One Day. One G-d. One Venture.

VAYESHEV – Video Commentary On This Shabbat

Genesis 37:1 – 40:23 || Amos 2:6 – 3:8

Commentary by Rabbi Chaim Richman for The Temple Institute, Jerusalem, Israel:
«Parashat Vayeshev begins the painful story of brothers whose enmity toward their precocious younger brother Yosef and the preferential treatment he receives from their father is so great that it tears the family apart and sets the groundwork for centuries of bondage in Egypt. But it also chronicles the origins of the two messianic figures who will play a role in Israel’s future redemption: Messiah son of Yosef and Messiah son of David»…more:

Shabbat Shalom

Comments are off for this post

From Jerusalem to Jerusalem 4 – If I forget you O Jerusalem

by Israel Yaoz
« From Jerusalem to Jerusalem 3 – including Passover Prayer PESACH SERMON

That was the First WW. Still “enjoyable”…”
This kind of deliberations were going on for centuries, around many tables, in many parts of the globe; I myself in my younger years have heard such discussions; in the Hebrew prayer book, about a third of all supplications and prayers center around the hope of redemption: “…pl. Lord, return soon and in our days to Jerusalem, your chosen city, and rebuild her and dwell in her, as you have spoken, and restore the throne of David forever…”
“Bring back our judges as in the past, and our counselors like in former days, take from us pain and lamentation, and rule over us, soon, you the Lord alone, in grace, in righteousness, in judgment and compassion… “
These prayers three times a day, prayed by Jews all over the world, 365 days a year, for more than 2000 Years, expresses the unflinching hope of Israel, and our longing for Zion and Jerusalem.

    I recently joint a wedding in Jerusalem where the forehead of the groom was covered with ashes; after the wedding-ceremony the first deed the groom performs: breaking a valuable glass while quoting the words of Psalm 137:5-6:
    “If I forget you, O Jerusalem, may my right hand forget its skill, may my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth, if I don’t remember you, if I do not consider Jerusalem my highest joy.”
    Pronouncing this on the hour of his highest joy!! His wedding!

A Chassidic Story: A rabbi had invited the members of his community to the wedding of his daughter; in his invitation he wrote: My daughter, Lea, shall marry with her betrothed, Jacob, on the next Tuesday-afternoon, at 4 o`clock on the temple-mount in redeemed Jerusalem; should however the Messiah not have come by then, the same wedding shall take place at the same hour, in our village, in our synagogue.

A Jew building a house will leave as a symbol one square meter of a room without stucco, ….as long as Jerusalem is not restored in its former glory.
The story of the Jews as a people is like walking through a dark tunnel, but on the end of the tunnel is a light twinkling, a light of hope, of faith and promise.

The greatest of jewish philosophers, RaMBaM, who lived about 1200, formulated 13 avowals of the Jewish faith; no. 12 says: “I believe with perfect faith in the coming of the Messiah; and though he tarry, I will wait daily for his coming.” This also is included in the daily prayers.
Once the Jews from Yemen, wrote him a letter, asking him how one could know, whether a person claiming to be the redeemer, is the real Messiah; he answered: “we cannot know, until he accomplishes what the prophets of the Bible have prophesied about him.”

In 1897 Theodor Herzl started to promote the idea of returning to the Land of our forefathers; not waiting endlessly, not dreaming, not discussing, but to take our fate in our hands: Now, and by ourselves!“ Today in Basel I have founded the Jewish state”, he wrote in 1897 in his diary, “ if I would say it loud, everybody would laugh at me, but in five years, but latest in 50 years it will be a fact.”! And indeed 50 years later, in 1947 the United Nations Assembly voted in favor of establishing a Jewish homeland.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Insert of the GSI editorial . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Rereading of Herzl’s Old-New Land in → Jewish Review of Books

The first Zionist congress should have convened in Munich, Germany; but the Rabbis of Germany opposed it; “we have to wait until the time of God has arrived, we are not allowed to intervene”, was their argument. Although the Zionist Movement is a secular movement, it would not have accomplished its aim, if in the heart of the Jewish people would not have burnt this intense longing for Zion and Jerusalem.

Indeed most of the first voortrekkers, pioneers were no-believing Jews, among them even atheists, who came drying the marshes, making the desert bloom. The most revered Head-Rabbi of Palestine, Rabbi Cook, (1935) once was asked, how as Rabbi and devout Jew he could cope with this paradoxical situation; he answered; “When King Salomon built the first Temple, it were simple woodcutters and masons who built this sanctuary; probably they were not even aware that they helped to construct the Holy-of- Holiest , but they were instrumental in building it; so I see the present pioneers as builders of our Land; may be they are not aware of it, but they are instruments of the divine plan”.

As a result of the Shoa and later, as a result of the establishment of the State of Israel, most religious Jews became adhering the Zionist Movement, and actually today, are its most fervent supporters. They would not claim that present-day Israel is the long anticipated messianic promised Land; they would rather use the Talmudic term of “Atchalah De`geulatah”, a first “advance” towards a state of messianic perfection; now we all know that present-day Israel is far from perfection; on the contrary, with all the political intrigues and financial scandals – you better don’t read the local newspapers – it is far from perfect!!!

If you are married, and wait a baby, you have hopes; and if a baby is born finally after 12 years of longing, you are sure that this child will be the nicest person in the world, the most clever, the most beautiful … and then it grows up and is not so nice, not so clever, not so beautiful… but still as parents you will support him and stand behind him; it remains your baby. We Jews, having been waiting for 2000 years for this baby which is called Israel, will stand behind it for the better and the worse , and hoping for a happier future, which is compressed in the one word: Shalom.

Comments are off for this post

From Jerusalem to Jerusalem 3 – including Passover Prayer PESACH SERMON

by Israel Yaoz
« From Jerusalem to Jerusalem Part 2 – Glueckel von Hameln

. . . for Pesach / Passover picture postcards / greeting cards pls klick » here

Another quotation I wish to bring is from a book widely read some 40 years ago: “The last of the Just”, Andre Schwarz-Bart; written in French, living in Strasburg after WW-2.
The writer cites an old Jewish tradition, which claims that there are 36 hidden Zadikim, 36 Just in our world; hidden, no-body knows them, neither themselves are aware of their high mission – it could be you, or Me, or he – but if only one of them was missing, the whole world would crash like a card-house. The writer depicts it, as if it are dynasties – their genes being inherited from father to son – and lets the story start somewhere in the year 1200 in York, England, and it ends – like this Roman is called – with the Last of the Just, who suffocated in the gas-chambers of Ausschwitz.

(cf. Pesach Prayer/Passover Sermon)

In the year of the Lord 1185, March eleventh, the bishop William of Nordhouse held a sermon, and with his cry “it is the wish of God” the exited mob poured into the court in front of the church; a few minutes later confessed the Jewish souls all their sins, to their God, which had summoned them through the mouth of the bishop.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Insert of the GSI editorial . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Pope Urban II at Clermont:
Preaching the First Crusade !

(video about a predecessor in office of Easter-Pope Francis, Jorge Mario Bergoglio – duration 7:20 min.)

Some inhabitants, using the turmoil, found refuge in an old uninhabited tower … while their homes were plundered.
On the morning of the seventh day, Rabbi Yom Tov Levy gathered all the besieged unto the upper platform of the tower. “Brethren”, he said to them, “ God gave us life, let us give it back to him with our own hands, like our brethren in Germany have done ”.
Men, women, children and elderly people, all held their forehead for the blessings of his left hand and than their chest for the dagger-stab of his right hand.
The old Rabbi remained alone before his own death. “There were counted on the platform 26 Jews, without taking into account the women and the little brood.”
The Rabbi still held the dagger in his hand, which had pierced his throat. This dagger was the only weapon found on the tower.
The truth is that knowing the history of my people reasonably well, I had never heard before about this event; I presumed it to be a poetic licence, allowed to any writer of novels.

    By chance it happened that in 1982 I visited York with my youngest son, then 12 years old; we were standing in front of its marvelous Cathedral, world famous for its harmonic perfection; I was enchanted by its beauty – my eyes on the building; suddenly my little son interrupted me, pointing to the bottom in front of us: “ Look Daddy, Hebrew letters.” I did not believe my eyes, but on the soil like a kind of memorial, was engraved in golden letters that tragedy!

But not about this event, neither the events during Holcaust, I am going to cite:
We are in the year 1917, in Southern Poland, Mordechai, the Lamed Vav of his generation, a young man, in his typical jewish dress, with side-locks, moving from one community to an-other – sometimes doing a job, sometimes following lessons in the Jeshive, …and of course on Friday afternoon, seeking the synagogue of the nearby village, before the beginning of the holy Sabbath. As usual, the devout are fighting for the honor of taking such a lonely wanderer to their home, in order to give him shelter over the weekend; in our case the honor was given to the Rabbi, and after service they assembled at the Friday-night meal, the Rabbi and his wife, some guests and Mordechai; I cite:

    The meal was exquisite, Mordechai could not have dreamed of something more delicious; Gefilte fish, meat, and a tasty desert of sweet carrots. Mordechai marveled about the warm hospitality. However when the hostess offered a plate with carobs, he could not overcome a surge of longing, and while rubbing his stomach, he exclaimed:
    No really, brothers, brothers, a piece of carob, like a fruit from the Garden of Eden, that conjures the Land of Israel….Eating it, your gaze becomes blurred, and one sighs:
    Lead us back, to our land, Oh Lord, to that region where goats are feeding on carobs in abundance.
    These words aroused something in the mood of the dinner partners, and started off the eternal questions: When will the Messiah arrive? Will he appear on a cloud? Will the dead join the return to our Land? And what shall be the kind of nourishment, as is written: It shall be in those days that I shall make for you a covenant with the animals of the field? “And how can we speed up his Coming?” asked the Rabbi finally, while stretching out drearily both his arms.
    Now, all the guests knew, the two thousand year old discussion reached its peak; the terrifying height, from where one overlooks the whole Creation. We have to suffer, mentioned a venerable old man, sitting next to the Rabbi, to suffer, and again to suffer, time and again, because it is written: We shall bear the sufferings of the world, we shall take its pains upon us, and be looked upon as a punished people, beaten and humiliated … Only then, when Israel shall be suffering, from its head to its feet, while aching on all its bones, all its tissues, when it will be flung down on all the crossroads, only then shall God send the Messiah, …unfortunately, closed Mr. Gruenspan the discussion, and his eyes protruded, as if having a vision of those terrible, future happenings, only then, not earlier. Mr. Gruenspan, let us talk about something more enjoyable, what news is there about the ongoing war?

Pesach Sameach

    » From Jerusalem to Jerusalem Part 4 (soon)
2 comments

From Jerusalem to Jerusalem 1

by Israel Yaoz

A well-known Hebrew writer, described in his story the eternal wandering Jew; wandering with his rod, bent under a heavy bag on his shoulders, a long beard, tired, stepping through the endless steppe of Siberia. He encountered Ivan, and Ivan asked him: “where are you coming from”? “I come from Jerusalem”; “ and where are you heading for”? “I am on my way to Jerusalem”! That’s the story I am going to tell you.
When we start with the first Israelite, Abraham, we find: Abraham was the father of the Jewish people; Abraham was the father of the Jewish faith; after all, God had made a covenant with Abraham, including all his descendants. Abraham was also the father of the Promised Land; being a nomad, on command of the Lord, he left his country in order to go and settle in the Land of Canaan.

We realize that these three components already are interwoven in the figure of Abraham: the People, the Jewish faith and the Promised Land; indeed, if one of those components is missing, the world is not perfect in the mind of a devout Jew. The People, the Faith, the Land!
Many centuries after Abraham, the tribes of Israel crossed the Jordan river and settled in the Promised Land; not given to them; not handed over; just granted to them – the Land belongs to Him – granted under certain conditions: that you remain faithful to Me, that you don’t idolize other so-called gods, that you follow my commands and be obedient to me. If not, you shall be punished, destroyed and chased out of the country. And indeed, the tribes of Israel turned out to be adulterous, and punishment had to be expected. All the prophets of the so-called Old Testament keep warning again and again; Hosea, Joel, Amos, Jeremiah all keep warning and threatening.

By the way: in January of this year, archeologists discovered remnants of an Israelite Temple, dating abt. 1000 B.C. – a few miles west of Jerusalem – a structure where the God of Israel was worshipped; many artifacts found there, were ritual objects, which would be considered idolation in the eyes of the prophets. Indeed divine punishment was unavoidable…

The first deportations were in the days of Saragon, king of Assyria – the most cruel people of antiquity – 722 B.C., when the ten northern tribes were forcibly transferred to far away countries, and until our days no-one knows their fate; now-a-days, probably descendants of the tribe of Menasse are repatriated from India to Israel; may be Ethiopian Jews who were repatriated a few decades ago, are part of the lost Tribes, of which the prophets foretold, that at the end of the days they shall all return, by the grace of the living God.

A second wave of deportations occurred in the days of the prophet Jeremia, (587 B.C.) when thousands of Judeans were brought as slaves to Babylon; however 50 years later, the Persian Empire subdued the Babylonians; King Cyrus showed himself lenient to the Jews, and he even permitted Judeans to return to their homeland and rebuild their temple in Jerusalem. However, a minor part of the people returned under Ezra and Nehemiah, whereas others stayed in Exile; the political and economic conditions proved to be better than in Israel, where wars and revolts impoverished the local population, and arbitrary behavior of foreign rulers brought misery and destruction to them.

Also in matters of science, education and religion the Jews of Babylon developed significant; they were more or less autonomous, and were represented to the local authorities by a so-called Exilarch; we know that until the ninth century these Exilarchs were descendants of the Davidic dynasty.

The final return to their homeland happened in 1961, when abt. 150,000 Jews came almost overnight from Iraq, after an exile of 2500 years. Many with names like Ezekiel … a real miracle!!!

The next deportations started in 70 A.D. when tens of thousands of Jews were sold as slaves in the roman empire; this was a result of the great revolt against the Romans, and the subsequent destruction of Israel, Jerusalem and the holy second temple.

Watch film/video documentation
History of the Roman Colosseum (duration min. 9:45):
… “it was financed by the sale of precious relics taken from the Jewish Temple during the savage sacking of s Jerusalem. 12,000 Jewish captives were brought back from that campaign to build the amphitheatre”…

Jews dispersed all over the Roman empire, around the area of the Mediterranean, than moving to western Europe; in the middle ages moving to the east of Europe, and in the last few centuries spreading all over the world.

But through all these centuries, the people of Israel did not forget their homeland; usually, when people are forced into exile, they long for returning home; but for the Jews their country had a additional dimension: it was the Promised Land, it had a religious dimension! One of the three above mentioned components of their identity was missing: the Promised Land … their world was imperfect.

So Jews were throughout the ages trying to return, but reality did not permit a return of masses, not in the time of the Romans, not in the byzantine period, not in the time of the Mamelukes, neither under the Muslim and Ottoman rule, even not while the British were ruling the country; eventually Jews postponed their return home to messianic times – you know that for the Jewish people the redeemer did not come yet – but when the Messiah would come, he would bring peace and happiness to all nations, no diseases, no occupations … and for the Jewish people on top of all the final return to the Promised land.

Especially, in times of persecutions, the level of expectations of redemption flared up, being understood as birth pangs of the messianic time; remember when Jesus on the Mt. of Olives was asked by his disciples, when all he foretold shall become true (Matth. 24). He portrays a time of affliction, of war, of hunger and earthquakes, before the final days. Thus with the rising hope of redemption, the waves of expectations rose, and born by those waves, appeared men, who were claiming to be the Redeemer. They themselves or their followers.

Especially in times of distress, there appeared abt. a dozen of so-called false redeemers; failed, because they had not brought the hoped-for redemption. I want to mention a few names: David Re`ubeni, Shlomo Molcho, Asher Lemlein, in Yemen, in Kurdistan, and even about 250 years ago Jakob Frank, in the Ukraine … all of them brought only disappointment, and no salvation.

I want to underline that none of those men were ever scolded or abused by the people of Israel, neither flogged, killed or crucified; only lamented, deplored for not having brought this final redemption; in this respect I believe that the crucifixion of Jesus must have had other causes, may-be a clique of politicians or High-priests, acting in order to appease their roman rulers , to prevent worse things to happen… ”better that one man dies, than the whole people…”!

The most famous of those failed Messiasses was Shabbatai Zwi, born in Smyrna, Turkey, who lived in Saloniki, and later in Gaza: the rumor about his appearance anno 1666 spread like wildfire throughout the Jewish world of those days, and exhilaration rose to unprecedented heights ; I lived in Amsterdam, and I know that a delegation of the Jewish community went every morning to the harbor, to see, whether the Messiah had arrived, in order to take them to the Promised Land. Some otherwise sober businessmen with worldwide connections sold their properties, in order to prepare their return. I want to cite from a diary of Glueckel von Hameln, a Jewess, living in those days in Northern Germany. She was married very young, but her husband died early, and in distress, she started to write a diary during 30 years, a diary which miraculous survived centuries, and was published in our days; later she married again, bore 8 children and rebuilt the business of her first husband out of the mess he had left.

Kleef on the present dutch border….prince Mauritz….who had an estate there, personally was clinging to “the most beautiful and attractive boy of 5 years, letting not loose…

    » From Jerusalem to Jerusalem Part 2: Glueckel von Hameln (soon)
1 comment

Shabbat VaYeshev Readings and Commentary

Genesis 37:1 – 40:23; Amos 2:6 – 3:8

Abstract of the Commentary byMichael Schneider, Jerusalem:
In our Torah portion, ‘Va‘Yeshev,’ last year, we discussed Joseph as a prototype of the Messiah. We saw the parallels between Messiah Ben-Joseph and the Joseph’s life. Through Joseph’s brother’s rejection, he was sent to Egypt where he attained status of being second to Pharaoh and regarded as a deity. The Egyptians also used the concept of the trinity with three Pharaoh’s. He became a stranger to his brothers because he was now ‘Egyptian’ and they could not recognize him.

    Hanukkah Sameach

David, like Joseph has a similar story. Both were shepherds and despised by their brothers. Samuel anointed David as king at 17, but it wasn’t until age 30 when he reigned over Israel. Joseph’s life in Egypt began at 17, but he didn’t sit ‘at the right hand’ of Pharaoh until 30. Both, Joseph and David, were sons from another mother, which Jewish scholars claim was the reason for David’s ‘red’ look and why “Israel (Jacob) loved Joseph more than any of his other sons…”

Chapter 38 interrupts with a different story: the deceitful affair between Judah and Tamar, his daughter-in-law. Judah, in the chapter before intervenes and saves his brother’s life (37:26-27). One interpretation says it’s the reason his descendants are of the royal line in the kingdom of Israel. Judah (where the word ‘Jew – yehudi’ comes from) desired for his sons to produce offspring so they could continue his forefather’s blessing.

When Judah’s oldest son, Er, passed away, his wife Tamar was given to Onan. “Lie with your brother’s wife and fulfill your duty to her as a brother-in-law to produce offspring for your brother” (38:8). But, after Onan died, Judah told Tamar to go back to her father’s home until the third son Shela grew up.

Many years passed and the agreement was forgotten. But, when Tamar saw her father-in-law she sought revenge. She took off her widow’s clothes (38:14), which were a sign she was waiting for Judah to fulfill his promise, and covered her face so he couldn’t recognize her. Once protected from evil she was now covered with the mask of sin and deceit. Out of rage and revenge she dressed like a prostitute and Judah fell into ‘her snare’ (Proverbs 7).

Once her sin was made known, Judah confessed, “She is right, I am to blame.” Tamar went on to give birth to – again – twins, Peretz and Zerach (38:25 – 26). Again, the younger (Peretz) struggled to be born first, like with Esau and Jacob.

Another similarity we find is that Tamar shows Judah his three belongings: his ring, cord and staff. She says, “Recognize please…” (Hebrew haker-na; 38:25), which reminds us of the same words used in the chapter before as Judah himself deceived his father with Joseph’s coat and said: “Recognize please…” (37:32). What Judah did to his father through deceit Tamar did to him.

We can ask ourselves why the LORD allowed the marriage to be ‘legitimate’ even though it was incest and allow the heirs to be a part of the Messianic line of David? God allowed it to happen! Tamar even became one of the four ‘non-Jewish’ mothers along with Rahab, Ruth and Bathsheba.

Hag Hanukkah Sameach (HanukkahErev Hanukkah is 2011, December 20)

Comments are off for this post

Shabbat HaGADOL Shabbat Achrei Mot Readings and Commentary

Leviticus 16:1 – 18,30; Malachi 3:4-24

Abstract of the Commentary
by Michael Schneider, israel today, Jerusalem:

The Shabbat before Passover is called „The Great Shabbat“ because we end our Torah Portion with Malachi 4:5, which says, „See, I will send you the prophet Elijah before that great (gadol) and dreadful (nora) day of the LORD comes.“

In this passage, which is the last prophecy in the Bible, we are shown a glimpse of the greater Passover redemption – expectation of the Messiah.

The messenger (forerunner) to the Messiah was Elijah. As a
symbol of this prophecy, we pour an additional cup of wine during our
Passover Seder (on the 18th April eve).

The prophet Malachi, whose name means angel or messenger, prophesy’s of Israel’s final redemption at the end of time. During the end of days the cycle of God’s salvation plan for Israel draws to a close. It began with Israel’s exodus from Egypt and ends with Israel recognizing her Messiah in the final redemption.

The Jewish sages said just like the first redemption occurred during the Jewish month of Nissan so the final redemption will happen during
Nissan!

Further, there is a belief that as the message of the redemption was
given on the Sabbath before Passover / Exodus, likewise on a Sabbath before the final end-time redemption comes THE message will be heard!

Hag Sameach / Happy Passover and Shabbat Shalom!

Comments are off for this post

Nittel Nacht Shabbat Shemot Readings and Commentary

Exodus 1:1 – 6:1; Isaiah 27:6 – 28:13; 29:22-23; Jeremiah 1:1 – 2:3
by Eric Martienssen

Commentary:
Since the late Middle Ages it was often at all in many places not allowed for Jews on Niddel Nacht (from lat. “Naftali domini”, Christmas Eve, December 24) to stay in the public or even to move there. Accordingly the rabbis have forbidden the study of Torah altogether to prevent the visit of the schoolhouse, and thus avoid the risk of being exposed to the violence of the street. Thus, the in Hasidic circles partly still maintained custom among the Jews of Europe was developed, to use the imprisonment of the unwanted Christmas Eve, the Nittel Nacht (also Nittelnacht) by driving with mundane things like playing cards. Then there are for instance additionally the Hanukkah games, as the Nittel Nacht often falls near the eight-days of →Hanukkah, the “Dedication of the Temple” in Jerusalem, which is – somehow miraculously – foreign to the Christians, although their Roman prescribed Messiah also kept this festival. In Eastern Europe the Nittel Nacht was also called „night blind“ because the night was blind to the Torah, since one does not even look at the Torah (Hebrew instruction – Five Books of Moses). In reality this move away from the Torah, however, had been the greatest gift in honor of the Torah, almost a Torahlove, because the Jews resisted the worship of the spirit of the Christian-Roman Redeemer, in which name the Christians were doing immense suffering and oppression to the Jews – reasoned with the Torah, an ung-dly theological expropriation of Judaism as it lasts on till today.

How many parallels can be opened to us this Shabbat between our current Parashah (weekly reading) and the Nittel Nacht – and when it has been ever before that the beginning of Shabbat Shemot (names) just falls to the beginning of the Nittel Nacht? We begin our reading of the Book of Exodus, the „exodus “ from Egypt / Mizrayim. Right at the beginning the description of the generation is eye-catching where (Exodus 1:8) „Joseph is no longer knew.“ The Hebrew word for „knew“ can also be translated as „loved“. We love the Torah in the Nittel Nacht today when we do not dishonor it by the impurities of the Roman-Christian gods, yes, by not even taking the Torah at hand! As the closest parallel we have in chapter 1 the reason why we in the Nittel Nacht not even go on the road … because of the pursuit [fear of Goyim from the One G-d]. At that time there were all male births, which should be killed on the orders of the king of Egypt. The Levitical Baby Moses, the later is a true savior, will be in a sealed cage suspended on the Nile, so that it can survive.

In a video commentary on Shabbat Shemot (watch below) by Rabbi Chaim Richman, The Temple Insitute Jerusalem, comes out the closest parallel, as he first of all describes the circumstances that led to the need of salvation thru HaShem:
„The exile is upon us. It’s a dark time coming. [2:23] In the process of this many times it happened that the king of Egypt died. Then the children of Israel groaned because of their work, and they cried out; and their outcries because of the work went up to G-d. G-d heard their groaning, and G-d remembered His covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. G-d saw the children of Israel, and G-d knew”:

In chapter three we learn about the great promise, about Moses and the great promise of his job: »And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire from the midst of a bush. So he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, but the bush was not consumed. Then Moses said, “I will now turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush does not burn.”
So when the Lord saw that he turned aside to look, G-d called to him from the midst of the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” Then He said, “Do not draw near this place. Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground.” Moreover He said, “I am the G-d of your father – the G-d of Abraham, the G-d of Isaac, and the G-d of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look upon G-d. And the Lord said: “I have surely seen the oppression of My people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows. So I have come down to deliver them.«

That was the beginning of the first deliverance through the Lord, G-d, the Only One – the reason why the first commandment is the First Commandment. Then as now, the environment of the children of Israel believed in many gods. HaShem (TheName), blessed be He, then sent his Savior (4:15): “Now you shall speak to him and put the words in his mouth. And I will be with your mouth and with his mouth, and I will teach you what you shall do. So he shall be your spokesman to the people. And he himself shall be as a mouth for you, and you shall be to him as G-d. And you shall take this rod in your hand, with which you shall do the signs.”

The signs of the real Messiah will then be, that (Joshua 21:44): “The Lord gave them rest all around, according to all that He had sworn to their fathers. And not a man of all their enemies stood against them; the Lord delivered all their enemies into their hand. Not a word failed of any good thing which the Lord had spoken to the house of Israel. All came to pass.” (Goyim: Realize the difference between the Messiah of the Almighty and the Messiah of the church / Rome!)
And the signs of His People are – today and forever – that they bring His Light, the Light of the Torah, to the goyim, the real Hanukkah.

Shabbat Shalom

Presujet © Diliff / Creative Commons / Retuched by God’s Sabbath International

Comments are off for this post

Who is Who Messiah vs Servant BEHOLD

“BEHOLD!” That is the name of the current weekly reading.
More than actual, really beautiful. Behold (Hebrew: Re’eh), look carefully at this endless and magnificent future. Your soul is beautiful beyond words, if we are prepared to accept our own soul, our future – our God-given promise. Alas, we are separated, as we have often lost our ability to distinguish between holy and unholy, between blessing and curse (cf. Mose in the current Parasha – see Current Sabbath-Reading video). Only when we have carefully distinguished between both of them, are we able to receive the fruit of our ability of distinguishing (Hebrew: Havdalah), our choice. Moses encourages us: „Choose Life“!

You may have noticed that the actual HAFTAROT (the weekly readings from the Prophets, which are parallel to the weekly TORAH-readings from Deuteronomy) are taken from Isaiah – without any exception. BEHOLD! This initial word suddenly struck me, more than in all the previous years. Or rather I felt like in a sudden warm shower of rain in bright sunshine. And I expected a rainbow to appear very soon. And it did. Was this opening not identical with God’s address to the Goyim (= gentile peoples), where he first presented to all non-Jews HIS SERVANT exclusively chosen for them? And was this passage not found in Isaiah as well?

Driven by this expectation I opened the bible (Isaiah 42:1-9) with my heart beating and enjoyed every single word. Perfect beauty! Join me in the first verse:
BEHOLD MY Servant Whom I uphold, My elect in Whom my soul delights! I have put My Spirit upon him. He will bring justice and right and reveal truth to the nations.
Up to then the Nations had never had any rights before God. Vice versa they did not know His rights. So they could not obey them. Neither had they walked through the desert for forty years nor were they purified to be His people. So they could not be thankful to their God, who had freed them from imprisonment, who had given them Shabbat as – if I may say so –personal consulting hours for 25 hours, every single week. To these ignorant peoples he announced to send His servant he had elected in order to bring the same rights. Without any merits of themselves! What a wonderful, what a merciful God!
I had similar experiences when having read two further readings form Isaiah, when I was still a pagan myself. His servant – who was Jesus as I should learn later – kept every single word. So I began to celebrate God’s Shabbat, because Jesus did so as well. In these 25 hours I approached God more and more on a personal level. My heart was filled with thankfulness (for I, too, had walked through desert spiritually, actually almost for 40 years). Jesus’ very task as His servant was to save me from my personal desert, take me to the Father, and to reconcile me with HIM. Arrived there – finally – I fully understood. Jesus left. And I could let him go, him God’s SERVANT. Without him, without making up in my soul for my childhood and the history of my Jewish brothers and sisters, and of course for repentance for my sins I would never have grown adult, adult enough to meet God in perfect truth. Becoming adult is extremely important or we will never feel precious, full of values.

God’s Shabbath International always tries to bring out what is common between Jews and Christians. Still all this is the personal opinion of the author.
The SERVANT in Isaiah: 42:1-9 / 50:4-9 / 52:13 53:12
The MESSIAH in Isaiah: Chpt. 7 / 9:1-6 / Chpt. 11 / 28:16 ff

We will try a similar approach with the readings about the MESSIAH beginning with 7, 14:
Therefore the LORD Himself shall give you a sign: BEHOLD, the young woman who is unmarried and a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name IMMANUEL (= God with us).

In the German Wikipedia, the “stories about Jesus’ birth” are regarded mainly as legends with the aim to announce Jesus as MESSIAH (who has to be born in Bethlehem like King David). “Historian rather assume that Jesus was born and educated in the same place as his father, in Nazareth.”

In the Website “Religious Tolerance” we read that Bethlehem was devastated at the assumed time of Jesus’ birth. Further, on a medical perspective, a pregnant woman, shortly before birth, would loose her baby when riding a donkey for such a long distance.
Bethlehem, a myth invented, in order to fulfil (for the church) a godly promise? And what about Maria’s virgin conception? Today no problem (e.g. by in vitro fertilisation)!
We should accept such critical questions. So we can find God again and can distinguish, can “choose life”. That is all God wants us to do. Two more examples:
1) In 1976 the UN transposed GOD’s seventh day, which is holy, and made Monday the first day of the week, so despising GOD’s given order.
2) Catholics worship Maria seeing in her the female side of God, which they miss. But God has no sex (or both sexes in his character), as the Bible tells us. So the church misuses authority.
Shabbat is female, by the way. She is the queen of hearts, the bride, whom every creature is eager to meet on Friday evening. Magnificent! For this is true love based on GOD’s order.

I see a crucial difference between Jews and (a majority of) Christians in the ability to distinguish. Only things HE determined to be holy are really holy – man can never do so. Jews do accept that in their hearts and distinguish according to God’s decision.

Christians can learn that, too, in their hearts, having become adult and longing for meeting the only GOD, Abba, their father. Compromising (be it about Maria or about Eretz Israel) is necessary in human and political affairs, but not with God.

Once the relation to God is freed from all interests of the church, Jesus could appear in the “spirit God has laid upon him” to the nations in radiant light and fulfil his commission, which is “taking righteousness to the nations”, to you especially, because GOD created you in HIS image, magnificent and of pure beauty.

In our times, the nations should rather take back their robbery than claim anything from the Jews, as they have no rights whatsoever before God. Personally speaking (everybody has to check that for himself) to you who are a gentile: Would you admit God’s rights and keep them? Would you give up your own rights and idols, serve only HIM and stand before HIM as an adult who is responsible for his deeds? Would you not be thankful for ever to GOD’s servant that he brought GOD’s rights to you? Could you leave him thereafter, as he had kept his promise considering you once were a gentile? For now you are in the presence of the Father! You had really longed for that, for being accepted by God the Almighty – praise to him? I did experience that. Everybody from the nations is given that privilege. So choose life.

Then, by the grace of the One God, full of ardent desire and united with your elder brothers and sisters you will be able to wait for the Messiah’s coming, announced by Isaiah (of Jesse promised fruit). May-be, before saying farewell, you will ask HIS SERVANT, your redeemer
to teach you how to pray. And he will answer:
“When you pray, pray as follows: Father, hollowed be thy Name, thy kingdom come; give us our bread needed daily; and forgive us our sins, as we ourselves will forgive to each who is deeply indebted to us; and do not lead us into temptation.” The full version of this prayer is called Kaddish which is one of the most important prayers of the Jews – for about 3500 years. Distinguishing is beauty, beauty is love. He, who forgets about Israel, forgets about love.
GOD’s love be with all of you.

Shabbat Shalom
Eric C. Martienssen (English translation by Peter Nold)

The Kaddisch is one of the most important prayers of the Jews. “Our Father” sums up the most important thoughts of the Kaddish – here, for all of us – sung by Ofra Haza:

Comments are off for this post

Shabbat Shoftim – Judges – Sabbath Readings and video commentary

„Schoftim“: Deuteronomy 16:18 till 21:9; Isaiah 51:12 till 52:12

Just mentioning a few verses out of this weeks Haftorah (here Isaiah 52) but what a blessing, what a future:
„Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city: for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean… For thus saith the Lord GOD, My people went down aforetime into Egypt to sojourn there; and the Assyrian oppressed them without cause… How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth! Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing: for they shall see eye to eye, when the LORD shall bring again Zion… The LORD hath made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God… For ye shall not go out with haste, nor go by flight: for the LORD will go before you; and the God of Israel will be your rereward.“

But now listen to this words of Reuben Ebrahimoff in the video commentary by „Haftorahman“, telling of the coming Messiah:



Shabbat Shalom

Comments are off for this post

Who is Who, Messiah vs Servant, BEHOLD Gentiles, he shall bring YOU

“BEHOLD!” That is the name of the current weekly reading.
More than actual, really beautiful. Behold (Hebrew: Re’eh), look carefully at this endless and magnificent future. Your soul is beautiful beyond words, if we are prepared to accept our own soul, our future – our God-given promise. Alas, we are separated, as we have often lost our ability to distinguish between holy and unholy, between blessing and curse (cf. Mose in the current Parasha – see Current Sabbath-Reading video). Only when we have carefully distinguished between both of them, are we able to receive the fruit of our ability of distinguishing (Hebrew: Havdalah), our choice. Moses encourages us: „Choose Life“!

You may have noticed that the actual HAFTAROT (the weekly readings from the Prophets, which are parallel to the weekly TORAH-readings from Deuteronomy) are taken from Isaiah – without any exception. BEHOLD! This initial word suddenly struck me, more than in all the previous years. Or rather I felt like in a sudden warm shower of rain in bright sunshine. And I expected a rainbow to appear very soon. And it did. Was this opening not identical with God’s address to the Goyim (= gentile peoples), where he first presented to all non-Jews HIS SERVANT exclusively chosen for them? And was this passage not found in Isaiah as well?

Driven by this expectation I opened the bible (Isaiah 42:1-9) with my heart beating and enjoyed every single word. Perfect beauty! Join me in the first verse:
BEHOLD MY Servant Whom I uphold, My elect in Whom my soul delights! I have put My Spirit upon him. He will bring justice and right and reveal truth to the nations.
Up to then the Nations had never had any rights before God. Vice versa they did not know His rights. So they could not obey them. Neither had they walked through the desert for forty years nor were they purified to be His people. So they could not be thankful to their God, who had freed them from imprisonment, who had given them Shabbat as – if I may say so –personal consulting hours for 25 hours, every single week. To these ignorant peoples he announced to send His servant he had elected in order to bring the same rights. Without any merits of themselves! What a wonderful, what a merciful God!
I had similar experiences when having read two further readings form Isaiah, when I was still a pagan myself. His servant – who was Jesus as I should learn later – kept every single word. So I began to celebrate God’s Shabbat, because Jesus did so as well. In these 25 hours I approached God more and more on a personal level. My heart was filled with thankfulness (for I, too, had walked through desert spiritually, actually almost for 40 years). Jesus’ very task as His servant was to save me from my personal desert, take me to the Father, and to reconcile me with HIM. Arrived there – finally – I fully understood. Jesus left. And I could let him go, him God’s SERVANT. Without him, without making up in my soul for my childhood and the history of my Jewish brothers and sisters, and of course for repentance for my sins I would never have grown adult, adult enough to meet God in perfect truth. Becoming adult is extremely important or we will never feel precious, full of values.

God’s Shabbath International always tries to bring out what is common between Jews and Christians. Still all this is the personal opinion of the author.
The SERVANT in Isaiah: 42:1-9 / 50:4-9 / 52:13 53:12
The MESSIAH in Isaiah: Chpt. 7 / 9:1-6 / Chpt. 11 / 28:16 ff

We will try a similar approach with the readings about the MESSIAH beginning with 7, 14:
Therefore the LORD Himself shall give you a sign: BEHOLD, the young woman who is unmarried and a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name IMMANUEL (= God with us).

In the German Wikipedia, the “stories about Jesus’ birth” are regarded mainly as legends with the aim to announce Jesus as MESSIAH (who has to be born in Bethlehem like King David). “Historian rather assume that Jesus was born and educated in the same place as his father, in Nazareth.”

In the Website “Religious Tolerance” we read that Bethlehem was devastated at the assumed time of Jesus’ birth. Further, on a medical perspective, a pregnant woman, shortly before birth, would loose her baby when riding a donkey for such a long distance.
Bethlehem, a myth invented, in order to fulfil (for the church) a godly promise? And what about Maria’s virgin conception? Today no problem (e.g. by in vitro fertilisation)!
We should accept such critical questions. So we can find God again and can distinguish, can “choose life”. That is all God wants us to do. Two more examples:
1) In 1976 the UN transposed GOD’s seventh day, which is holy, and made Monday the first day of the week, so despising GOD’s given order.
2) Catholics worship Maria seeing in her the female side of God, which they miss. But God has no sex (or both sexes in his character), as the Bible tells us. So the church misuses authority.
Shabbat is female, by the way. She is the queen of hearts, the bride, whom every creature is eager to meet on Friday evening. Magnificent! For this is true love based on GOD’s order.

I see a crucial difference between Jews and (a majority of) Christians in the ability to distinguish. Only things HE determined to be holy are really holy – man can never do so. Jews do accept that in their hearts and distinguish according to God’s decision.

Christians can learn that, too, in their hearts, having become adult and longing for meeting the only GOD, Abba, their father. Compromising (be it about Maria or about Eretz Israel) is necessary in human and political affairs, but not with God.

Once the relation to God is freed from all interests of the church, Jesus could appear in the “spirit God has laid upon him” to the nations in radiant light and fulfil his commission, which is “taking righteousness to the nations”, to you especially, because GOD created you in HIS image, magnificent and of pure beauty.

In our times, the nations should rather take back their robbery than claim anything from the Jews, as they have no rights whatsoever before God. Personally speaking (everybody has to check that for himself) to you who are a gentile: Would you admit God’s rights and keep them? Would you give up your own rights and idols, serve only HIM and stand before HIM as an adult who is responsible for his deeds? Would you not be thankful for ever to GOD’s servant that he brought GOD’s rights to you? Could you leave him thereafter, as he had kept his promise considering you once were a gentile? For now you are in the presence of the Father! You had really longed for that, for being accepted by God the Almighty – praise to him? I did experience that. Everybody from the nations is given that privilege. So choose life.

Then, by the grace of the One God, full of ardent desire and united with your elder brothers and sisters you will be able to wait for the Messiah’s coming, announced by Isaiah (of Jesse promised fruit). May-be, before saying farewell, you will ask HIS SERVANT, your redeemer
to teach you how to pray. And he will answer:
“When you pray, pray as follows: Father, hollowed be thy Name, thy kingdom come; give us our bread needed daily; and forgive us our sins, as we ourselves will forgive to each who is deeply indebted to us; and do not lead us into temptation.” The full version of this prayer is called Kaddish which is one of the most important prayers of the Jews – for about 3500 years. Distinguishing is beauty, beauty is love. He, who forgets about Israel, forgets about love.
GOD’s love be with all of you.

Shabbat Shalom
Eric C. Martienssen (English translation by Peter Nold)

The Kaddisch is one of the most important prayers of the Jews. “Our Father” sums up the most important thoughts of the Kaddish – here, for all of us – sung by Ofra Haza:

Comments are off for this post

vor »