. Ashamed and turned back will be all who hate Zion. They shall be like the grass on rooftops, that, even before it is plucked, withers, with which the reaper cannot fill his hand, nor the binder of sheaves his arm; and of which passersby have never said, ‘HaShem’s blessing to you; we bless you in the Name of HaShem.'”

Eleventh Step: Psalm 130 says “A Song of Ascents. From the depths I called You, HaShem, My Master, hear my voice, may Your ears be attentive to the sound of my pleas. If You preserve iniquities, O Elohim, my Master, who could survive? For with You is forgiveness, that You may be feared. I put confidence in HaShem, my soul put confidence, and I hoped for His word. I yearn for my Master, among those longing for the dawn, those longing for the dawn. Let Israel hope for HaShem, for with HaShem is kindness, and with Him is abundant redemption. And He shall redeem Israel from all its iniquities.”

Here is a very good video to go with Psalm 130, the Eleventh Step. This video was recorded in Israel…just look at that land!

Twelfth Step: Psalm 131 says “A Song of Ascent. By David. HaShem, my heart was not proud, and my eyes were not haughty, nor did I pursue matters too great and too wonderous for me. I swear that I stilled and silenced my soul, like a suckling child at his mother’s side, like the suckling child is my soul. Let Israel hope to HaShem, from this time and forever.”

Thirteenth Step: Psalm 132 says “A Song of Ascent. O HaShem, remember unto David all his suffering. How he swore to HaShem, and vowed to the Strong One of Jacob. If I enter the tent of my home; if I go upon the bed that is spread for me; if I allow sleep to my eyes, slumber to my eyelids; before I find a place for HaShem, resting places for the Strong One of Jacob. Behold! We heard of it in Ephras, we found it in the forested field. We will arrive at His Tabernacles, we will prostrate ourselves at His footstool. Arise, HaShem, to Your resting place, You and the Ark of Your strength. Let Your priests be clothed in righteousness, and Your devout ones will sing joyously. For the sake of David, Your servant, turn not away the face of Your anointed. HaShem has sworn to David, a truth from which He will never retreat: ‘From the fruit of your issue I will place upon your throne. If your sons keep My covenant, and this, My testament, that I shall teach them, then their sons too, forever and ever, shall sit upon your throne.’ For HaShem has chosen Zion, He has desired it for His habitation. This is My resting place forever and ever, here I will dwell, for I have desired it. Her sustenance I will bless abundantly; her needy I will satisfy with food. I will clothe her priests with salvation; her devout ones will always sing joyously. There I shall cause pride to sprout for David; I have prepared a lamp for My anointed. His enemies I will clothe with shame, but upon him, his crown will shine.”

Here is another video filmed in Israel which corresponds to the above Thirteenth Step i.e. Psalm 132:

Fourteenth Step: Psalm 133 says “A Psalm of Ascent. By David. Behold, how good and how pleasant is the dwelling of brothers, moreover, in unity. Like the precious oil upon the head running down upon the beard, the beard of Aaron, running down over his garments. Like the dew of Hermon descending upon the mountains of Zion, for there HaShem has commanded the blessing. May there be life forever!”

Fifteenth and Final Step: Psalm 134 says “A Song of Ascents. Behold, bless HaShem, all you servants of HaShem, who stand in the House of HaShem in the nights. Lift your hands in the Sanctuary and bless HaShem. May HaShem bless you from Zion, Maker of heaven and earth.”

I hope you all can see the theme of these fifteen steps! HaShem is our only place of refuge, safety, security, provision, healing, rest, and hope!! What better reminder for all of us, myself included, in the wicked, violent, war torn world we currently live in!!

One final video for you to watch…filmed in Jerusalem, running to greet Messiah:

May it be so very, very soon in our days!!

Shalom!

SOURCE MATERIALS:

  • The Scriptures by Institute for Scripture Research
  • The Illustrated Tehillim (Psalms) by Artscroll
  • Kehati Mishnah
  • Tractate Sukkah from the Steinsaltz Talmud Bavli

THE TEMPLE OF HASHEM IN A WORLD GONE MAD

“Had Your Torah not been my preoccupation, I would have perished in my suffering.” Psalms 119:92

As I put this Op together, it is 19 February 2022, and the world is on the precipice of war via Russia and Ukraine. America is collapsing under the weight of its corruption and wicked society. Canada has fallen into tyranny and martial law. Australia has become a dictatorship and our enemies are emboldened and are giddy at the thought of a world in which America is no longer the dominate superpower. I know, its very depressing and oppressive to contemplate, but HaShem warned us this is how the world would be the closer we get to the Final Redemption!

My hope and intention is this Op is to be the first of a series of Ops in which we discuss in depth the Temple of HaShem, not just what has been erroneously taught over the years by Christendom, but a real, in-depth discussion on not just the Temple of HaShem, but more importantly the FUNCTION of the Temple of HaShem!

Why is this so important, especially in our day today? Because, the Temple of HaShem is THE House of HaShem on earth, it is His Throne where He will dwell among His people and thus understanding His Temple and how it functions will help us understand HaShem Himself!

Is the Temple of HaShem just a conglomerate of buildings put together randomly by a bunch of people who just thought it would look nice or was there a specific reason and unchanging design handed down by HaShem? Obviously the answer is HaShem handed down a specific ‘Tavnit’ or ‘Blueprint’ via His Ruach (Spirit) per Exodus 25 and I Chronicles 28! Ezekiel 40-48 discusses the Tavnit of the Third Temple.

Studying and understanding the layout of His Temple is enormously important because we must understand the function and how it operates. But we must also study and learn the ceremonies, the korbonot (Offerings), the utensils used, the garments worn and the liturgy prayed as they all teach us of HaShem! Nothing has been tossed aside, nothing has been replaced and nothing has been rendered obsolete as Christendom teaches. Sadly, we do not have a Temple in Jerusalem today, so we can only do so much in the Services to HaShem, but Baruch HaShem, He promises His Temple WILL be rebuilt and we are witnessing this time grow closer and closer by the day!

So, with this all said thus far, I want to begin this series of Op’s with discussing a specific topic concerning how His Temple functions. But, before we jump into this, always consider the following eternal characteristics of HaShem:

  • HaShem never changes per Num 23:19/Mal 3:6/Hebrews 13:8/James 1:17
  • His Word is firmly established per Psalm 119:89
  • He reveals the end out of the beginning per Is 46:10
  • He does nothing without first revealing it to His prophets per Amos 3:7
  • He says there is nothing new under the sun per Ecclesiastes 1:9
  • He says His Torah is the ONLY truth there is per Psalms 119:142
  • He says His Torah is a tree of life and eternal per Proverbs 3:18-19 and Psalm 119:160
  • He says His Torah is perfect and restores the soul per Psalm 19:7
  • He says His Torah makes the simple one wise per Psalm 19:7
  • He says His Torah Is freedom and liberty per Psalm 119:45 and James 1:25
  • He says His Torah is the only good doctrine there is Proverbs 4:2
  • He says His Torah will add length of days and years of life and peace per Proverbs 3:2
  • He says all of the ways of His Torah are ways of pleasantness and peace per Proverbs 3:17
  • He says His Torah is for our good and well-being per Deuteronomy 6:24
  • He says His Torah is health for our lives per Proverbs 3:8
  • He says His Torah is life to our soul and a graceful ornament for our neck per Prov 3:22
  • He says His Torah is better than pearls and all desires cannot compare to it per Prov 8:11
  • He says those who walk with His Torah are praiseworthy per Psalms 119:1
  • He says observing His Torah is how we purify our path per Psalms 119:9
  • He says His Torah is better than thousands in gold and silver per Psalms 119:72
  • He says His Torah brings abundant peace to those who love Him and His Torah per Psalms 119:165
  • He says there is one Torah for all per Exodus 12:49/Leviticus 24:22
  • He says those who hate His Torah love death per Proverbs 8:36
  • He says His Torah is the way of faith per Psalms 119:29-30
  • He says His Torah makes us wiser than our enemies per Psalms 119:98
  • He says His Torah is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path per Psalms 119:105
  • He says one who finds His Torah has found life per Proverbs 8:35
  • He says one who finds His Torah has found favor from HaShem per Proverbs 8:35
  • He says Messiah Yeshua is the GOAL of His Torah, meaning without His Torah, Messiah cannot be known per Romans 10:4
  • He says if we had believed Moshe/Torah, we would have believed Messiah per John 5:46
  • He says His Torah makes us wiser than our enemies per Psalms 119:98
  • He says His salvation is far from the wicked for they sought not His Torah per Psalms 119:155
  • He says to hold fast to and guard His Torah, for it is our life per Proverbs 4:13

Remember, HaShem COMMANDS you and I in Ezekiel 43:10-11 “You Ben Adam (Son of Man)! Tell the family of Israel of the Temple and let them be ashamed of their sins, and measure the design (Tavnit). And if they are ashamed, the form (Tavnit) of the House and ITS DESIGNS, ITS EXITS AND ENTRANCES, AND ALL ITS APPEARANCE, ITS LAWS, ALL ITS DECORATION, AND ALL ITS REGULATIONS MAKE KNOWN TO THEM AND WRITE IT DOWN BEFORE THEIR EYES, THAT THEY MAY REMEMBER ITS FORM (Tavnit) AND ITS DECREES AND PERFORM THEM.

HaShem commands we study everything of His House and then we will be ashamed of our sins. Why? Because the Temple of HaShem is also called ‘The House of Kedushah’! This Hebrew word ‘Kedushah’ means ‘Holiness.’ Trust me, when you begin studying His House, you will learn very quickly what the concept of ‘Holiness’ actually means and not what Christendom has taught as they are directly opposed to one another.

Further, HaShem, in Ezekiel 43:10-11, commands that everything of His Temple be written down. It was written down, just as He commanded, its called the Oral Torah i.e. the Mishnah, the Talmud Bavli, the Talmud Yerushalmi, the Mishnah Torah, the Midrash, etc. Another reason why if we want to understand the Written Torah of HaShem contained in His Tanakh (Erroneously called the Old Testament), we MUST have the Oral Torah. The two go hand in hand…cannot have one with out the other.

Of the 613 commandments in the Written Torah, how many of them are explained on how to walk in them in the Tanakh? None of them are! Where do we go to learn how to walk in the Torah of HaShem? We go to where the written rulings of the Sanhedrin, i.e. the court HaShem established and anointed with His Ruach to render such rulings, are contained i.e. the Mishnah. The commentary of the Mishnah is encapsulated in the Talmud Bavli and the Talmud Yerushalmi, which comprise a significant portion of the Oral Torah!

Additionally, of the 613 commandments in the Written Torah, how many apply to the Temple of HaShem? A significant portion do i.e. 271 commandments to be precise apply directly to the Temple of HaShem! It also reinforces the Temple of HaShem is where we see His Torah in action!

SO WHY THE NEED FOR THE TEMPLE?

To answer this question, I will quote from the book written by my teacher, Joseph Good of HaTikvah Ministries, entitled ‘Measure the Pattern’ which states on page 2: “Several years ago a leading rabbi in the movement to rebuild the Temple asked an audience ‘Why do we have to know all of this information, why is all of this detail necessary?’ The answer is simple. There was, is and always will be a plan by HaShem. We are not allowed to change that plan. We must remain faithful to the tavnit of HaShem. The Temple is not just a collection of buildings and ceremonies, but rather a RETURN TO A WORLD WHERE HASHEM IS REVEALED AT THE HIGHEST LEVELS. MAN WAS CREATED BY HASHEM AND PLACED WITHIN A PERFECT ENVIRONMENT, GAN EDEN (THE GARDEN OF EDEN). MAN WAS ALSO CREATED WITH A KEDUSHAH (SANCTIFICATION) AS MAN WAS CREATED IN THE IMAGE OF HASHEM AND HASHEM IS KADOSH (HOLY). When man transgressed he was driven from Gan Eden and lost his Kedushah. In Hebrew the term for the Temple is ‘Beit HaMikdash (House of Kedushah)’. THE TEMPLE, THROUGH THIS TAVNIT (ARCHITECHTURE, FLOORPLAN, CEREMONIES, CONCEPTS OF HOLY AND PROFANE, CLEAN AND UNCLEAN AND ALL ORDINANCES ASSOCIATED WITH THE ABOVE), BECOMES THE TRANSLATOR OF HASHEM’S TORAH. ‘LET THEM MEASURE ACCURATELY,’ ‘ALL OF ITS FORMS,’ ‘ALL OF ITS ORDINANCES,’ AND ‘ALL OF ITS LAWS’.”

So, the Temple of HaShem is THE place of Kedushah (Holiness) and if we want to know, understand and further our relationship with HaShem, we MUST study and know His Temple!

With this said, when Paul says in 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 “Do you not know that you are A Dwelling Place of Elohim (Temple) and that the Spirit of Elohim dwells in you? If anyone destroys the Dwelling Place of Elohim, Elohim shall destroy him. For the Dwelling Place of Elohim is SET-APART (Kadosh/Holy), WHICH YOU ARE.” So, if Paul LIKENS us to the Temple of HaShem, shouldn’t we better know how the Temple of HaShem functions and how He defines what is clean and unclean, what He says is kadosh food, behavior, actions, holidays, set-apart days, New Moons, Shabbat, etc? Despite what Christendom teaches, Paul is NOT saying the Temple of HaShem in Jerusalem has now been replaced and rendered obsolete, in reality he is teaching the exact opposite…he is reiterating if we want to know HaShem and know how to walk in His ways i.e. His Torah and how to interact with Him, how to be kadosh, then the Temple in Jerusalem is the ONLY way to do so, reiterating what HaShem says in Ezekiel 43:10-11 which we just discussed above.

Now that this foundation is laid, let’s begin to discuss the topic of Guarding the Temple of HaShem!

There are two categories of Levites who serve HaShem in the Temple. They are the Kohanim (Priests) and the Levi’im (Levites). Every Kohanim is a Levite, but not every Levite is a Kohanim. They serve two purposes in that the Kohanim perform the ceremonies unto HaShem while the Levites perform the duties of the escorts, attendants, singers and musicians.

The Kohanim and Levi’im families were divided up into 24 Courses (Mishmarot) and would take turns throughout the year serving in the Temple. Each group i.e. a Mishmar, would serve for one week of duty within the Temple every six months, with the exception of the three Pilgrimage Feasts (Pesach, Shavuot and Sukkot) when ALL the Mishmarot were present. During each week of service each Mishmar would begin their service on Shabbat and then exit on the following Shabbat.

One of the duties was to guard the Temple of HaShem. Numbers 18:2 says “And you (Kohanim) and your sons with you shall be before the Tent of Testimony.” In verse four, regarding the Levi’im it says “They shall be jointed to you (Kohanim), and they shall safeguard the charge of the Ohel Moed (Tent of Meeting) for all of the service of the Tent.” Numbers 3:38 says “Those who camped before the Mishkan to the front, before the Ohel Moed to the east, were Moshe and Aharon and his sons, guardians of the charge of the Sanctuary, for the charge of the Children of Israel.”

So, where did they perform their guard duties because the Written Torah doesn’t tell us. Tractate Middot 1.1 from the Mishnah (Oral Torah) tells us. It says “At THREE sites the Kohanim stood guard in the Temple: Beit Avtinas, Beit HaNitzotz and in Beit Hamoked. The Levites, in TWENTY ONE sites: Five for the five gates of Har Habayit; four for its four corners, from inside it; five for the five gates of the Azarah (The Inner Courtyard), four for its four corners, from the outside; and one in Lishkat HaKorban, and one in Lishkat HaParokhet and one for behind Beit HaKaporet.”

The Mishnah explains further: “At three sites, the Kohanim stood guard in the Temple: in Beit Avtinas i.e. the Avtinas House, the chamber where the incense was manufactured, named after the Avtinas family of Kohanim who specialized in this task; it was on the southern wall of the Azarah, the inner courtyard. And in Beit HaNitzotz i.e. the Place of the Spark, a balcony on the northern side of the Azarah built over Shaar HaNitzotz i.e. the Gate of the Spark, so called because a small flame was kept there, as a permanent source of fire for the Azarah. And in Beit HaMoked i.e. Place of the Hearth, another chamber on the northern side of the Azarah, east of Beit HaNitzotz, so called because the Kohanim warmed themselves up there by a fire.”

“And the Levites stood guard in twenty one sites: Five Levitic guards for the five gates in the outer walls of Har Habayit i.e. the outer compound, four for its four corners from inside it i.e. standing inside Har HaBayit near the corners of its outer walls, five for the five gates of the Azarah. There were four additional Levitic guards of the Azarah from the outside i.e. standing outside its walls because ONE MAY NOT SIT DOWN IN THE AZARAH, and it was difficult to stand all night. There was no such restriction, however, on Har HaBayit. And one Levite guard stood in Lishkat HaKorban i.e. Chamber of the Sacrifices or also called Lishkat HaTela’im i.e. Chamber of Lambs, a room in Beit HaMoked where lambs were kept for the Tamid (Daily Burnt Offerings) and one in Lishkat HaParokhet i.e. Chamber of the Curtain where the curtain demarcating the Holy of Holies was woven, and one for behind Beit HaKaporet i.e. Place of the Kaporet, the cover of the Ark of the Covenant i.e. the Holy of Holies. The Levite stood in the Azarah directly behind the Holy of Holies.”

Per the commentary from the book ‘Avodas HaKorbanos’ it says “Once administrator would be appointed over all the watchmen and their shifts. He was known as the Officer of the Temple Mount. He would make his rounds, checking each watch post throughout the night, and lit torches were in place along his route. Any watchman who did not stand up when the administrator approached and say to him ‘Officer of the Temple Mount, peace be upon you!’, obviously had fallen asleep at his post, and the administrator would beat him with his stick. He was even permitted to set the negligent watchman’s clothes on fire! And we see that such a thing did occur, for they would say in Yerushalayim ‘What is that noise we hear coming from the Temple Courtyard? It is the cry of a Levi being beaten and his clothes being burned, for having fallen asleep while on his watch.'”

It sounds harsh to beat a guard and light their clothes on fire for having fallen asleep on their post, but remember their function is to guard to prevent any contamination or uncleanliness from entering the Temple and if they inadvertently did so via falling asleep, it could bring disaster upon Israel! Its very serious! Keep this in mind.

This is where we must understand and know the layout of the Temple. Sadly, I do not have a map or a diagram with which to show you exactly where each guard post is located. The point I want to stress is HaShem set up guard posts in His Temple every night! Notice also the number 24 keeps coming up i.e. 24 Mishmarot (Priestly courses) and 24 guard posts. Nothing is a coincidence with HaShem!

What’s the significance of the number 24?

  • There are 24 hours in a day
  • There are 24 books which comprise the Tanakh (Erroneously called the Old Testament)
  • There are 24 major limbs on the human male body
  • The number 24 represents the Holy City of Jerusalem
  • The daily Amidah prayer petition for HaShem to rebuild Jerusalem is comprised of 24 words
  • The 24 Mishmarot of the Kohanim and Levi’im
  • The 24 guard watches of the Kohanim and Levi’im
  • There are 24 Hebrew letters in the phrase “Blessed be the Name of His Glorious Kingdom forever and ever.”
  • The word ‘Shalom’ (Peace) is found 24 times in the Chumash (The five books of the Written Torah)

We can see HaShem is very much communicating and teaching us many, many things just through these Temple Guards!! And we haven’t even begun to scratch the surface yet of His Temple!! Baruch HaShem!

The question needs to be asked: “Does HaShem need guards to protect His House?” Absolutely not! He is fully capable of protecting His Own House! So why does He command the placement of guards? The answer is they served as WATCHMAN and to enhance the honor of His House! More importantly they served as watchman to prevent those who were not authorized from entering areas they were not allowed. In other words they kept watch to prevent any contamination or uncleanliness from entering…HINT HINT HINT!

So you may ask how this applies to each of us? Well, if Paul says we are likened to the Temple of HaShem, then we better have set up guards, figuratively speaking, in place to guard our beings from allowing anything contaminated or unclean into our lives as it will affect our service unto HaShem!

Now more than ever before, in my opinion, in the day and time we currently live in, in a world gone utterly mad, with all the filth, debauchery, wickedness, lawlessness and corruption we are having to live in, we must make sure we have set up guards in our lives to try and keep out the garbage and the trash! Can we do so perfectly? Sadly no! But we must try our upmost to do so. And how do we do so? We study, learn and walk in His Torah, because His Torah is a tree of life to those who take hold of it!

Remember, the definition of ‘Faith’ as HaShem defines it, is not just a cognitive belief in something or someone, ‘Emunah’ (Faith) as HaShem defines it is first believe HaShem is King and sole Creator, THEN we put that Emunah into action by accepting upon ourselves the yoke of His Torah and begin to walk and live our lives according to His Torah, submitted to His Kingship and Rulership. HaShem is ‘Echad’ i.e. He is ONE, He shares His glory with no one and He answers to no one…there is no other like Him and we must be set-apart to Him as He is set-apart!

As I said in the beginning, hopefully, HaShem willing, this will be the first of many Ops specifically discussing the Temple of HaShem and how it functions! May we bring honor and esteem to His Great Name because He is worthy and deserving of it!

Much to consider.

Shabbat Shalom!

SOURCE MATERIALS

  • The Scriptures by the Institute for Scripture Research
  • Tractate Tamid Koren Tamud Bavli
  • Tractate Middot Kehati Mishnah
  • Rambam Hilchot Beit HaBechirah Mishnah Torah
  • Jewish Wisdom in the Numbers by Artscroll
  • The Chumash Shemot by Artscroll
  • Measure the Pattern by Joseph Good of HaTikvah Ministries
  • Avodas HaKorbanos by Artscroll

THE SIN OFFERING OF MESSIAH

“Attribute to HaShem honor worthy of His Name, take an offering and come to His courtyards. Prostrate before HaShem in His intensely holy place, tremble before Him, everyone on earth. Declare among the peoples, ‘HaShem reigns!’ Indeed, the world is fixed so that it cannot falter, He will judge the nations with equity.” Psalms 96:8-10

My goodness it has been far too long since posting my last Op! Lot’s happening both in the world and in my personal life as of late! There can be no denying it anymore, the world is very rapidly spiraling towards the appointed times in which all the prophecies we have read for decades are swiftly coming to pass right in front of our very eyes! Baruch HaShem!

Just today, 4 Feb 2022, the news is showing the leaders of Russia and China meeting to discuss their joint efforts and alliance to combat and destroy the United States in what is now expected to be a very real shooting war in the coming days and weeks. It is Gog and Magog (Russia and her allies) being drawn out by HaShem to wage war against Assyria (Europe) and Babylon (America)! We are even seeing Russia moving its forces into position in the Middle East with the expressed purpose of engaging Israel and to defend its ally i.e. Iran! Point is, its all coming together very, very rapidly just as HaShem told us it would!

One of the critical components of the End of Days Prophecies is that of the Third Temple in Jerusalem! To this day most people either have very little biblical understanding of the Temple of HaShem or have been taught very, very bad and blasphemous teaching of the Temple of HaShem all based upon the lying doctrine of Replacement Theology!

This is why I find it very interesting in this weeks Torah portion i.e. ‘Terumah’ which is found in Shemot (Exodus) 25:1-27:19 with the Haftarah readings found in I Kings 5:26-6:13, HaShem gives us His command to build the Beis HaMikdash (The Temple) to include all of the required utensils in order for the Temple Services to be performed!

Remember from my past Ops, HaShem commands all of us, you and I, in Ezekiel 43:10-11, to study and learn EVERYTHING concerning His House i.e. His Temple, the layout of His Temple to include every gate, every room, every utensil, every offering, every garment, every aspect of each Temple Service as well as the liturgy which are recited each and every day and why? Because HaShem reveals Himself in His House and in His Temple Services which He gave to Moshe in Shemot (Exodus) 25 and to David in I Chronicles 28 by His Ruach (Spirit)! In doing so, we grow in our relationship to HaShem and also will recognize His real Messiah and not fall for the counterfeit one!

This all said thus far, there is an account in HaShem’s Word concerning the End of Days Third Temple in which we read of the Messiah Who comes as both King and Kohen (Priest) and He offers up a bull as a Chatat (Sin) Korbonot (Offering) on behalf of Himself and Israel to HaShem! This is usually either completely ignored or is twisted up to render the meaning of the verses to mean something entirely else…….all done out of a complete lack of understanding of HaShem’s House and why? Because Replacement Theology has constantly and continues to teach today the Temple of HaShem has been completely rendered irrelevant! This is what I wish to discuss in this Op, however, before we can jump into this, always consider the following eternal, unchanging characteristics of HaShem:

  • HaShem never changes per Num 23:19/Mal 3:6/Hebrews 13:8/James 1:17
  • His Word is firmly established per Psalm 119:89
  • He reveals the end out of the beginning per Is 46:10
  • He does nothing without first revealing it to His prophets per Amos 3:7
  • He says there is nothing new under the sun per Ecclesiastes 1:9
  • He says His Torah is the ONLY truth there is per Psalms 119:142
  • He says His Torah is a tree of life and eternal per Proverbs 3:18-19 and Psalm 119:160
  • He says His Torah is perfect and restores the soul per Psalm 19:7
  • He says His Torah makes the simple one wise per Psalm 19:7
  • He says His Torah Is freedom and liberty per Psalm 119:45 and James 1:25
  • He says His Torah is the only good doctrine there is Proverbs 4:2
  • He says His Torah will add length of days and years of life and peace per Proverbs 3:2
  • He says all of the ways of His Torah are ways of pleasantness and peace per Proverbs 3:17
  • He says His Torah is for our good and well-being per Deuteronomy 6:24
  • He says His Torah is health for our lives per Proverbs 3:8
  • He says His Torah is life to our soul and a graceful ornament for our neck per Prov 3:22
  • He says His Torah is better than pearls and all desires cannot compare to it per Prov 8:11
  • He says those who walk with His Torah are praiseworthy per Psalms 119:1
  • He says observing His Torah is how we purify our path per Psalms 119:9
  • He says His Torah is better than thousands in gold and silver per Psalms 119:72
  • He says His Torah brings abundant peace to those who love Him and His Torah per Psalms 119:165
  • He says there is one Torah for all per Exodus 12:49/Leviticus 24:22
  • He says those who hate His Torah love death per Proverbs 8:36
  • He says His Torah is the way of faith per Psalms 119:29-30
  • He says His Torah makes us wiser than our enemies per Psalms 119:98
  • He says His Torah is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path per Psalms 119:105
  • He says one who finds His Torah has found life per Proverbs 8:35
  • He says one who finds His Torah has found favor from HaShem per Proverbs 8:35
  • He says Messiah Yeshua is the GOAL of His Torah, meaning without His Torah, Messiah cannot be known per Romans 10:4
  • He says if we had believed Moshe/Torah, we would have believed Messiah per John 5:46
  • He says His Torah makes us wiser than our enemies per Psalms 119:98
  • He says His salvation is far from the wicked for they sought not His Torah per Psalms 119:155
  • He says to hold fast to and guard His Torah, for it is our life per Proverbs 4:13

HaShem commands in Shemot (Exodus) 25:8 “They shall make a Sanctuary for Me, so that I may dwell among them.” There are two Hebrew words which apply to the House of HaShem i.e. Beis HaMikdash and Beis HaMishkan. Beis HaMishkan is the Tabernacle in which Moshe and Aaron built in the Wilderness and was portable. The Beis HaMikdash is the Temple in which David and later his son Solomon built in Jerusalem on the Temple Mount and was a permanent structure built upon the exact spot HaShem chose and placed His Name there. The laws, rules and ordinances apply equally to each and are incredible teaching tools HaShem uses to teach us to understand and walk in kedusha (Holiness). The closer one draws towards HaShem, the higher level of kedusha is required. Sadly because of our current sin nature and impure states, we cannot just enter into His House. There are very important protocols which must be adhered too and to ignore those protocols can bring about absolute catastrophe for all of Israel!

Mitzvah #95 from the Book of the Mitzvot is “The obligation to build the Holy Temple.” An excerpt from this entry says “We are commanded to construct a Temple that is dedicated to the Name of HaShem, that is to say, dedicated as the place where we shall bring our sacrificial offerings before Him, on the three pilgrimage festivals in which all of Israel is required to come up to Jerusalem to the Temple (Pesach, Shavuos and Succos i.e. Passover, Feast of Weeks and Tabernacles). In addition, this mitzvah includes an obligation to construct the utensils that are needed in the Temple for the Avodah (Service), for example, the Menorah, the Table, the Altar, and all the other utensils.”

The command here by HaShem to build the Holy Temple has the Hebrew letter ‘Vav’ in it, which changes the tense of this command to being ‘Present Tense’ meaning this command applies to every single generation, to include you and I today in 2022!! Keep this in mind as we proceed!

Consider, the Temple of HaShem in Jerusalem is literally man being able to go into the Garden of Eden once again! How is this accomplished? The Kohen HaGadol (High Priest) can enter only one time a year into the Most Holy Place i.e. where the Ark stood, and this could only be done on Yom Kippur (The Day of Atonement). If he were to enter into the Most Holy Place outside of Yom Kippur, it would result in the immediate death of the Kohen HaGadol. The point is, before man sinned, man could walk with HaShem in the Garden with nothing to separate the two. Then man sinned, and he was expelled out of the garden and ever since then HaShem has been restoring the breach in the relationship with the Temple and the korbonot (Offerings) being the place where man could on only one day a year enter into the Presence of HaShem i.e. the Garden. The restoration and renewal of this relationship has begun i.e. Yeshua and His death and resurrection, but sadly it is still not completely restored as of yet, but hopefully very, very soon, HaShem will completely restore this relationship to its fullness once again!

The Temple of HaShem is the Place where He has set His Name and is where Israel and the nations will all come up on His three Pilgrimage Feasts to bring our korbonot and bring our tithes as well as the Place where we can go to dwell with our Master! Remember, the task He gave to Israel is to be a light to the nations i.e. bring the Torah to the world and in doing so draw the people to HaShem per Isaiah 42:6-7 which says “I am HaShem; I have called you (Israel) with righteousness; I will strengthen your hand; I will protect you; I will set you for a covenant to the people, for a LIGHT TO THE NATIONS; to open blind eyes; to remove a prisoner from confinement, dwellers in darkness from a dungeon.” In order to be a light to the nations, requires Israel live and walk out the Torah of HaShem as an example of the goodness of HaShem and in so doing will inspire the nations to dump their pagan gods and idolatrous ways and embrace HaShem. Another reinforcement as to why the real Messiah of HaShem MUST be completely and perfectly Torah observant. Then after the Birth Pains and Yeshua is ruling and reigning from the Temple in Jerusalem, all the nations will see the goodness of HaShem and ALL will come and walk in His righteousness i.e. His Torah, but I am getting ahead of myself!

The prophecy HaShem gave stating His Messiah will be BOTH King and Kohen HaGadol (High Priest) is recorded in Zechariah 6:9-15 which states “The Word of HaShem came to me saying, ‘Take from the exiles, from Heldai, from Tobijah, and from Jedaiah. Come on that day; come to the household of Josiah son of Zephaniah, who have from from Babylonia, and take silver and gold and make crowns, and place one of them on the head of Joshua son of Jehozadak the Kohen Gadol. Say to him, ‘Thus said HaShem, Master of Legions: Behold, there is a man, his name is Zemah (Branch), and he will flourish in his place; HE WILL BUILD THE SANCTUARY OF HASHEM. He will build the Sanctuary of HaShem; he will bear majesty, and he will sit and rule upon his throne. The Kohen will be upon his own throne, and there will be a disposition of peace between the two of them. The crowns will be a remembrance for Helem, for Tobijah, and for Jedaiah, and for Hen son of Zephaniah in the Sanctuary of HaShem.’ People from far away will come and build the Sanctuary of HaShem and then you will know that HaShem, Master of Legions, has sent me to you. This will happen if you truly listen to the voice of HaShem your Elohim.” It is from this prophecy in Zechariah we know the real Messiah of HaShem is a man and His Name is Yeshua (Joshua).

Another prophecy HaShem gave is recorded in Psalms 110:4 which says “HaShem has sworn and will not relent, ‘You (Messiah) shall be a Kohen (Priest) forever, because you are a KING OF RIGHTEOUSNESS!'” Remember HaShem reveals the end out of the beginning per Isaiah 46:10 and as such He gave us a picture in the account of what we read in Genesis 14 concerning Malchizedek. What is very important to understand, the Hebrew term ‘Malchizedek’ is in fact two Hebrew words i.e. Malchi (King) and Zedek (Righteousness) = King of Righteousness. What is more important is not only is this term a title but its specific to a specific location in Israel! Malchizedek is the title of the King OVER the Place of Righteousness i.e. the Temple of HaShem in Jerusalem!

So, we see Yeshua, must be from the line of Judah but it is also possible Levy as well and we can prove this is the case via His mother i.e. Mariam! She had a cousin i.e. Elisheva (Elizabeth) who was married to Zechariah, a Kohen (Priest) from the order of Abiyah who served in the Temple. A Kohen could only marry another Kohen, which means Elisheva was a Kohen from the line of Levy (She just couldn’t serve in the Temple). This means Mariam had to be from Levy as well in order to be blood relatives of Elisheva! Keep this in mind!

In addition to this, when we read in the Apostolic Writings how Yeshua and Joseph were ‘Carpenters’ it has a much more important meaning when we learn to understand this from the Jewish perspective and I will quickly explain. Per Tractate Shabbos 114a from the Talmud Bavli, a ‘Carpenter’ or otherwise known as a ‘Builder’ was a Torah scholar who engaged themselves in ‘Building the world all their days’ i.e. learning and teaching others how to walk in the Torah of HaShem! In my opinion, this would make much more sense that Yeshua, the Messiah of HaShem and Joseph were Torah scholars! Again, keep this in mind.

With all this said, let’s now address the topic at hand. Ezekiel 40-48 discusses the construction of the Rebuilt Temple in Jerusalem i.e. the Third Temple. Ezekiel 45:22 is the verse to discuss which says “The Prince shall make on that day, for himself and for the entire population, a bull for a sin offering.” There is much to unpack in this verse so be ready!

In Hebrew the term ‘The Prince’ is the Hebrew word ‘Nasi’. This is a very well known term used in the Temple of HaShem. The definition of this word ‘Nasi’ from the Dictionary of the Talmud describes it as: ‘Prince, chief, ruler, officer.’

So how do we know this Prince is the Messiah? The text in Ezekiel will tell us so. Ezekiel 37:23-25 says “And they will no longer be contaminated with their idols and their abhorrent things and with all their sins; and I shall save them from all their habitations in which they sinned, and I shall purify them, and they shall be a nation for Me, and I will be Elohim for them, with MY SERVANT DAVID KING OVER THEM, and a single shepherd will be for all of them. In My ordinance they will go and in My decrees they will guard, and perform them, and they shall dwell on the land which I gave to My servant Jacob within which your fathers dwelt, and they shall dwell upon it, they, their children and their children’s children forever, and MY SERVANT DAVID WILL BE PRINCE FOR THEM FOREVER. So, we see from the text Yeshua, the Servant of HaShem and descendant of David will be Prince i.e. King over Israel forever and will rule from the Temple of HaShem as both King and Kohen Gadol!

Tractate Horayos 10a from the Talmud Bavli says concerning Ezekiel 45:22 “Who is the Nasi? This is the King!” Reaffirming here in Ezekiel 45 the Nasi can be none other than Yeshua!

With this stated, when we read it is this Prince Who offers up a bull as a Chatat (Sin) korbonot on behalf of Himself and all of Israel, we need to understand what is going on here! Did Yeshua sin? Nope! We have to understand the consecration/inauguration ritual to install a new Kohen HaGadol into service in the Temple! Further, we have to understand the significance of why a bull is being offered here and not a sheep or a goat!

First and foremost we must understand there are FOUR vestments which comprise an ordinary Kohen’s Temple Service garments while for the Kohen HaGadol (High Priest) he wears EIGHT vestments which comprise the garments of the Kohen HaGadol! During the Yom Kippur Temple Service, the Kohen HaGadol changes out of his garments and puts on the ordinary garments several times throughout the service! And it is only here on Yom Kippur the Kohen HaGadol is allowed to enter the Most Holy Place!

Further, per Shemot (Exodus) 29:30 there is a SEVEN day consecration/inauguration period in which the new Kohen Gadol goes through several rituals in order to be consecrated into the position as Kohen HaGadol before HaShem! What is extremely important to understand is the anointing oil used in this consecration ceremony, which we will discuss shortly!

Vayikra (Leviticus) 8:10 shows us Moshe used a specific mixture of ingredients as the ‘Shemen HaMishchah’ i.e. the Anointing Oil to anoint the Mishkan/Mikdash/All the utensils. Verse 12 shows us this Anointing Oil was poured onto the head of Aharon to install him as the Kohen HaGadol (High Priest) setting the precedent for all the future Kohanim.

Now what is interesting to note is this Prince, Who has brought a bull as a Chatat (Sin) Korbonot, can only bring a bull if He has been anointed by the Shemen HaMishchah! We see this in Tractate Horayos 11b from the Talmud Bavli which says “There is no difference between a Kohen Gadol anointed with the anointing oil and a Kohen Gadol of additional vestments EXCEPT THE BULL THAT COMES FOR ALL THE COMMANDMENTS.” Now let me quickly explain: If the Shemen HaMishchah anointing oil is not available, a new Kohen HaGadol can be installed by putting on all the vestments of the Kohen HaGadol each day for seven straight days as the inauguration process. If he is installed by putting on these vestments, then he cannot bring a bull as a Chatat! He can only bring a female sheep or male goat. Why is this important you may ask? Because as it pertains to Ezekiel 45:22 and here is the crux of this Op, the Prince has brought a bull therefore He, per Torah requirements He must have been anointed by the newly restored and produced Shemen HaMishchah, meaning once more we see HaShem has restored everything in His Temple even down to the Shemen HaMishchah! Again, it exposes Replacement Theology as being the garbage doctrine it so often tries to teach!

Some have objected to the idea of the Messiah bringing a Chatat (Sin) Korbonot and further state those who teach He will do so is teaching the epitome of blasphemy. I would point out Yeshua, in order to perform and function as the Messiah of HaShem, MUST do ALL of the Torah! We see Yeshua Himself state this in Matthew 3:14-15, when John is immersing folks and he see’s Yeshua and objects to immersing Yeshua and tells Him it is Yeshua Who should immerse him and Yeshua replies by telling John, He (Messiah), MUST DO AND ADHERE TO ALL RIGHTEOUSNESS i.e. keep and do all the Torah! Again it reiterates nothing of what HaShem established can be changed or tossed out!

Replacement Theology Christendom would teach Yeshua kept the Torah in order to toss it aside and render it irrelevant, but this does not in any way, shape or form match up with what HaShem said in His Word! If one simple Hebrew letter of the Torah is changed or removed, as Christendom teaches, then Yeshua is immediately disqualified as being the Messiah of HaShem. It is the False Messiah who changes and removes the Torah of HaShem as described in the Tanakh and Apostolic Writings.

I just wanted to cite this in a short Op to hopefully inspire people to see just how intricate and detailed HaShem and His Temple truly is and how so much we, myself included, have to yet learn per His command in Ezekiel 43! Everything in His Word is there for a reason and He is teaching us something. We just need to take the time to go and learn and embark on this amazing journey to grow closer to HaShem especially now in these very grim, dark and difficult days we live in! May it be so very, very soon in our days!

Something to consider. Shabbat Shalom 🙂

SOURCE MATERIALS:

  • The Scriptures by the Institute for Scripture Research
  • The Chumash by Artscroll
  • The Twelve Prophets by Artscroll
  • Isaiah Milstein Edition by Artscroll
  • Tractate Horayos Talmud Bavli by Artscroll
  • Tractate Yoma Talmud Bavli by Artscroll
  • Ezekiel Artscroll Tanach Series by Artscroll

A SABBATH DAYS JOURNEY

“You shall observe My Shabbats and revere My Sanctuary, I am HaShem.” Leviticus 19:30

What a world we currently live in!!! How very tired, weak and weary many of us are feeling now with all the pressures and opposition we each face in our daily lives. If not for the mercy, compassion and grace of HaShem, none of us would have any hope of making it through to the End!

As we fast approach the End, I believe HaShem is revealing more and more about His Word and is also reinforcing why we are commanded to do certain things by HaShem! One of those extremely important commandments is Shabbat! HaShem discusses keeping His Shabbat countless times throughout His Tanakh as well as the Apostolic Writings. It is one of those commandments which is absolutely vital to our relationship to HaShem but also to our literal survival in this world!

In this Op we will be exploring and discussing an often overlooked verse relating to Shabbat in the Apostolic Writings which once again reveals nothing has changed but also supports the validity and necessity of the Oral Torah to our walk with HaShem as well as understanding Who His Messiah can only be!

But before we jump into this, as always, never forget the following eternal characteristics of HaShem:

  • HaShem never changes per Num 23:19/Mal 3:6/Hebrews 13:8/James 1:17
  • His Word is firmly established per Psalm 119:89
  • He reveals the end out of the beginning per Is 46:10
  • He does nothing without first revealing it to His prophets per Amos 3:7
  • He says there is nothing new under the sun per Ecclesiastes 1:9
  • He says His Torah is the ONLY truth there is per Psalms 119:142
  • He says His Torah is a tree of life and eternal per Proverbs 3:18-19 and Psalm 119:160
  • He says His Torah is perfect and restores the soul per Psalm 19:7
  • He says His Torah makes the simple one wise per Psalm 19:7
  • He says His Torah Is freedom and liberty per Psalm 119:45 and James 1:25
  • He says His Torah is the only good doctrine there is Proverbs 4:2
  • He says His Torah will add length of days and years of life and peace per Proverbs 3:2
  • He says all of the ways of His Torah are ways of pleasantness and peace per Proverbs 3:17
  • He says His Torah is for our good and well-being per Deuteronomy 6:24
  • He says His Torah is health for our lives per Proverbs 3:8
  • He says His Torah is life to our soul and a graceful ornament for our neck per Prov 3:22
  • He says His Torah is better than pearls and all desires cannot compare to it per Prov 8:11
  • He says those who walk with His Torah are praiseworthy per Psalms 119:1
  • He says observing His Torah is how we purify our path per Psalms 119:9
  • He says His Torah is better than thousands in gold and silver per Psalms 119:72
  • He says His Torah brings abundant peace to those who love Him and His Torah per Psalms 119:165
  • He says there is one Torah for all per Exodus 12:49/Leviticus 24:22
  • He says those who hate His Torah love death per Proverbs 8:36
  • He says His Torah is the way of faith per Psalms 119:29-30
  • He says His Torah makes us wiser than our enemies per Psalms 119:98
  • He says His Torah is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path per Psalms 119:105
  • He says one who finds His Torah has found life per Proverbs 8:35
  • He says one who finds His Torah has found favor from HaShem per Proverbs 8:35
  • He says Messiah Yeshua is the GOAL of His Torah, meaning without His Torah, Messiah cannot be known per Romans 10:4
  • He says if we had believed Moshe/Torah, we would have believed Messiah per John 5:46
  • He says His Torah makes us wiser than our enemies per Psalms 119:98
  • He says His salvation is far from the wicked for they sought not His Torah per Psalms 119:155
  • He says to hold fast to and guard His Torah, for it is our life per Proverbs 4:13

“It is not incumbent upon you to complete the work; yet, you are not free to desist from it. If you have studied much Torah, a great reward will be given to you, for your Employer is trustworthy to reward your labor. And know, that the reward of the righteous is in the time to come.” Mishnah Tractate Pirkei Avot 2.16

I thought I would add a statement from the Pirkei Avot above into this Op to show just how similar it is to what Yeshua taught! Moving on.

In the Book of Acts, just after the Talmidim of Yeshua witnessed Him being taken up from the Mt of Olives, there is a statement made which most people either just glance over, completely ignore or try to explain it away using the latest Replacement Theological gimmick currently in circulation. The verse in question is Acts 1:12 which says “Then they went back to Yerushalayim from the Mount of Olives, which is near Yerushalayim, A SABBATH DAY’S JOURNEY.” What is the significance of a sabbath day’s journey? Before we can examine this further, we need to first establish HaShem commands we keep His Shabbat.

The following verses will establish HaShem’s command to guard and keep His Shabbat:

  • Exodus 16:28-29 “HaShem said to Moshe, ‘How long will you refuse to observe My commandments and My teachings? See that HaShem has given you the Shabbos; that is why He gives you on the sixth day a two day portion of bread. Let every man remain in his place; let no man leave his place on the seventh day.'”
  • Exodus 20:8-11 “Remember (Guard/keep/do) the Shabbos day to sanctify it. Six days shall you work and do all your labor; but the seventh day is Shabbos to HaShem, your Elohim; you shall not do any work, you, your son, your daughter; your slave, your maidservant, your animal, and your convert within your gates, for in six days HaShem made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and He rested on the seventh day. Therefore, HaShem blessed the Shabbos day and sanctified it.”
  • Exodus 31:12-15 “HaShem said to Moshe, saying: ‘Now you, speak to the Children of Israel, saying ‘However, you must observe My Shabbotot, for IT IS A SIGN BETWEEN ME AND YOU FOR YOUR GENERATIONS, to know that I am HaShem, Who makes you holy. You shall observe the Shabbos, for it is holy its desecrators shall be put to death, for whoever does work on it, that soul shall be cut off from among its people. For six days work may be done and on the seventh day is a day of complete rest, it is sacred to HaShem; whoever does work on the Shabbos day shall be put to death.'”
  • Deuteronomy 5:12-15 “Safeguard the Shabbos day to sanctify it, as HaShem, your Elohim, has commanded you. Six days shall you labor and accomplish all your work; but the seventh day is Shabbos to HaShem, your Elohim; you shall not do any work, you, your son, your daughter, your slave (Hired servant), your maidservant, your ox, your donkey and your every animal, and your convert within your gates, in order that your slave and your maidservant may rest like you. And you shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and HaShem, your Elohim, has taken you out from there with a strong hand and an outstretched arm; therefore HaShem, your Elohim, has commanded you to make the Shabbos day.”
  • Isaiah 58:13-14 “If you restrain your foot because it is the Shabbat; refrain from accomplishing your own needs on My holy day; if you proclaim the Shabbat ‘a delight’, and the holy day of HaShem ‘honored’, and you honor it by not engaging in your own affairs, from seeking your own needs or discussing the forbidden, then you will delight in HaShem and I will mount you astride the heights of the world; I will provide you the heritage of your forefather Jacob for the mouth of HaShem has spoken.”

So, we can see very quickly HaShem is extremely serious about His people guarding/doing His Shabbat and further, His Shabbat is THE sign between Him and His people! What is interesting is this word ‘Sign’ is the same word for ‘Mark’. My point is, if HaShem’s Shabbat is the sign/mark between Him and His people, then what potentially could be the sign/mark the adversary counterfeits with? What day has Replacement Theology adopted as its Shabbat, teaching HaShem’s Shabbat has been replaced/superseded? I will let you put the rest of the puzzle together yourself.

You may be asking what is the purpose for Shabbat? Well, let’s quickly examine this and find out.

The following excerpt is from the ‘Aryeh Kaplan Anthology II’ book discussing ‘Why the Sabbath?’. It says “If you say that you believe in G-d, but do not believe that He is as real as you or I, or that He is One, then you really do not believe in G-d, at least, not the Jewish concept of G-d. You are really speaking of something else. But how do we, as Jews, define G-d? We find the answer in the very first verse of the Torah. It says: ‘In the beginning, G-d created the Heaven and the Earth.’ Here we have a definition of G-d. G-d is the Creator of all things. He is the One Who brought all things into existence. This has some very important implications. As Creator of all things, G-d must be both greater than all creation and distinct from it. Therefore, we, as Jews, reject the philosophy of pantheism. As Creator, G-d’s existence cannot depend on any of His creatures. Our definition therefore rejects any concept of G-d as an abstract ethical force or social convention. If a person says that he believes in G-d, but does not believe that He is Creator, then he does not really believe in the Jewish concept of G-d. But there is another point in our belief in G-d. Some people think that G-d created the world and then forgot about it. They may claim to believe in G-d, and even admit to some abstract Creator, but they insist, at the same time, that His existence has no bearing on their lives. To them, G-d is a remote philosophical abstraction.

We see G-d as much more than this. When G-d introduced Himself in the Ten Commandments, He said per Exodus 20:2, ‘I am the L-rd your G-d, Who took you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.’ G-d was telling us that He is involved in the affairs of man and has a profound interest in what we do.

G-d Himself gave the Exodus as an example. It was here that the entire Jewish people experienced G-d. To them, G-d was no mere abstraction. They saw His deeds to such an extent that they were actually able to point and say, ‘This is my G-d.’

Here again, one who does not accept G-d’s involvement and interest in the affairs of men cannot be said to believe in the Jewish concept of G-d. He is violating the first of the Ten Commandments.

In light of these concepts, we can now understand the significance of the Shabbat.

Faith requires more than mere lip service. IT MUST ALSO INVOVLE ACTION IN THE FORM OF OUR STEADFAST ADHERENCE TO G-D’S WILL. The Hebrew word for faith is ‘Emunah’. It comes from the same root as ‘Ulman’ i.e. a craftsman. FAITH CANNOT BE SEPARATED FROM ACTION. But, by what act in particular do we demonstrate our belief in G-d as Creator? The answer now becomes obvious.

The one ritual that does this is the observance of the Shabbat. It is the confirmation of our belief in G-d as the Creator of all things. We now understand what the Talmud means when it says that one who does not keep the Shabbat is like an idol worshiper. Violation of the Shabbat is an implicit denial of faith in G-d, the Creator.”

Keeping His Shabbat is the demonstration of our faith in HaShem…no wonder then HaShem says Shabbat is THE SIGN between Him and His people!

Typically those in Replacement Theology will counter using the account of Yeshua and His Talmidim walking through the field, plucking grain on a Shabbat and claim Yeshua was intentionally doing this to break the restrictions of Shabbat and show soon a new way would come and replace Shabbat. Further, many in the Hebrew Roots/Messianic world will use this account as proof Yeshua rejects the Oral Torah. In reality and I am quoting from the book ‘Understanding the Difficult Words of Jesus’ by David Bivin and Roy Blizzard Jr, on page 43 it states “”It may come as a surprise to some, but most of the difficult passages or problems confronted in New Testament studies could be solved through a knowledge of Rabbinic Literature. Many of Jesus’ sayings have their parallels in Rabbinic Literature.” The author is pointing directly at the Oral Torah as being the key to understanding the Apostolic Writings and I wholeheartedly agree with this assessment per my own personal experiences in studying the Oral Torah and seeing how much of it explains what we are reading in the Apostolic Writings. This said, is there any truth to what Replacement Theology and many in the Hebrew Roots/Messianic world teach? Let’s examine this further and find out. This account is found in Matthew 12:1-12:

  • “At that time Yeshua went through the grain fields on the Shabbat. And His taught ones were hungry, and began to pluck heads of grain to eat. And when the Pharisees (Shammai Pharisees) saw it, they said to Him, ‘Look, Your taught ones are doing what is not right to do on the Shabbat!’ But He said to them, ‘Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, he and those who were with him; how he went into the House of Elohim (Temple) and ate the showbread which was not right for him to eat, nor for those who were with him, but only for the priests?’ Or did you not read in the Torah that on the Shabbat the priests in the Set-apart Place profane the Shabbat, and were blameless? But I say to you that in this place there is One greater than the Set-apart Place. And if you had known what this means, ‘I desire compassion and not offering (Hosea 6:6)’ you would not have condemned the blameless. For the Son of Adam is Master of the Shabbat. And having left there, He went into their congregation. And see, there was a man having a withered hand. And they asked Him, saying, ‘Is it right to heal on the Shabbat?’ so as to accuse Him. And He said to them, ‘What man is there among you who has one sheep, and if it falls into a pit on the Shabbat, shall not take hold of it and lift it out? How much more worth is a man than a sheep! So it is right to do good on the Shabbat.”

So, we see the issue here is picking grain on Shabbat because Yeshua and His Talmidim were hungry. The accusation levied against Him, i.e. the prohibition of picking grain on Shabbat, is this something some person just dreamed up one day or is there more too it?

Now remember, in previous Op’s we have discussed the legality and validity of the Sanhedrin HaShem established in the Torah which He then commanded we obey the rulings the Sanhedrin renders on how to walk in the Torah of HaShem! I won’t rehash this here as you can refer to my previous Op’s, if interested. Yeshua reiterated this when He commanded we are to obey those who sit in the Seat of Moshe i.e. the Sanhedrin! Where are the right rulings of the Sanhedrin contained? They are written down in the Mishnah followed by the commentary of the Mishnah which is contained in the Talmud Bavli and Talmud Yerushalmi i.e. the Oral Torah! This said, per Tractate Shabbat 7.2 in the Mishnah it lists 39 labor prohibitions rendered by the Sanhedrin for Shabbat. They are:

  • Sowing
  • Plowing
  • Reaping (Gleaning grapes, gathering dates, picking olives, gathering figs, plucking anything from its point of growth i.e. grain)
  • Binding sheaves
  • Threshing
  • Winnowing
  • Sorting
  • Grinding
  • Sifting
  • Kneading
  • Baking
  • Shearing the wool
  • Bleaching it
  • Beating it
  • Dyeing it
  • Spinning
  • Stretching the warp on the loom
  • Making two loops
  • Weaving two threads
  • Separating two threads
  • Tying a knot (This is specific to tying a permanent knot i.e. working)
  • Untying a knot (This is specific to those who trapped the mollusc from which the blue tekkelet color was harvested from)
  • Sewing two stitches
  • Tearing in order to sew two stitches
  • Trapping a deer (Or any other animal, or any living creature which requires catching)
  • Slaughtering it
  • Flaying it
  • Salting it
  • Curing its hide
  • Scraping it
  • Cutting it up
  • Writing two letters (This is specific to marking the boards of the Tabernacle to identify their pairs for repair or construction)
  • Erasing in order to write two letters (At times they erred in the Tabernacle, and they would erase in order to write anew. Again, it denotes working)
  • Building
  • Pulling down
  • Extinguishing
  • Lighting a fire
  • Striking with a hammer
  • Carrying from domain to domain (Carrying from the private domain to the public domain and vice versa)

Now, these are the prohibitions for HaShem’s Shabbat, but what Yeshua was teaching that life supersedes these restrictions and He uses a specific account of David and his men eating the Showbread in the Temple when they are not authorized to do so. Let’s quickly look into this and see what is going on.

1 Samuel 21:1-7 says “David arose and left, and Jonathan came back to the city. David came to Nob, to Ahimelech the Kohen (Priest). Ahimelech hurried to greet David, and said to him ‘Why are you alone, with no one accompanying you?’ David said to Ahimelech the Kohen, ‘The king ordered me on a mission, and told me, ‘No man may know anything about the matter for which I have sent you and commanded you.’ Thus, I informed my attendants to be at a certain secret place. And now, what do you have available? Five loaves of bread? Give them or whatever there is into my hand.’ The Kohen answered David, saying ‘I have no ordinary bread available; there is only sacred bread (Showbread), provided that your attendants have kept themselves from women.’ David answered the Kohen, and said to him, ‘Women have been withheld from us yesterday and the day before; moreover, when I left, the garments of the attendants were pure, even though this is a mundane mission, surely today it will remain sacred in a proper vessel.’ So the Kohen gave him sacred food (Showbread), for there was no other bread there except for the Showbread that was being removed from before HaShem, in order to place hot Showbread on the day it is taken off.'” This is where we need to understand how the Temple functioned in addition to the Temple Services.

On each Shabbat, Showbread, which is baked every Friday, is placed on the Table before the Most Holy Place by the Kohen. It will remain there before HaShem the entire week. The following Shabbat, the Showbread is removed and replaced with freshly baked Showbread. The Showbread which was removed is kadosh (Holy) and is divided up among among the Kohanim and thus can only be eaten by the Kohen. In this instance, Ahimelech made sure David and his men were ritually pure and then he gave them the Showbread because of hunger i.e. life! This account of David is what Yeshua is pointing too…so in reality Yeshua was NOT breaking Shabbat, but was addressing a life and death issue!

This is where I see most of those in Replacement Theology and many in the Hebrew Roots worlds where if they understood HaShem and His Torah would see HaShem’s Torah is NOT a bunch of crushing do’s and don’ts! Again, them using the above account of Yeshua plucking grain as their proof Torah kills and destroys and Yeshua was challenging that fact. In fact Tractate Yoma 82a from the Talmud Bavli teaches a Torah principle “There is no halakha that stands in the way of saving a life, except for the prohibitions against idol worship, forbidden sexual relationships and murder.” What does this mean? It means, if the only way to save a life is to violate Torah, then that person MUST violate Torah other than in instances of idol worship, forbidden sexual relationships and murder! Further, in Tractate Yoma 85a/b from the Talmud Bavli it says “Saving a life overrides Shabbat.” My point is for all of this, is again Yeshua did nothing wrong nor was He violating Shabbat in a manner which was unacceptable! He did NOT do this to teach Torah/Shabbat were soon to be rendered obsolete and replaced as so many have taught and continue to teach, nor was He challenging some man made rule concerning Shabbat. What He did was fully acceptable and right. In my opinion the Shammai Pharisees were just looking for a reason to ensnare Him and as always, Yeshua turned it around on them and revealed their hypocrisy! I digress.

With this all said, let’s now examine the purpose of this Op i.e. Acts 1:12 and ‘A Shabbat’s day journey.’ So, a Shabbat’s day journey was a specific calculation and was a total of 2,000 cubits length from the place where Shabbat was being kept. This was not some arbitrary number pulled out of thin air by some rabbi one day, it is based upon Scriptural authority specifically one of the sets of verses we examined above concerning HaShem’s command to keep Shabbat:

  • Exodus 16:28-29 “HaShem said to Moshe, ‘How long will you refuse to observe My commandments and My teachings? See that HaShem has given you the Shabbos; that is why He gives you on the sixth day a two day portion of bread. Let every man remain in his place; let no man leave his place on the seventh day.'”

The underlined portion above is what forms the basis for the limits of Shabbat. Further, Tractate Eruvin 51a from the Talmud Bavli it tells us they compiled the verses above from Exodus to remain in place but also the Scriptural commands for a person who accidentally killed someone and fled to a ‘City of Refuge’ per Numbers 35:27. Per Numbers 35:5 HaShem commands to measure 2,000 cubits to establish the borders of a ‘City of Refuge’. This concept was taken by the Sanhedrin and was used to establish the limits of Shabbat i.e. 2,000 cubits.

Why is this so important to understand you may ask? Because, the Talmidim just witnessed Yeshua ascend into Heaven from the Mount of Olives and clearly Yeshua, not one time, instructed His Talmidim to disregard and toss out the Torah nor the Oral Torah because it states in the verse in Acts they traveled a Shabbat’s day journey, meaning they were returning to the place in Jerusalem from where they were keeping Shabbat! I will say it again and again and again until my dying breath, Yeshua did NOT terminate the Torah. He did not teach against the Oral Torah. He did not teach anything new and He did not replace nor change anything HaShem had established from the beginning! Had He done so, He would have just disqualified Himself as being the Messiah of HaShem. This is precisely why the ‘Jesus’ that Replacement Theology Christendom in its doctrine has established and fashioned, is not and cannot ever be the real Messiah of HaShem, for one simple reason….he changed and replaced everything HaShem had established from the beginning.

Remember, 1 John 5:3 tells us HaShem’s Torah is NOT burdensome! His Torah is a tree of life, meant to bless and protect us here and now in a world of madness, insanity, debauchery, idolatry and lawlessness!

Much to consider in all of this.

Shabbat Shalom!

SOURCE MATERIALS

  • The Scriptures by the Institute for Scripture Research
  • The Milstein Edition of the Chumash with the Teachings of the Talmud by Artscroll
  • The Koren Talmud Bavli Tractates Sanhedrin, Yoma, Eiruvin
  • The Kehati Mishna

WHAT IS THE GREATEST COMMANDMENT?

“O that you will strengthen yourself and persevere very much in order to observe, to do, according to all of the Torah that Moshe My servant has commanded you. Do not deviate from him to the right or to the left, that you may succeed wherever you may go. This Book of the Torah is not to leave your mouth. You should contemplate it day and night in order to observe, to do, all that is written in it. For then you will make your ways successful, and then you will become understanding.” Joshua 1:7-8

How many times has the doctrine of Replacement Theology painted a picture the Messiah of the Bible is anti-Torah, anti-Israel and teaches a theology in which the core teaching states the Torah, Israel and the Old Testament have all been replaced and superseded by the Church and the New Testament? Its the common doctrine having been taught for nearly 2,000 years now.

This is why I firmly and wholeheartedly am convinced the Jesus of Replacement Theology Christendom and the Yeshua as revealed in the entire Bible are two very different doctrines, which I have discussed countless times throughout my Ops over the years and as such will not rehash it all here.

This all said thus far, there is absolute proof, from Yeshua’s own mouth that He did NOT come to render the Torah of HaShem null and void nor did He come to end the Temple, change the Feasts of HaShem nor replace Israel. There is only one character in the Bible who is all about change and teaches Replacement Theology and that is the False Messiah!

We read in Matthew 22 how the Talmidim (Disciples) of Yeshua asked Him a question as to what was the greatest commandment in the Torah. Let’s examine what He said, but first, before we delve into this Op, always remember the following unchanging truths about HaShem, our Great King and Sovereign of the Universe:

  • HaShem never changes per Num 23:19/Mal 3:6/Hebrews 13:8/James 1:17
  • His Word is firmly established per Psalm 119:89
  • He reveals the end out of the beginning per Is 46:10
  • He does nothing without first revealing it to His prophets per Amos 3:7
  • He says there is nothing new under the sun per Ecclesiastes 1:9
  • He says His Torah is the ONLY truth there is per Psalms 119:142
  • He says His Torah is a tree of life and eternal per Proverbs 3:18-19 and Psalm 119:160
  • He says His Torah is perfect and restores the soul per Psalm 19:7
  • He says His Torah makes the simple one wise per Psalm 19:7
  • He says His Torah Is freedom and liberty per Psalm 119:45 and James 1:25
  • He says His Torah is the only good doctrine there is Proverbs 4:2
  • He says His Torah will add length of days and years of life and peace per Proverbs 3:2
  • He says all of the ways of His Torah are ways of pleasantness and peace per Proverbs 3:17
  • He says His Torah is for our good and well-being per Deuteronomy 6:24
  • He says His Torah is health for our lives per Proverbs 3:8
  • He says His Torah is life to our soul and a graceful ornament for our neck per Prov 3:22
  • He says His Torah is better than pearls and all desires cannot compare to it per Prov 8:11
  • He says those who walk with His Torah are praiseworthy per Psalms 119:1
  • He says observing His Torah is how we purify our path per Psalms 119:9
  • He says His Torah is better than thousands in gold and silver per Psalms 119:72
  • He says His Torah brings abundant peace to those who love Him and His Torah per Psalms 119:165
  • He says there is one Torah for all per Exodus 12:49/Leviticus 24:22
  • He says those who hate His Torah love death per Proverbs 8:36
  • He says His Torah is the way of faith per Psalms 119:29-30
  • He says His Torah makes us wiser than our enemies per Psalms 119:98
  • He says His Torah is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path per Psalms 119:105
  • He says one who finds His Torah has found life per Proverbs 8:35
  • He says one who finds His Torah has found favor from HaShem per Proverbs 8:35
  • He says Messiah Yeshua is the GOAL of His Torah, meaning without His Torah, Messiah cannot be known per Romans 10:4
  • He says if we had believed Moshe/Torah, we would have believed Messiah per John 5:46
  • He says His Torah makes us wiser than our enemies per Psalms 119:98
  • He says His salvation is far from the wicked for they sought not His Torah per Psalms 119:155
  • He says to hold fast to and guard His Torah, for it is our life per Proverbs 4:13

Matthew 22:36-40 says “Teacher, what is the great command in the Torah? And Yeshua said to him, ‘You shall love HaShem your Elohim with all your heart, and with all your being, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great command. And the second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commands hang all the Torah and the Prophets.'”

Was Yeshua just imparting something brand new to His Talmidim or was He reinforcing something His Talmidim would have instantly recognized and known? Yeshua was quoting the Torah and quoting a specific prayer which is recited by all those who follow HaShem morning and evening of every day, even to this day! He was quoting ‘The Shema’ prayer!

Where is The Shema prayer found in the Torah? The Shema is a scriptural prayer which is based upon three sections of the Torah:

  • Devarim (Deuteronomy) 6:4-9
  • Devarim 11:13-21
  • Bamidbar (Numbers) 15:37-41

What is the purpose of The Shema and why are we to recite it every morning and evening? Per the Artscroll Siddur discussing The Shema it says “The recitation of the three paragraphs of The Shema is required by the Torah, and one must have in mind that he is about to fulfill this commandment. Although one should try to concentrate on the meaning of all three paragraphs, one must concentrate at least on the meaning of the first verse and the second verse because the recitation of The Shema represents fulfilment of the paramount commandment of acceptance of HaShem’s absolute sovereignty. By declaring that HaShem is One, Unique and Indivisible, we subordinate every facet of our personalities, possessions, our very lives to His will.”

As you will shortly see, ‘The Shema’ prayer is in summary, acknowledging HaShem as King, Master of all of His Creation, Master of the Earth and we are willfully submitting ourselves to His Authority and acknowledge He is One and there is no other nor does He share His Authority with anyone else! In effect, The Shema, is absolute proof Replacement Theology is NOT from HaShem, and anyone claiming to be Messiah and teaches a doctrine where the Torah is now changed, rendered obsolete or irrelevant, is fully exposed as being a false Messiah! Keep this in mind!

The following is ‘The Shema’ prayer in English:

“Shema, O Israel! Adonai Eloheino, Adonai Echad.” “Hear, O Israel, the L-rd is our G‑d, the L-rd is One. Blessed be the Name of the glory of His kingdom forever and ever.

You shall love the L-rd your G‑d with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your might. And these words which I command you today shall be upon your heart. You shall teach them thoroughly to your children, and you shall speak of them when you sit in your house and when you walk on the road, when you lie down and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign upon your hand, and they shall be for a reminder between your eyes. And you shall write them upon the doorposts of your house and upon your gates.

And it will be, if you will diligently obey My commandments which I enjoin upon you this day, to love the L-rd your G‑d and to serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul, I will give rain for your land at the proper time, the early rain and the late rain, and you will gather in your grain, your wine and your oil. And I will give grass in your fields for your cattle, and you will eat and be sated. Take care lest your heart be lured away, and you turn astray and worship alien gods and bow down to them. For then the L-rd’s wrath will flare up against you, and He will close the heavens so that there will be no rain and the earth will not yield its produce, and you will swiftly perish from the good land which the L-rd gives you. Therefore, place these words of Mine upon your heart and upon your soul, and bind them for a sign on your hand, and they shall be for a reminder between your eyes. You shall teach them to your children, to speak of them when you sit in your house and when you walk on the road, when you lie down and when you rise. And you shall inscribe them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates – so that your days and the days of your children may be prolonged on the land which the L-rd swore to your fathers to give to them for as long as the heavens are above the earth.

The L-rd spoke to Moses, saying: Speak to the children of Israel and tell them to make for themselves fringes on the corners of their garments throughout their generations, and to attach a thread of blue on the fringe of each corner. They shall be to you as tzizit, and you shall look upon them and remember all the commandments of the L-rd and fulfill them, and you will not follow after your heart and after your eyes by which you go astray – so that you may remember and fulfill all My commandments and be holy to your G‑d. I am the L-rd your G‑d who brought you out of the land of Egypt to be your G‑d; I, the L-rd, am your G‑d. True.”

Remember, this is what Yeshua Himself said in Matthew 22 was the greatest Command in the Torah! Why is this so significant? Because if Yeshua’s purpose was to free humanity from the Torah, then why was He reinforcing the Torah as being the only way to live in service to HaShem?

He then follows up in Matthew 22 and says “And the second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commands hang all the Torah and the Prophets.'” From where did He quote the second greatest command of the Torah? He was quoting Vayikra (Leviticus) 19:18 which says “Do not take revenge and do not bear a grudge against the members of your people; you shall love your fellow as yourself, I am HaShem.”

If you recall from many previous Ops of mine, I have highlighted the conflict going on at the time of Yeshua between the two main sects of Pharisees i.e. Beit Shammai and Beit Hillel, and that it was the Beit Shammai Pharisees Yeshua was in conflict with because of their staunch stance against teaching the Torah to the non-Jews, something Beit Hillel was totally against. In many cases, Yeshua and the Pharisees of Beit Hillel agreed on how to walk in the Torah of HaShem, therefore, when we see the confrontations between Yeshua and the Pharisees in the Apostolic Writings, they are always the Pharisees of Beit Shammai He was engaging with! Later on in Paul’s letters, it is the 18 Edicts enacted by Beit Shammai, who was in power at that time, which was the basis for many of his letters. These 18 Edicts enacted strict separations between Jews and the non-Jews i.e. the Middle Wall of Separation. It is these 18 Edicts which are the basis for Peter’s vision and the sheet. HaShem was fixing the problem! In fact, in the Talmud, it discusses how these 18 Edicts of Shammai were as ‘Troublesome for Israel as the incident with the Golden Calf was!’ To this day, these 18 Edicts have been so thoroughly scrubbed no one can find a list of them anymore.

This is important to remember because the commentary on Vayikra 19:18 says “Rabbi Akiva said that this (Love your fellow as yourself) is the PRIMARY RULE OF THE TORAH! Hillel paraphrased this rule saying, ‘What is hateful to you, do not do to others (Quoting Shabbos 31a from the Talmud Bavli).'” Point is, Yeshua is reiterating what was already well known back then, meaning He didn’t change anything!

HaShem used His Torah to create everything!

Now let’s examine some specific Mitzvot (Commandments) which are embedded within The Shema:

Mitzvot #417 – The obligation to believe in the Oneness of HaShem: Per the Book of the Mitzvos, the commentary says “We are commanded to believe that HaShem, blessed be He, Who brought about and continues to bring about the entirety of existence and is the Master of everything, is One, without any partnership, as it is stated in Devarim (Deuteronomy) 6:4 ‘Hear O Israel, HaShem is our Elohim, HaShem is the One and Only.’ The opening words of the verse, Shema Yisrael, ‘Hear O Israel’, seem to indicate that the statement that follows, ‘HaShem is our Elohim, HaShem is the One and Only,’ is merely a declaration by the Torah regarding the Oneness of HaShem. One might thus think that it does not constitute a commandment to actively internalize this belief. Chinuch emphasizes that this is not the case.

This verse is indeed an obligatory commandment; it is not merely a homily about the Oneness of HaShem, as might be understood from the words ‘Hear O Israel’. As to the meaning of ‘Hear O Israel,’ it is as if to say, ‘Accept this principle from me, know it and believe it, that HaShem, Who is our Elohim, is One, without peer.’ Thus, the words ‘Hear O Israel’ are instructive, commanding us to internalize a belief in HaShem’s Oneness without question. The term ‘Shema’ as three definitions: ‘Hear’ per Genesis 24:52 and Job 29:11, ‘Understand’ per Genesis 42:23 and I Kings 3:9, and ‘Obey’ or ‘Submit’ per Genesis 39:10 and Deuteronomy 11:13. The verse ‘Shema Yisrael’ means to convey all three ideas i.e. we will initially hear about the Oneness of HaShem as in receive the basic principle by tradition from our elders, then understand it as in study the concept and delve into it and finally submit to it i.e. internalize it as our unshakable belief.”

Mitzvot #418 – The obligation to love HaShem: Per the Book of the Mitzvos the commentary says “We are commanded to love HaShem, the Omnipresent Elohim, blessed is He, as it is stated in Deuteronomy 6:5 ‘You shall love HaShem, your Elohim.’ The manner in which this mitzvah is to be fulfilled is that we should contemplate and reflect on HaShem’s commandments and on His handiwork, until we attain a concept of Him i.e. of His Wisdom and Benevolence according to our ability, and in this state of perceiving Him, experience the ultimate delight. This is the love of HaShem that is mandated in the above verse.

The Mishnah Torah Hilchot Teshuvah 10:1-6 notes that one factor that can motivate a person to observe the mitzvos and engage in Torah study is that he seeks Divine reward and fears the retribution that he would incur for conducting himself otherwise. Although such observance is indeed worthy, it is not the optimal way to serve HaShem. The ultimate service of HaShem is one that is motivated by love for Him and a sincere desire to do His Will. To attain this level of service, however, one must first cultivate a love of HaShem.”

Yeshua reiterates this in John 14:15 when He says “If you love Me, keep My commandments!” And what did Yeshua teach? He taught nothing new, He taught the Torah of HaShem! He goes on in John 15:12-15 which says “This is My command, that you love one another, as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, that one should lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing. But I have called you friends, for all teachings which I heard from My Father I have made known to you.”

So we see again, Yeshua is NOT teaching anything new, nor is He teaching any form of Replacement Theology and on top of this, He only is teaching what HaShem has directed He teaches. Reiterates HaShem is One and shares His glory with no one! Meaning, Yeshua cannot be HaShem in the flesh! Remember from my past Ops the discussions concerning ‘The Agent’ of HaShem? It falls under the category of ‘The law of agency’ in which a man’s agent is as himself. Point is, the agent is sent by the sender and the agent can only speak, do, act and negotiate exactly as directed by the sender. Yeshua is The Agent of HaShem just like Moses was The Agent of HaShem! Very important to remember this especially when trying to put Replacement Theology Christendom into its proper place.

Yeshua says in John 5:30 “Of Myself I am unable to do any matter. As I hear, I judge, and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My Own desire, but the desire of the Father Who sent Me.” The Law of Agency in play!

Yeshua says in John 7:16 “Yeshua answered them and said, ‘My teaching is not Mine, but His Who sent Me.'” Again, the Law of Agency in play!

He also says in John 12:49 “Because I spoke not from Myself, but the Father Who sent Me has given Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak.” The Law of Agency!

When Yeshua says in John 15:23 “He who hates Me hates My Father as well” is a perfect example of the Law of Agency in action. HaShem sent Yeshua to perform a task on His behalf thus to hate Yeshua is to hate the One Who sent Him.

So, with this said, how is it possible, HaShem, Whom does not and cannot change, His Torah is eternal and will never pass away, can suddenly now change His mind, do everything He said He would NOT do and send His Agent to teach a doctrine which replaces and supersedes everything He gave in the beginning and then still claim to be unchanging? It would make Him out to be a very confused liar and completely untrustworthy! This is again precisely why I so loathe and abhor Christian Replacement Theology because it teaches exactly this insanity! I digress.

Mitzvot #419 – The obligation to study Torah: Per the Book of the Mitzvos the commentary says “It is a mitzvah obligation to study the wisdom of the Torah and to teach it to others. That is to say, that we must study and teach others how to perform the mitzvos and how to avoid that which the Almighty prohibited us from doing, and we must also attain an accurate knowledge of all the Torah’s laws.

The underlying purpose of this mitzvah is obvious, for through the study of Torah, a person can attain knowledge of the ways of HaShem, blessed be He. By contrast, without Torah knowledge, one will neither know nor understand HaShem’s ways, and, as such, he will be likened to an animal.”

Mitzvot #420 – The obligation to recite The Shema every morning and evening: Per the Book of the Mitzvos the commentary says “Among the underlying purposes of this mitzvah is that it was the Will of HaShem to give His nation the merit of accepting His Sovereignty and His Oneness upon themselves every day and night, for all the days that they live. This matter is essential, for being that man is a corporeal being, and thus enticed by the futilities of the world and attracted to its pleasures, he needs, at the very least, a constant reminder of HaShem’s Sovereignty, to guard him from sin. Therefore, it was a manifestation of HaShem’s Kindness that He chose to make us meritorious, and He commanded us to remember His Sovereignty at these two times i.e. in the morning and evening, consistently, and with absolute concentration. We are commanded to do so once during the daytime, to have a positive effect on all our actions throughout the day. For when a person recalls HaShem’s Oneness and His Sovereignty in the morning, and that His Providence and Omnipotence apply to everything in existence, and when one is attentive to the fact that HaShem’s eyes, so to speak, are focused on all one’s ways and that He maintains a count of all one’s steps, to the extent that not a single one of his actions are hidden from HaShem, and that he is unable to conceal from Him even one of his thoughts, this thought, and his verbal acknowledgment of this matter, will certainly serve as a safeguard for him for that entire day, protecting him from sin. Similarly, the nightly acknowledgment of this matter will serve as a safeguard for him the entire night.”

Tallit with Tzitzit

Part of The Shema prayer is the command to put on a Tallit (Prayer shawl) which has Tzitzit (Fringes) on the corners. This is again foundational in the service of HaShem because not only are we to wear a Tallit with Tzitzit, but HaShem Himself wears a Tallit with Tzitzit!

The following is an excerpt discussing the significance of the Tallit and the Tzitzit from the book ‘The Aryeh Kaplan Anthology II’ pages 201-204 which says “The Tallit: We can now look into another question that people often ask. We know that the Torah contains 613 commandments, 248 do’s and 365 don’ts. But why? Why is it necessary to have so many laws? Isn’t it enough for people to have a general idea of what is right and then adhere to it?

There are many people today who argue that we should do away with laws completely. They say that all that is necessary is that people be good and love one another. They point out that at times laws can be harsh. Why then, did HaShem give so many laws in the Torah?

The answer, of course, is because there is evil in the world, if men were perfect, then we would need few, if any, laws. People would live in total peace with one another, without any rules or regulations. This is indeed true of animals, who live in total harmony with other members of their species, without anything remotely resembling formal law. It is all part of their intrinsic nature.

The same was true of Adam before he sinned. He was innocent of any evil, and therefore did not need a multitude of rules and laws. All that was required was that he obey his one commandment not to eat of the Tree of Knowledge. That one commandment was enough to give him free will and thus enable him to achieve perfection and a closeness to HaShem. It was only after man sinned that he needed an entire complex of law.

The commandments therefore serve as a safeguard against the forces of evil. They restrict man’s relationship with his neighbor so that one individual does not harm another. They constantly remind us of our obligation to HaShem, so that we do not become swallowed up in evil.

We therefore see that to a large degree, the commandments of the Torah serve to protect us from evil. They are, in this respect, the element of HaShem’s plan that serves as a barrier against the forces of evil. This is what HaShem meant when He said, ‘I have created the Evil Urge, but I have created the Torah as a remedy for it.’

The Torah’s commandments are the element in HaShem’s scheme that serve as a barrier against evil. But, as we have discussed earlier, this is also the concept of HaShem’s garment.

HaShem’s Tallit is therefore the sum total of all the commandments in the Torah. This is what our sages mean when they say, ‘He who keeps the commandments grabs the Divine Presence. This is the meaning of Tzitzit…’

As we shall see in the section on Gematria, the commandment of Tzitzit alludes to all 613 commandments. Our sages similarly teach us that, ‘The commandment of Tzitzit is equal to all the commandments.’

This is also what the Torah means when it speaks of the Tzitzit and says, ‘You shall see them and not stray after your heart and after your eyes.’ The commandment of Tzitzit alludes to HaShem’s Tallit, which in turn, represents the entire structure of the commandments, standing as a barrier against evil.

After Adam sinned, the Torah says that, ‘They knew that they were naked, and they sewed together fig leaves and made themselves loincloths.’ There is a tradition that what they actually made were Tzitzit. Rashi further more explains that when the Torah says, ‘They knew that they were naked,’ it means that they knew they were naked of the one commandment that HaShem had given them.

As soon as man sinned, he realized that he would need the entire structure of commandments alluded to in the Mitzvah of Tzitzit. As soon as he realized that he was naked of his original commandment, he made himself Tzitzit, the one commandment that includes all the others.

The Midrash tells us that the first time HaShem is said to have appeared wearing a Tallit was when He gave Moses the first commandment, the one involving the Jewish calendar. HaShem was beginning to teach Moses the way of the commandments, and when He started, he showed Moses the Tallit that alludes to them all.

As mentioned earlier, one place in the Bible where HaShem’s Tallit is alluded to is in the verse, ‘He covers Himself with light as a garment’ per Psalms 104:2. Here again, the allusion is to the light of the Torah and its commandments, as we find elsewhere, ‘A commandment is a lamp, and the Torah is light’ per Proverbs 6:23.

The main element of HaShem’s plan that serves as a barrier against evil is the array of commandments in the Torah. But even though the commandments are Divine in origin, they do not serve their purpose unless they are fulfilled by man. In this sense, HaShem’s Tallit is not whole unless it is completed by man.

Man’s role in completing HaShem’s garment of commandments is represented by the Tzitzit on the four corners of His Tallit.

In general, we know that the Tallit is only worn because of the Tzitzit that it contains. Without the Tzitzit, the Tallit is nothing more than a square piece of cloth. The same is true of HaShem’s Tallit. Unless fulfilled by man, the commandments do not serve their purpose.

In this sense, the Tzitzit, being loose threads, are like the unwoven portion of the Tallit. As such, they represent the incompleteness in HaShem’s garment. This unwoven part is left for man to complete.

The Tallit is therefore made in the form of a rectangle or square. Our sages teach us that a four sided figure is the archetype of something that is manmade. The square shape of the Tallit alludes to the fact that the main responsibility to complete HaShem’s Tallit lies in the hands of man.

The bond between HaShem and man involves all levels of creation. Man is the goal of HaShem’s creation, and all the spiritual worlds exist only for his sake. There are essentially four levels in the spiritual plane, alluded to by the four letters in HaShem’s ineffable Name (Yod Hey Vav Hey). The four corners of the Tallit allude to these levels, and thus, to the spiritual link between HaShem and man.

In Ezekiel’s vision, after he say the Chashmal, which was HaShem’s garment, he saw the four angels called Chayoth. These four angels are the four Tzitzit on the corners of HaShem’s Tallit. This is why the prophet saw them attached to the Chashmal, which represents HaShem’s Tallit. Our sages further more teach us that the Chashmal exists primarily for these angels, just as the Tallit is worn primarily for the Tzitzit that it contains. As we know, HaShem’s providence is directed primarily through these angels; therefore, they also represent the link between HaShem and man.

Since the Tzitzit represent the bond between HaShem and man, they hang down below the Tallit. HaShem’s Tallit is high above our reach, but His Tzitzit hang down like a lifeline that we can grasp hold of. They reach down to us so that we may complete HaShem’s Tallit, while at the same time perfecting ourselves.

The Tzitzit therefore have five knots, representing the five books of the Torah. The Tzitzit begin with the knots, since the first step in bringing the commandments within man’s reach is the Torah. These knots bind the Tzitzit to the Tallit, just as the Torah and its commandments bind man to HaShem.”

An amazing description of the significance of the Tallit and the Tzitzit! Consider now the prophecy about the end which says in Zechariah 8:23 “Thus said HaShem, Master of Legions: In those days (The end of days) it will happen that ten men (Non-Jews), of all the different languages of the nations, will take hold, they will take hold of the corner (Tzitzit) of the garment (Tallit) of a Jewish man, saying, ‘Let us go with you, for we have heard that HaShem is with you!'” How much is this happening today when people are being awoken by HaShem and are realizing Christendom’s Replacement Theology doctrine is out of the pit and are running to the Torah of HaShem? It is happening in huge numbers now! Baruch HaShem!

All of this is encapsulated in ‘The Shema’ prayer! I will close this Op with the following music video below! In light of what we have discussed in this Op, you see how ‘The Shema’ applies today and if Yeshua said it is the greatest commandment in the Torah, then how is Replacement Theology correct?

Shalom!

SOURCE MATERIALS

  • The Book of the Mitzvos by Artscroll
  • The Scriptures by the Institute for Scripture Research
  • The Chumash with the Teachings of the Talmud by Artscroll
  • The Ashkenazi Siddur by Artscroll
  • The Aryeh Kaplan Anthology II by Mesorah Publications
  • Leviticus Artscroll Tanach Series
  • The Talmud Yerushalmi by Artscroll
  • The Talmud Bavli by Artscroll
  • The Steinsaltz Talmud Bavli by Koren
  • The Kehati Mishnah
  • The Mishnah Torah