Posts tagged ‘Hebrew’

On Becoming Connected

My beloved and I get along most stupendously. I don’t say this lightly or in a ‘Evangelical Christian” way, to say something that ain’t so to make it so. We really do get along great. What’s our secret? We both bend, but we don’t break.

We have such different tastes in many, many areas. I love technology. She hates most of it. I couldn’t wait to get my first computer in 1990. She gets all glassy eyed over plants on sale at WallyWorld. I’m thinking of getting the latest and greatest from Apple. She has finally gotten the hang of texting and Pinterest and decided her next cell phone will be similar to a flip phone.

I love movies, T.V., drama, stories, suspense, action and plot. Not her. Just the facts please. She would rather listen to a good teacher about Torah than 100 offerings of the Netflix fare.

Don’t get me wrong. I love good Torah teaching, too. But my entertainment diet has to be watched carefully because the Yetser Hara (the Evil Inclination, a tool of Satan) knows my weakness and exploits it when he can.

And this brings me to the point of this treatise. Since we decided to leave the mainstream and convert to Judaism, we have to work to maintain balance in our lives. Because, if nothing else, Judaism is about balance.

Most of Christianity has this conversion thing so wrong. You don’t just walk down the aisle and ‘accept Jesus in your heart’ and you are ‘Saved’ and your ticket to Heaven is secure. In Judaism, you become righteous/generous and grow toward HaShem (the Creator of the Universe) and by the way, (spoiler alert) nobody goes to Heaven. You’re either going back to Gan Eden (the Garden of Eden) or being eliminated completely. That’s right, according to the Sages of Judaism, there is no ‘permanent’ Hell. Now there is Gehinnom, which is not to pleasant, but it is for tikkun (correction) and never lasts more than a year.

I think now would be a good time to interject my personal belief on the afterlife. Any time someone tells you what is going to happen after you check out of this incarnation, take it with a grain (grain? how about a spoonful) of salt. The obvious reason is because the stairway to Heaven is a one way ride. Now I know that there are people that have had NDE’s (Near Death Experiences) and I don’t discount their encounters. But that’s the key, it was THEIR experience, not yours. HaShem, most blessed be He, may have something entirely different in store for you.

So, do NOT, base your actions because someone said they’ve been there and this is the way it is. Base your actions on what the Holy One tells you. Just make sure you know it’s the Holy One, the Ancient of Days.

How do you know it is G-d directing you down a certain path? This is the reason my beloved and I get along so well. We have a relationship. We talk to each other. We know each other.

This is what you must have with the Creator, blessed be He. Read His Word, pray to Him and follow His directions. Now, you don’t have to be Jewish and have a Siddur (Jewish prayer book) to pray to G-d. He created YOU! He loves YOU! He wants to hear from YOU! My advice on reading His Word is that you learn Hebrew if you want to get the correct translation. I know, I know, learning a language is very difficult and Hebrew is really difficult. So if you’re going to continue to read the Bible in your native tongue, here is a rule I have found helpful. If you read something that contradicts or nullifies the Torah (Genesis through Deuteronomy) it is most probably mis -translated and needs further research to see what went wrong.

Becoming a Jew for me is a process. I’m still walking it out. I’m definitely a work in progress. But guess what, we all are. The thing is at the end of the day, you need to be able to say … I think I’m a little bit closer to you HaShem, Todah Raba (thank you very very much), because we never are stagnant, we either grow to Him or away from Him.

December 30, 2019 at 12:40 pm 1 comment

To Be A Nazarean Jew

What Shall We Do?

What Does It Mean To Be A Nazarean Jew?

By Hakham Dr. Yosef ben Haggai

 

One of the unknown correlations between the festival of Shavuot and the events that transpired in 2 Luqas (Acts) Chapter 2, is an obscure but pivotal bridge Torah passage which many seem to miss or even discount. However, in this Shiur, I shall point to the tremendous underpinnings that 2 Luqas Chapter has upon this particular Torah text, as well as being one of the main themes projected through page after page in the Nazarean Codicil. Let us for a moment systematically describe the events that lead to the account of 2 Luqas Chapter 2, the events that took place, and the outcomes of that event. In doing so, I remind all to understand that this approach is of a necessity a Judaic one, and viewed from an entirely Hebraic rabbinical perspective.

 

The reason for the event: Just before the ascension of His Majesty King Yeshua Ha-Mashiach to the Heavens (2 Luqas 1:9-11), His Majesty the Master Hakham commands his Talmidim Hakham (Rabbinical Students) to:

 

2 Luqas (Acts) 1:4-5 And being synagogued with him, he commanded them from Yerushalayim not to depart, but to await the promise of the Father, which you heard of me. For Yochanan indeed immersed you with water, but you will be immersed with the spirit of Holiness not after many days.

 

Now, if I have trained diligently and thoroughly a group of Talmidim Hakham (Rabbinical Students) and I am about to depart for a long, long time, what would be expected of me? Of course, Smikha (Rabbinical Ordination)! So from a strictly logical perspective we would expect that this immersion in the spirit of Holiness would be equivalent to a Rabbinical Ordination.

 

Now, if my calculations do not fail this was said on or very close to Lag B’Omer which we celebrated not many days ago. Thus the expression “not after many days” (2 Luqas 1:5) indeed would have been understood clearly as a Gemara hint pointing to the coming festival of Shavuot. Therefore, a connection is established between Smikha (Rabbinical Ordination) and the festival of Shavuot.

 

Now the Talmidim (Rabbinical students) interject, Master, we have been your faithful Rabbinical students but please tells us before you leave “will you as Mashiach restore again self-rule to Bne Israel?” (2 Luqas 1:6) The question hints also at “What will be our place as Hakhamim in the Messianic Kingdom that you are about to establish now?”

 

The answer from the Master Hakham is swift to his Talmidim Hakham –

 

2 Luqas (Acts) 1:7 And he said to them, not yours it is to know the duration of time or ages which the father placed in his own authority.

 

This reminds us of the Torah text “The secret things belong HaShem, our G-d” (Devarim 29:28). In other words the kingdom certainly will be restored to Israel. When? That is none of your business. As Hakhamim you will bring this process about by teaching Torah (Matityahu 28:19-20) and by establishing reputable courts of Torah justice, Batei Din (Matityahu 6:33) throughout all the world. This is important since from these two passages we understand what the office of a Rabbi (Hakham) is, not a Pastor, not a Priest, but a Torah Scholar and a Judge.

 

After this brief interruption of what the Master Hakham was saying. The Master Hakham continues explaining:

 

2 Luqas (Acts) 1:8 but you will receive power, having come the spirit of Holiness upon you, and you will be to me witnesses both in Yerushalayim and in all Judaea and Samaria and to uttermost part of the earth.

 

Now instead of your ruling the world as the Gentiles do by the power of the gun, or by political power, you will rule the earth through both a didactic and judiciary program starting in Yerushalayim. But first you will need to receive power from the spirit of Holiness. Now, question: Do we have a precedent in the Tanach where a Prophet shares of the spirit by which he was anointed as a confirmation of Smikha (Rabbinical ordination)?

 

The Pivotal Torah Passage

 

I propose that undergirding this brief introduction in 2 Luqas Chapter 1 and the whole of Chapter 2, is none other than Bamidbar 11:24-30. In this portion we read about the Smikha (ordination) of the seventy Elders (the Hebrew word Elder always denote the modern term Hakham) and how the spirit that had been imparted on Moshe Rabbeinu was caused to emanate from him and be bestowed upon the Seventy Hakhamim (a whole Sanhedrin).

 

Let us look and compare some of the phrases used in this passage and those used in 2 Luqas, Chapter 2.

 

  1. a) The miracle of HaShem‘s presence.

 

Bamidbar 11:25 – HaShem descends in the cloud and it envelops Moshe Rabbeinu and the seventy Elders.

 

2 Acts 2:2 – a sound from heaven like as a rushing mighty wind envelops the Temple.

 

On this pasuk (verse) from the Torah Hakham Samson Raphael Hirsch comments: “and HaShem descended … and spoke with him” The text does not tell us the words that HaShem uttered to Moshe on this occasion. Was this omission, perhaps intended to make clear to all further Sanhedrins that not everything that HaShem said to Moshe is recorded in Scripture? Was this meant to remind them that the field of competence for which they had been appointed at that moment was the Oral Law, that Word of HaShem which was to remain unwritten, handed down only by word of mouth?

 

  1. b) The Emanation of the spirit from one Hakham to many.

 

Bamidbar (Numbers) 11:25 He caused the spirit that had been imparted on Moshe to emanate, and He (HaShem) bestowed it upon the seventy Elders.

 

2 Luqas (Acts) 2:3 And appeared to them divided tongues of as fire, and sat upon each one of them

 

Now there may well be a connection here with the beginning of Parasha Beha’alotekha concerning the lighting of the Menorah and the tongue of fire coming out of each candlestick. But also the connection here of the spirit emanating from Moshe towards the seventy elders, contrasted with the spirit that was in Mashiach emanating from the heavens, now towards his Talmidim Hakham.

 

  1. c) The Result

 

Bamidbar 11:25 – When the spirit rested on them (the 70 Elders) they began (Hebrew: YITNABEU – “were made” or “were impelled”) to prophesy without ceasing.

 

2 Luqas (Acts) 2:4 And they were all filled with the spirit of Holiness and began to speak with other languages as the as the spirit gave them to utter forth.

 

Now it is important to note that one of the requirements according to Chazal, our Sages, of members of the Sanhedrin was the ability to speak not only in Ivrit, but also in several other languages of the seventy Gentile Nations. This point again reconfirms that the major theme of this event at the Beit HaMikdash (the Temple) was a Smikha, and with this Mashiach indicating to the people of Israel that the legal authority amongst the Jewish people was to be transferred from the Kohanim (Priests) to the Rabbinate until his return.

 

What other important theme also undergirds this event at the Temple? The clue to this most important question is given to us in Bamidbar (Numbers) 11:29:

 

“I only wish that all of HaShem‘s people would have the gift of prophecy! Let HaShem grant His spirit to them all!”

 

In other words, that the pedagogic objective of the miracle at the Temple, by which the Talmidim of His Majesty King Yeshua HaMashiach received Smikha indicated that the goal of every Nazarean should be to be indentured under a Hakham, become a Talmid Hakham and at some point become Hakhamim themselves. Look at this statement of Hakham Shaul:

 

“Faithful is the Torah, if any stretches forward (makes sacrifice and studies) to attain overseership (the Rabbinate) a good work he is desirous.”

 

Now, this is evidence enough that what Hakham Shaul is alluding with the phrase “if any stretches forward” is an echo of Moshe’s words “would G-d that all of HaShem‘s people were prophets.” That is, the intention here is that every man ought to keep stretching forward towards the goal of receiving Smikha.

 

A further piece of evidence leading to this conclusion are the words of Hakham Yochanan as recorded in:

 

1 Yochanan (John) 3:1 “See what Ahavah (steadfast love) has given to us the Father that Bne Elohim we should be called.”

 

Now, again the phrase “Bne Elohim” has been literally translated as “Children of G-d,” but the title of a Hakham is also “Ben Elohim” (son of G-d to indicate his role as a Judge), a title which is also given by G-d to Melech David and to His Majesty King Yeshua HaMashiach as Chief of all Hakhamim. Thus the above pasuk states that Ha-Shem, Most blessed be He, has given to us so much Ahavah that he calls and expects every Nazarean Jew to become a Hakham a genuine Ben Elohim.

 

And after this Event They Started a Church, Nu?

 

Good question, Christians teach so, but we know that the church started at Sinai (Acts 7:38). So did the Nazareans start, a new religion, a new denomination, or what? In 2 Luqas 3:41 we read that by the end of Shavuot that year at the Temple 3,000 male Jews and Converts were added. But the question still remains added to what?

 

Again we have many hints in 1 Luqas 2:42, which when carefully read, more aptly describes a Yeshiva to train future Hakhamim than it does a Church, a new religion, or a new Jewish denomination. Yes 3,000 Jews that day decided to drastically turn their lives around and matriculate in that Great Nazarean Yeshiva using as their classrooms the various courts within the Temple grounds.

 

Conclusion
In summary, Shavuot is not only a festival by which we receive the Torah afresh from HaShem, Most Blessed be He, but also a festival that reminds us year by year what should be our goal in life, to sit at the feet a genuine Jewish Rabbi (Hakham) a Torah Scholar like Gamaliel, and work hard, stretching ourselves towards receiving Smikha and becoming Hakhamim. Truly then we shall gradually see the fulfillment of the words of the prophet Yirmeyahu (Jeremiah), “They will no longer teach each man his fellow, each man his brother saying, ‘Know HaShem!’ For all of them will know Me, from their smallest to their greatest, the Word of HaShem, when I will forgive their lawlessness and will no longer recall their sin”.

January 31, 2016 at 1:06 pm Leave a comment

Hardened or Strengthened?

Chazak That’s what Adonai did to Pharaoh’s heart when the Hebrews wanted to leave. Most translations called this word in English “hardened”. Which connotes that God made up the Pharaoh’s mind for him.

Nope.

H2388
חזק
châzaq
khaw-zak’
A primitive root; to fasten upon; hence to seize, be strong (figuratively courageous, causatively strengthen, cure, help, repair, fortify), obstinate; to bind, restrain, conquer: – aid, amend, X calker, catch, cleave, confirm, be constant, constrain, continue, be of good (take) courage (-ous, -ly), encourage (self), be established, fasten, force, fortify, make hard, harden, help, (lay) hold (fast), lean, maintain, play the man, mend, become (wax) mighty, prevail, be recovered, repair, retain, seize, be (wax) sore, strengthen (self), be stout, be (make, shew, wax) strong (-er), be sure, take (hold), be urgent, behave self valiantly, withstand.

Is what the Strong’s dictionary says it means.
So the Lord gave the Pharaoh courage. This makes a whole lot more sense. I just couldn’t understand How God was making the Pharaoh change his mind like some kind of puppet.

He didn’t.

He gave the Pharaoh courage to fight again. and again. and again.

Appears to me this Pharaoh wasn’t too bright.  Nor were the Egyptians. The Israelis didn’t win any prizes either. At least the mixed multitude that kept wanting to go back didn’t.

Exo 16:3  and the children of Israel said unto them, Would that we had died by the hand of Jehovah in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh-pots, when we did eat bread to the full; for ye have brought us forth into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger.

I love this story. Gives me hope. Even when men see the power of God they can fall.

But the Power of  Elohim can deliver us from failure.

(Exo 15:13 ASV)  Thou in thy lovingkindness hast led the people that thou hast redeemed: Thou hast guided them in thy strength to thy holy habitation.

January 31, 2012 at 5:16 pm Leave a comment

Why Learn Hebrew?

When you go to a foreign land and learn the language, it is a high complement to the natives. We have been to Germany several times and tried to learn Deutsch (German), we knew the attitude of the natives did a 180 when we even attempted to speak the native tongue. When a foreigner comes here and learns English, I have more respect for his words.

The Father’s native tongue is Hebrew. When we learn Hebrew and speak it back to Him, we are giving Him reason to listen to our prayers with more respect. James 5:16 Confess therefore your sins one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The supplication of a righteous man availeth much in its working. (ASV)

I like this translation too

James 5:16 So admit your sins to each other, and pray for each other so that you will be healed. Prayers offered by those who have God’s approval are effective. (GW)

Being righteous means you have G-d’s approval. It is Greek Word: δίκαιος
Strong’s Talking Greek & Hebrew Dictionary. from (dike); equitable (in character or act); by implication innocent, holy (absolute or relative) :- just, meet, right (-eous).
Strong’s Talking Greek & Hebrew Dictionary.

James 5:16 (KJV)
16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

Could it be that obtaining God’s approval includes learning Hebrew. I am not suggesting that it is mandatory. But like they say “…it couldn’t hurt.” (grin).

learn the Aleph Bet … then the vowels … and check out this book http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=chozesblog-20&o=1&p=8&l=as1&asins=0939144328&ref=qf_sp_asin_til&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr

October 26, 2011 at 9:01 am 1 comment


Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 94 other followers

Calendar of Posts

July 2020
M T W T F S S
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031