Rising Sparks: Parsha Behar/Bechukotai Leviticus 25:1-27:34
"All of a sudden, at the end of the book of Leviticus, Chapter 25, begins by referring to Mount Sinai? Why bring up Mount Sinai all of a sudden? We can understand this verse perhaps by saying Moses is clarifying and expounding upon a law, which he received on Mount Sinai. But didn’t Moses receive the whole Torah on Mount Sinai? Why does this verse seemingly go out of its way to tell us something we already know?"
Shabbat: Practical Advice for Messianic Gentiles
A little Sabbath is better than no Sabbath at all. Jew and Gentile both need to set aside a holy day for rest and sanctification. We need a time to reconnect, both with our family and with God himself. Sabbath is the day we prepare for ahead of time, so all that we have left to do is to enjoy and delight in this precious gift. As the world becomes more and more hectic and our lives become more and more busy, the practice of Shabbat becomes more and more important.
When Suffering Is Worthwhile
"Some people imagine the Beatitudes to be the antithesis of Judaism’s harsh legalism. Those people must not have much real experience with Judaism, however. The teachings of Yeshua in the Beatitudes have numerous parallels in rabbinic literature. He was not contradicting Judaism; he was drawing attention to some of the most important Jewish ideas."
Guarding the Tongue
First Fruits of Zion teaches us about Lashon hara לָשׁוֹן הָרַע. "Controlling the tongue is one of the 613 traditional commandments of the Torah. The more conversation, the greater the chance that we will slip into gossip. Last month we discussed the sages’ advice, “a fence to wisdom is silence.” We can protect our wisdom, the Torah, when we remain silent. Sometimes it is better to be quiet than to get involved in potentially dangerous conversations."
Asarah B'Tevet: The Fast of the Tenth Month
The book of Zechariah mentions a fast that takes place in the tenth month. Traditionally this is seen as a commemoration of the destruction of Jerusalem, which began in the year 588 BCE: The word of the LORD came to me in the ninth year, in the tenth month, on the tenth of the month, saying, “Son of man, write the name of the day, this very day. The king of Babylon has laid siege to Jerusalem this very day.”
The Revelation: I Am Joseph
"Joseph’s revelation to his brothers foreshadows the messianic redemption to come. When the Egyptian ruler declared, “I am Joseph,” everything changed. The veil lifted from their eyes, and all the puzzle pieces fit together. Everything became clear as God’s master plan fell into place."
Joseph in Disguise
"Joseph’s brothers did not “recognize” him in that they did not treat him like a brother. He recognized his brothers in that he treated them with mercy when they fell into his power. Joseph did not return evil for evil. This alludes to the grace and mercy which our Master Yeshua makes available to the faithful of His people despite Israel’s continuing rejection of His name. Though the Jewish nation has not yet recognized Him as a brother and as the Messiah, He recognizes His brothers."
Do Christians NEED Israel?
"Over the last century, the land and people of Israel have experienced one of the most dramatic and miraculous resurgences ever seen in the history of the world. Many Christians are recognizing this obvious fulfillment of biblical prophecy and are filled with excitement to see God’s hand so clearly demonstrated. However, of the 2.5 billion Christians worldwide, only an estimated 20% are pro-Israel."
Noah, Noah, and Messiah
"Noah has a lot in common with the Messiah. The Torah's story of Noah and the flood illustrates the human condition, man’s sin, God's reaction, the horror of divine judgment, and the need for salvation. Noah was the savior of the world. In the days of Noah, the Almighty held a terrible, universal judgment over the world. The whole earth was corrupt, but Noah “was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with God” (Genesis 6:9)."