Hebrew – Aleph-Bet

Posted by on Sep 28, 2020 in All Posts, For Kids | 0 comments

Learn the Hebrew Alphabet the easy way! You’ll be singing along in no time!

Yom Kippur – Day of Atonement

Posted by on Sep 28, 2020 in All Posts, All Things Biblical | 0 comments

Yom Kippur – Day of Atonement

Some thoughts on this Day of Atonement…..

Are your bones … dry? ….Are you fasting, afflicting and repenting? What is it we should be doing!?? Are we to treat it simply as a FAST day…a CEASING…a SABBATH? What does the Holy One say? Let’s find out!

 
Here are my thoughts as I share the scriptures that permeate this ‘season’:
 
Isa 58:5  “Is it a fast that I have chosen, a day for a man to afflict his being? Is it to bow down his head like a bulrush, and to spread out sackcloth and ashes? Do you call this a fast, and an acceptable day to יהוה?
Isa 58:6  “Is this not the fast that I have chosen: to loosen the tight cords of wrongness, to undo the bands of the yoke, to exempt the oppressed, and to break off every yoke?
Isa 58:7  “Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out; when you see the naked, and cover him, and not hide yourself from your own flesh?
Isa 58:8  “Then your light would break forth like the morning, your healing spring forth speedily. And your righteousness shall go before you, the esteem of יהוה would be your rear guard.
Isa 58:9  “Then, when you call, יהוה would answer; when you cry, He would say, ‘Here I am.’ “If you take away the yoke from your midst, the pointing of the finger, and the speaking of unrighteousness,
Isa 58:10  if you extend your being to the hungry and satisfy the afflicted being, then your light shall dawn in the darkness, and your darkness be as noon.
 
Dan 9:15  “And now, O יהוה our Elohim, who brought Your people out of the land of Mitsrayim with a strong hand, and made Yourself a Name, as it is this day – we have sinned, we have done wrong! 
Dan 9:16  “O יהוה, according to all Your righteousness, I pray, let Your displeasure and Your wrath be turned away from Your city Yerushalayim, Your set-apart mountain. For, because of our sins, and because of the crookednesses of our fathers, Yerushalayim and Your people have become a reproach to all those around us.
Dan 9:17  “And now, our Elohim, hear the prayer of Your servant, and his supplications, and for the sake of יהוה cause Your face to shine on Your set-apart place, which is laid waste.
Dan 9:18  “O my Elohim, incline Your ear and hear. Open Your eyes and see our wastes, and the city which is called by Your Name. For we do not present our supplications before You because of our righteous deeds, but because of Your great compassions. 
Dan 9:19  “O יהוה, hear! O יהוה, forgive! O יהוה, listen and act! Do not delay for Your own sake, my Elohim, for Your city and Your people are called by Your Name.”
  
Eze 37:3  And He said to me, “Son of man, would these bones live?” And I said, “O Master יהוה, You know.”
 Eze 37:4  Again He said to me, “Prophesy to these bones, and you shall say to them, ‘O dry bones, hear the word of יהוה!
 Eze 37:5  ‘Thus said the Master יהוה to these bones, “See, I am bringing into you a spirit, and you shall live.
 Eze 37:6  “And I shall put sinews on you and bring flesh upon you, and cover you with skin and put a spirit in you, and you shall live. And you shall know that I am יהוה.” ’ ”
 Eze 37:7  And I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I prophesied, there was a noise, and there was a rattling. And the bones came together, bone to bone.
 Eze 37:8  And I looked and saw sinews and flesh came upon them, and skin covered them, but there was no spirit in them.
 Eze 37:9  He then said to me, “Prophesy to the spirit, prophesy, son of man, and you shall say to the spirit, ‘Thus said the Master יהוה, “Come from the four winds, O spirit, and breathe on these slain, so that they live.” ’ ”
 Eze 37:10  And I prophesied as He commanded me, and the spirit came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, a very great army.
Eze 37:11  And He said to me, “Son of man, these bones are all the…

House of Yisra’ĕl….

See, they say, ‘Our bones are dry, our expectancy has perished, and we ourselves have been cut off!’
 
Eze 37:12  “Therefore prophesy, and you shall say to them, ‘Thus said the Master יהוה, “See, O My people, I am opening your graves, and shall bring you up from your graves, and shall bring you into the land of Yisra’ĕl.
 Eze 37:13  “And you shall know that I am יהוה, when I open your graves, O My people, and bring you up from your graves.
 Eze 37:14  “And I shall put My Spirit in you, and you shall live, and I shall settle you in your own land. And you shall know that I יהוה have spoken, and I have done it,” declares יהוה.’ ”
 Eze 37:15  And the word of יהוה came to me, saying,
 Eze 37:16  “And you, son of man, take a stick for yourself and write on it, ‘For Yehuḏah and for the children of Yisra’ĕl, his companions.’ Then take another stick and write on it, ‘For Yosĕph, the stick of Ephrayim, and for all the house of Yisra’ĕl, his companions.’
 Eze 37:17  “Then bring them together for yourself into one stick, and they shall become one in your hand.
 Eze 37:18  “And when the children of your people speak to you, saying, ‘Won’t you show us what you mean by these?’
 Eze 37:19  say to them, ‘Thus said the Master יהוה, “See, I am taking the stick of Yosĕph, which is in the hand of Ephrayim, and the tribes of Yisra’ĕl, his companions. And I shall give them unto him, with the stick of Yehuḏah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in My hand.” ’
 Eze 37:20  “And the sticks on which you write shall be in your hand before their eyes.
 Eze 37:21  “And speak to them, ‘Thus said the Master יהוה, “See, I am taking the children of Yisra’ĕl from among the gentiles, wherever they have gone, and shall gather them from all around, and I shall bring them into their land.
 Eze 37:22  “And I shall make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Yisra’ĕl. And one sovereign shall be sovereign over them all, and let them no longer be two nations, and let them no longer be divided into two reigns.
 Eze 37:23  “And they shall no longer defile themselves with their idols, nor with their disgusting matters, nor with any of their transgressions. And I shall save them from all their dwelling places in which they have sinned, and I shall cleanse them. And they shall be My people, and I be their Elohim,
 Eze 37:24  while Dawiḏ My servant is sovereign over them. And they shall all have one shepherd and walk in My right-rulings and guard My laws, and shall do them.
 Eze 37:25  “And they shall dwell in the land that I have given to Yaʽaqoḇ My servant, where your fathers dwelt. And they shall dwell in it, they and their children and their children’s children, forever, and My servant Dawiḏ be their prince forever.
 Eze 37:26  “And I shall make a covenant of peace with them – an everlasting covenant it is with them. And I shall place them and increase them, and shall place My set-apart place in their midst, forever.
 Eze 37:27  “And My Dwelling Place shall be over them. And I shall be their Elohim, and they shall be My people.
 Eze 37:28  “And the gentiles shall know that I, יהוה, am setting Yisra’ĕl apart, when My set-apart place is in their midst – forever.” ’
 
 

Elul – Erev Yom Kippur

Posted by on Sep 27, 2020 in All Posts, Days of Awe, Elul | 0 comments

Elul – Erev Yom Kippur

remember, this is from Orthodoxy….allow the Ruach haKodesh to sift through the words, and speak to your heart…

Tishrei 9, Erev Yom Kippur

TO BE LIKE ANGELS

Tonight we will begin a 25-hour fast of Yom Kippur.  We don’t do this in order to afflict ourselves, which is the purpose of the fast of Tisha B’Av when we mourn the destruction of the Temple—indeed Yom Kippur is not a day of mourning but a day of joy. We fast on Yom Kippur because on this day we want to transcend our physical limitations and be like angels, and food and other physical concerns distract us from our spiritual selves.

Some people may complain that the hunger distracts them from concentrating on the prayers and rituals of the day.  But this is precisely the Yom Kippur challenge—not to be overly focused on the physical.

Use the opportunity of not eating and not drinking to allow yourself to experience the food and drink that comes from deep within. Fasting will then become a very freeing experience.

Yom Kippur is one day in the year when you can access the deepest part of your soul. But this is only possible if you create the space for it. Your soul—every soul—has a still, soft voice that emits a unique hum. This sound can only be heard if you lower the noise in your life that usually drowns out your inner voice.

On Yom Kippur, when the “source” is nearest to the “spark” of your soul, you want to remove as many material distractions as you can, so that your soul can sing freely and your “spark” can dance.

When you experience Yom Kippur this way—which does take effort, and that’s why you need to prepare for it—then it will be for you not a day when you feel hungry, but a day when you feel angelic.

The same holds true for the other prohibitions of Yom Kippur—against bathing, anointing, marital relations, wearing leather, etc.—all of which are meant to detach us as much as possible from the physical realm so that we can be free to experienced the spiritual one.

Instead of indulging in physical pleasures, we spend the day in the cocoon of a synagogue where we are cut off from the outside world. We spend the day in prayer—our whole intention being to transcend the physical world, our material home, and to travel inward toward our purest spiritual selves—toward our true home in G-d.

BREAKING THE TIES THAT BIND

Before darkness falls, marking the official beginning of the 10th day of Tishrei which is Yom Kippur, in every synagogue in the world a haunting melody is sang—Kol Nidrei.

Kol Nidrei means “All Vows” and its classic text, repeated three times, each time louder, is a renunciation of all oaths and vows.

It seems strange to begin the holiest day of the yea—the day which we spend asking G-d to forgive us for all transgressions—by breaking former promises.

But Kol Nidrei is not that. Kol Nidrei is the process through which we enter the holiest day of the year.

A neder is not just the vow/promise that you vocalize to another person, it is a word that denotes all commitments, attachments, and ties that bind you.

By renouncing “all vows” you are declaring your commitment to break the bonds that keep you from traveling on the journey within, that keep you from opening yourself to the Yom Kippur experience.

Obviously, this does not mean forsaking healthy commitments and responsibilities—it means forsaking those attachments that limit you, that entangle and entrap you.

That is the essential focus of Kol Nidrei. It is a perfect prayer to begin Yom Kippur with because unless you free yourself from such traps you cannot travel inward; with a ball and chain attached to you, you are not going to be able to get anywhere.

Kol Nidrei is repeated three times to relate to vows in speech, vows in deed, and vows in thought:

All vows and things we have made forbidden on ourselves… we regret having made them, may they all be permitted, forgiven, eradicated, and nullified, and may they not be valid or exist any longer.  Our vows shall no longer be vows, and our prohibitions shall no longer be prohibited, and our oaths are no longer oaths.

For such a time as this!

Posted by on Sep 26, 2020 in All Posts | 0 comments

For such a time as this!

Walk humbly….do justice and love kindness….

Posted by on Sep 26, 2020 in All Posts, Pams Ponderings | 0 comments

Walk humbly….do justice and love kindness….

This is a great season to ask … “Are you here  for such a time as this“? And if so, to do what?

It seems that this question runs through each of us at one point or another and many of us push that question aside because we simply don’t know what to do with it. I’ve done it…have you? So let’s look at it again…and this time, maybe together we can come to some realistic ground rules.

For women the answers will be different than men and for men it will different than women, but as a PEOPLE there are some basic, go-to, real starting points. So let’s open the scriptures and find out what the Holy One says – that should be our go-to book anyway.

One of the scriptures that always seems to be a starting point for me, no matter what the subject, is found in Micah 6:8:

He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

So, basically, no matter what we are facing in our lives, we need to try to remember that first of all the Holy One wants us to walk humbly…to be humble. But what does that mean? The dictionary says that humble means:

  • not proud or not thinking of yourself as better than other people

  • not proud or haughty, not arrogant or assertive

That’s a pretty basic description and actually pretty easy to understand. But the hard part is actually looking within yourself and being totally honest with who you really are. One can look in the mirror…examine every tiny little feature of your face, but if you already think you know what you already look like, then you’ll simply MISS the sometimes subtle nuances that should alert you! See that raised eyebrow? Notice that frown line? What happened to what we are supposed to reflect? mmmmmm

In the Hebrew the word humble is anav and it is the condition of a person or maybe a better way to say it is that it is the characteristic of a person’s heart.  So how does that actually work in real life? One’s heart will always be evident in one’s actions. To get a full and deeper meaning of the word anav, do a word search in your bible program and look at the various ways this word is translated and used in the scriptures.

So, let’s look a bit deeper and get a bit more real. We are ALL at one time or another not humble! True? True. Got that out of the way. So what do we do about that? We recognize it for what it is and then we’ve taken the first step of recovery. And sometimes it can be a long road, so don’t give up. Spending time in Psalms or various other scriptures that speak to your heart can be a healing balm. But always remember that we are to walk ‘humbly‘ before our God. So let us check our attitudes, let us not think more of ourselves than another and let us begin to allow Him to show us how to walk in the footsteps of the Messiah…who was a perfect example of waking humbly. If a thought comes to your mind where you begin to recognize a haughty or self-righteous attitude, cast it down with Micah 6:8. Recognize it for what it is and see with His eyes….loving eyes…forgiving eyes…merciful eyes.

The next thing is ‘to do justice and to love kindness‘. That might be a bit more difficult to take apart but let’s try. The dictionary says justice means:

  1. The maintenance or administration of what is just especially by the impartial adjustment of conflicting claims or the assignment of merited rewards or punishments;  the administration of law; especially:  the establishment or determination of rights according to the rules of law or equity
  2. The quality of being just, impartial, or fair; the principle or ideal of just dealing or right action; conformity to this principle or ideal;  righteousness;  the quality of conforming to law
  3. Conformity to truth, fact, or reason;  correctness

and ‘kindness‘ means

  1. the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate.

Synonyms are: Kindliness, kindheartedness, warmheartedness, affection, warmth, gentleness, concern, care.

Wow…that’s a mouthful. Let’s examine it a bit closer. What would it look like if we went back to the ancient understanding our forefathers had? Well, in Hebrew thinking – justice doesn’t actually mean fair … at least how we understand it.

In Hebraic thinking, we are to live our lives and set our standard by Torah. We are to live by that standard, Torah. Our lives and our conduct should be ruled by Torah itself.  Thinking of justice in the terms of the courts of men is not found in Torah! The true  meaning of justice is only found in the words of God and then applied by men. So our justice is actually the words of Torah. When faced with a situation or circumstance, find out what Torah say about it. But remember, we need to apply kindness when we do justice.

Justice (or righteousness) in Hebrew is tzedek  and is one of the attributes of YHWH (God) Himself. If we are created in His Image, than righteousness also applies to us and we have a right to exercise that righteousness/justice in our daily lives. When following that word a bit further we find the word tzedakah which means charity. Consider what Isaiah wrote in 32:17  “The work of righteousness (tzedakah) shall be peace”, and then in addition he said, “the service of righteousness shall be quietness and security forever.” More to think on that word we call ‘justice’ – don’t you think?

So how do we determine the actual how to do justice with kindness? Well, one way may be to remember various other scriptures and stories in our handbook. Justice alone would have had the Holy One to scorch Sodom (and He would have been completely righteous in doing so) and yet He listened with compassion to Abraham when he pleaded for mercy. Justice would have had the Holy One scorch the entire earth with His wrath if it were not within the bounds of His attribute of mercy with justice. For not one of us is without sin, not one of us is worthy of redemption if we are to be ‘judged by the book’. We are all unequivocally worthy of His wrath. Wow! That should be a wake-up call to anyone who actually thinks he’s special, or anointed, or righteous! My head hangs low and my heart weeps with how far short I have fallen of what He desires! How many times have I ‘judged’ and left out the mercy believing that my interpretation of what was read was the correct way, the only correct answer? Forgive me Father and let me always remember to allow You to be the judge…

“Do not judge so that you will not be judged.  2.“For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.  3. “Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? (Matthew 7:1-3)

So let’s go to Zechariah “Then the word of the Lord came to Zechariah saying, “Thus has the Lord of hosts said, ‘Dispense true justice and practice kindness and compassion each to his brother; and do not oppress the widow or the orphan, the stranger or the poor; and do not devise evil in your hearts against one another.”  Zechariah 7:8-10

The only way we can actually dispense true justice, in my humble opinion, is to mirror the Father and what He has shown throughout time. Justice with mercy and kindness.

So now we have the word “kindness”, and in the Hebrew it is chesed and it is used as a covenant word – the kind of covenant between God and Israel. How does Scripture tells us that this God of this people, Israel, dealt with them throughout history? Was Israel always obedient, always perfect? Not hardly! Israel continuously went astray, continuously served other idols and yet the great Elohim (God) of Israel would not let her go – no not once. His relationship to His people was built on His loving kindness, His mercy, and His goodness – and every bit of it was entirely undeserved on their (our) part! This, then, is what we are to glean when applying kindness as we try to bring about justice in this world when everything in the world calls out measure for measure! This is the reason that the predominant use of chesed (which actually has no equivalent in English) is to always include mercy and forgiveness. God maintains his part of the covenant with these attributes – and does it to the nth degree!

One might think that we are then unable to mete out justice at all, but no we are simply to look at situations/circumstances from His eyes…face to face. We are part of the House, we are part of His people, and He has spared us, time and time again. The Holy One demands justice, he demands right action and never wavers. And that is the great dilemma for all of us.  However, let us take note of the 11th century AD Jewish commentator, Rashi, and what he had to say about which comes first – mercy or justice. Rashi said that God gave ‘precedence to the rule of mercy’ and joined it ‘with the rule of justice.’  Interesting thought isn’t it?

If we are to remain a people at all, even a remnant of a people, we are to treasure and stand in wonder of God’s unfailing loving-kindness throughout history. His mercy is greater than we will ever be able to comprehend, because we all deserve justice. One thing, however, we must always remember, and that is that while the Hebrew word chesed has been translated as loving-kindness and mercy, it is always coupled with repentance. They go hand in hand, as we can see all throughout scripture. It comes down of course, to relationship. Yahuah (God) had an intimate, personal and day to day relationship with His chosen people. We need that intimate, personal, day to day relationship not only with Him…but with His people.

So, bottom line – what does all this mean for you and me? Well, it could mean that the next time you feel that your brother or sister needs your form of justice…your interpretation of justice…well, remember what the Holy One of Israel has done for you…and tread carefully.

Can we do any less?

Elul – Day 37

Posted by on Sep 25, 2020 in All Posts, Days of Awe, Elul | 0 comments

Elul – Day 37

Tishrei 7

THE CYCLE OF FORGIVENESS

Yom Kippur, which is only three days away, is called the “Day of Forgiveness” because this is the day when Moses, after pleading with G-d for 80 days to forgive the Israelites for the Sin of the Golden Calf, finally succeeded.  On this day, G-d finally said to him: “I will forgive as you have asked.”

On Yom Kippur we seek to connect to the energy of this awesome day and win forgiveness for ourselves as well.  But we can hardly expect to be forgiven by G-d if we ourselves have not been willing to forgive others.

Forgiveness is not easy; it requires work. But, most importantly, it requires a connection to God, the Giver of Life .

The secret of being able to forgive others is to remember that God gave you life because you matter to Him—you have a vital and irreplaceable role to play in the perfection of His world.  When you remember that, you can have the strength to rise above the pain others have caused you and forgive both them and yourself.

The word for “forgiveness” in Hebrew, mechilah, is related to the word machol meaning “circle.” Life is meant to be a circle encompassing all our experiences and relationships in one harmonious, seamless whole. When someone hurts us the circle is broken. Forgiveness is the way we mend the fracture.

Forgiveness means not merely forgiving the person who hurt us, but forgiving ourselves, forgiving God, forgiving even life itself with all its bizarre and often cruel twists and turns.

When you forgive, the circle is again complete and you find yourself encompassed by the wholeness of God’s creation of which you are an integral part. And then you can have the confidence that this Yom Kippur you will hear God saying to you: “I will forgive as you have asked.”
 
Ask yourself: Whom have you hurt? Who has hurt you?

Exercise for the day:
– Make a list of those whom you must forgive.
– Make a list of those whom you must ask for forgiveness.
– Begin.

 

 

Excerpt from 60 Days: A Spiritual Guide to the High Holidays, by Simon Jacobson.

Elul – Day 36

Posted by on Sep 24, 2020 in All Posts, Days of Awe, Elul | 0 comments

Elul – Day 36

APPROACHING THE SOURCE

We have now reached the midpoint of the Ten Days of Teshuvah. This is the period, say the sages of the Talmud, of which the Prophet Isaiah (55:6) speaks when he proclaims: “Seek G-d when He is to be found; call on Him when He is near.”

This might seem like an odd statement because we are taught that G-d is omnipresent at all times and all places in the world. How could we say that now He is closer to us?

But Isaiah is not speaking from G-d’s perspective but from the soul’s perspective. Chassidic teachings explain that this special time of the year is compared to the “source drawing near to the spark.” The “source” is G-d; the “spark” is each of our souls, which is called “the flame of G-d.”

All year round the “source” is spiritually “distant,” i.e. concealed, from the “spark.” In the early days of Av the “source” is at its “farthest” (most concealed) point; so far away that the spark can hardly sense its connection to the mother flame. In Elul—when Moses begins his final climb—the “source” begins to draw nearer, become more revealed. On each progressive day of Elul the “source” draws closer and closer to the “spark.” The closest point is on Yom Kippur, specifically during Neilah (“Locking of the Gates”), the final prayer at sundown.

Thus, the Ten Days of Teshuvah represent a type of “coming home” experience.

When the source gets closer to the spark, the spark begins to feel the warmth and it is drawn toward the larger, mother flame. It’s like when you put your hand closer to a flame, you start feeling the warmth.

This is the reason that in these Ten Days of Teshuvah there is more consciousness of G-d among Jews, even those that are not familiar with the meaning of the High Holidays.

Ask yourself:

Are you feeling the warmth of the mother flame—the warmth of G-d’as the time draws closer to Yom Kippur. If not, why not?

Exercise for the day:

– Meditate on the verse from the Proverbs (20:27): “The flame of G-d is the soul of the human being.”
– Identify some aspect(s) of your life that reflects the tug of your soul to its source.

Thoughts for the 10 Days of Awe

Posted by on Sep 24, 2020 in All Posts, All Things Biblical, Days of Awe | 0 comments

Thoughts for the 10 Days of Awe

לֹא תִשָּׂא אֶת־שֵֽׁם־יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ לַשָּׁוְא

You will not lift up or carry the Name of YHVH in an empty, disrespectful, dishonoring way

The Holy One has entrusted to us His Name. We are His Covenant people. Wherever we go, whatever we do, we are carrying His Name to the world. For better or worse, we are always engaged in this greatest of all enterprises.

The question is, do our lives, our attitudes, our facial expressions, our reactions, our conversations, our priorities, and our deeds bring honor to the Name of our Creator as we go through the world bearing that Name? Are we, through our joyful, positive lifestyles, broadcasting to the world the Goodness and Majesty and Wisdom and Power and Sheer Delightfulness of our King?

Or is the way we actually live our lives in real time an indictment against and an embarrassment to His Kingdom?

Taking‘ [the Hebrew verb is nasa] the Name of the Holy One in ‘vain‘ [the Hebrew word is shav] is, alas, so much more prevalent than just using some form or adaptation of His Beautiful Name in the midst of a rant of foul language.

  • Do we hate or harbor prejudice or ill-will toward any person or any ethnic group?
  • Do we judge and criticize others?
  • Do we arrogantly insist on getting our way or being thought ‘right’?
  • Do we take offense at what others say or do, or how they dress or behave or cope?
  • Are we easily upset/angered?
  • Do we gossip about others?
  • Is what other people think of us important to us?
  • Do we eat more than we need?
  • Do we buy things we do not need, just for pleasure?
  • Do we spend time and energy doing things that have no Kingdom purpose?
  • Are we passionate about worldly things?
  • Do we let our flesh appetites and urges control our behavior?
  • Are we dishonest in business dealings?
  • Do we do less than our best at work or school?
  • Are we fearful?
  • Are we self-righteous?
  • Do we insist on telling others our opinions – and expecting them to agree with us?
  • Are we controlling?
  • Do we manipulate others with flattery, guilt trips, and emotional outbursts?
  • Do we belittle our parents, or spouses, family members, or others in the community of faith?
  • Are we negative in attitude and speech?

If we do or are any of these things, we are not representing the Name of the Holy One, which we are called to bear, take up, and carry to the world as His Covenant People, as He has empowered and commissioned us to do.

Now is the time to get real about, and take seriously our responsibilities in relation to, taking up/carrying/bearing the Name of our King to the world.

It involves every area of life.

As a faithful, kind, patient, wise, and loving son or daughter brings honor to his father and mother, so are we to be faithful, kind, patient wise and loving in all things in order to bring honor [the opposite of shav] to the Name of our Beloved Father in Heaven.

Today is the day to reconnect with our greatest purpose on earth at such a time as this.

More on the 10 Days of Awe

Posted by on Sep 23, 2020 in All Posts, All Things Biblical | 0 comments

More on the 10 Days of Awe

The Days of Awe have reached their midpoint. There are only five of them left. Five evenings. Five mornings. Five days.

This sixth Day of Awe is dedicated to reconnecting the Awestruck Heart with the sixth Prophetic Empowerment of our Bridegroom King. This empowerment is usually translated from the Hebrew to English as ‘You will not kill’ or ‘You will not commit murder’.

But the prophetic empowerment was not given in English. It was given in Hebrew, and the Hebrew verb used by the Holy One is so much deeper than the English verbs ‘kill’ or ‘murder’ could ever express.

The actual words of empowerment used by the Creator of the Universe were:

לֹא תִּרְצָֽח’ You will not dash into pieces/break/shatter

We are empowered by the Creator’s Breath and Words to act on earth at all times as His agents, ambassadors, and carriers of His Kingdom. That means we are to walk in, carry, exude, and spread, LIFE, WHOLENESS, WELLNESS, and SHALOM.

What an awesome privilege. What an amazing calling. What a glorious mission. To break people or things into pieces – to wound, or fracture, or fragment them, or cause them to enter the realm of death or that which leads or pertains to it – whether with negative or judgmental attitudes, with cutting words of accusation, slander, or disapproval, or with physical aggression – is completely inconsistent with our calling and mission. By His ‘Lo Titzach’ Empowerment, we are provided with all we need to keep from doing such things.

There is, of course, another kingdom on earth. The agenda of that other kingdom is the mirror image of the Holy One’s agenda. While we are called, commissioned and empowered to walk in, carry, exude, and spread LIFE, WHOLENESS, WELLNESS, and SHALOM, those who surrender their thoughts, attitudes, speech, and actions to the agenda of the other kingdom walk in, carry, exude, and spread the opposite of such things – promoting DEATH instead of life, FRAGMENTATION instead of wholeness, DISEASE instead of wellness, and STRESS instead of shalom.

So, it is time to consider ourselves. Of which kingdom are we?

Do we focus our thoughts, emotions, speech, and conduct on the things that pertain to life, and wholeness [in ourselves and others], wellness [in ourselves and others] – or are we like bulls in a china shop, breaking things and wounding people everywhere we turn?

In the Sermon on the Mount Yeshua taught that lo titzach means much, much more than ‘do not commit murder’. Matthew 5:22. It had been so from the beginning; it will be until the end. Lo Tirtzach is a forever empowerment.

As Yeshua plainly taught, lo tirtzach means it is inconsistent with our redeemed identities and mission as His agents of LIFE, WHOLENESS, WELLNESS and SHALOM to break or wound or cause fragmentation or confusion in other people in any of three ways:

1. exhibiting angry attitudes toward them [Yeshua called it ‘being angry with your brother’, or
2. expressing negative opinions toward them or applying negative labels to them [example: saying to our brother ‘Raca’], or
3. making, believing, or repeating accusations or critical judgments toward them [example: saying ‘You Fool!’]

All the world gets this, it seems, except us. The world fully understands ‘looks that kill’, the ‘cutting tongue’, and ‘words that maim’. Until we take responsibility for our thoughts, our facial expressions and body language, our words, and our behavior toward others – surrendering all of them to the Holy One’s ‘lo tirtzcach’ empowerment and the Breath of Life, Wholeness, Wellness, and Shalom He placed in us – we will continue behaving like bulls in a china shop.

Our spouses will continue to be dashed into pieces by our negative attitudes, opinions, snide comments, opinions, accusations, and criticisms.

Our children will continue to be shattered internally by our anger, our disapproval, our harsh words, and our destructive labels.

Our interactions in the marketplace will continue to bear the stench of death and fragmentation.

Our homes will continue to be urban combat zones, where people get wounded and learn to wound others just to survive, instead of the oases of shalom they are supposed to be.

Beloved, these things ought not be so. We have been given the precious gifts of LIFE, WHOLENESS, WELLNESS, and SHALOM to pass on to others. Our attitudes, opinions, thoughts, nonverbal communications, words, and behaviors must not be allowed to spread death, woundedness, and toxicity. That is the work of the other kingdom – and there is more than enough of it in the world already.

Elul Day 35

Posted by on Sep 23, 2020 in All Posts, Days of Awe, Elul | 0 comments

Elul Day 35

THE PERSONAL HOLY OF HOLIES

Before the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem, the pinnacle of the Yom Kippur service was the moment when the High Priest (the Kohen Gadol) would enter the Holy of Holies.

This was the only time of the year that anyone could enter this holiest of inner sanctums and only the High Priest was permitted to do so and only for a short duration.

It was such an intense moment that if the High Priest was not completely pure—if he had committed even one transgression for which had had not previously atoned—he would die immediately.

This was because the Holy of Holies was a place so pure that even one blemish was intolerable. An eye cannot tolerate even one small eyelash, because it is so sensitive. And the Holy of Holies was the most sensitive, purest place in existence.

If he died, the other kohanim would have to pull his body out by a rope that had been previously attached to him. But if he succeeded in his mission to obtain G-d’s forgiveness for the Jewish people, he emerged radiating a special glow that is vividly described in Yom Kippur prayers.

Today we have no High Priest and no Temple. But the Holy of Holies still exists—in the depths of our own soul. On Yom Kippur we attempt to reach that purest part of our selves and to connect with G-d there.

We might not be able to stay in that pure place for a long time. It might only be a few minutes. But, as we know, the most special experiences last only a moment. We prepare for these most special times for hours, years, and even decades, and the effort of the preparation is well worth that split second they last.

Ask yourself: Have you prepared sufficiently for Yom Kippur to be able to make the most of the experience?

Exercise for the day:

Begin reviewing the Yom Kippur prayers in order to connect fully with the words when the time comes to enter your personal Holy of Holies.

 

 

 

Excerpt from 60 Days: A Spiritual Guide to the High Holidays, by Simon Jacobson.  Please consider puchasing the whole book ~ it is amazing!