Rabbi Chaim Richman has been apart of my life since 2002, when I met him in Jerusalem, Israel, for the first time. To this day, when I study the Torah and look to it’s great insights, I find myself looking for my dear friend and his great insight into the Tree of Life. Come, and eat my friend’s, and hold on to her, for all her paths are peace.
Genesis 18 – 22
Parashat Tezaveh “AND YOU”
Exodus 27 – 30
כ וְאַתָּ֞ה תְּצַוֶּ֣ה ׀ אֶת־בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֗ל וְיִקְח֨וּ אֵלֶ֜יךָ שֶׁ֣מֶן זַ֥יִת זָ֛ךְ כָּתִ֖ית לַמָּא֑וֹר לְהַעֲלֹ֥ת נֵ֖ר תָּמִֽיד׃
The words of Moshe Rabbenu still speaks to us today. “And you”. What kind of light and what kind of holiness can I bring to this world?
I once had a dream of changing the world, I could see myself, so clearly, accomplishing so many great things and making such a difference in this world. I could feel the greatest and the taste of joy from the many things that would be. The flash of lightning that lit up the road before me was so overwhelming. I could see every pitfall and turn in the way. My vision was so clear and there was nothing to detour me is what I would always say.
But then, life began to restrain me and restrict my way. I felt as if the road became narrower and confined my way. I could no longer even see a road. My life had grown overcast and gray. The light that once shined and lit the way before me had gone just like the day. What had happened? Why is life filled with dismay? Why is life so wasted and filled with decay?
“And You”, Moshe commanded us to take the pure olive oil. The oil that was meant for holiness and to burn in the menorah in the holy place.
Why does Hashem the light of the world need a menorah in the Temple or the Mishkan?
Shemot 25:8(8) וְעָ֥שׂוּ לִ֖י מִקְדָּ֑שׁ וְשָׁכַנְתִּ֖י בְּתוֹכָֽם׃ And let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them.
Here we find two words “מִקְדָּ֑שׁ” and “שָׁכַנְ” that are the clues to life.
Rabbi Akiva Tatz in his lecture on Journey to the Self – Inspiration & Disappointment. speaks of two lights. A greater light and a lesser light. Rabbi Tatz says that this is the secret to happiness and the secret of life. If one does not understand these two lights and how they work in our lives then we are destined to find ourselves in the story above. Restained and restricted and never able to find our way.
The first light is free and it is given to us by Hashem. There is nothing we do, it is a gift. The second light we must shine. That is where the work begins!
The first commandment given to us was to sanctify time and to create this world a new. And then we were to make a space in this world for Hashem to dwell.
How are you doing?
More to come on this subject…
Exodus 25 – 27
א וַיְדַבֵּ֥ר יְהוָ֖ה אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֥ה לֵּאמֹֽר׃
ב דַּבֵּר֙ אֶל־בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל וְיִקְחוּ־לִ֖י תְּרוּמָ֑ה מֵאֵ֤ת כָּל־אִישׁ֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר יִדְּבֶ֣נּוּ לִבּ֔וֹ תִּקְח֖וּ אֶת־תְּרוּמָתִֽי׃
ג וְזֹאת֙ הַתְּרוּמָ֔ה אֲשֶׁ֥ר תִּקְח֖וּ מֵאִתָּ֑ם זָהָ֥ב וָכֶ֖סֶף וּנְחֹֽשֶׁת׃
ד וּתְכֵ֧לֶת וְאַרְגָּמָ֛ן וְתוֹלַ֥עַת שָׁנִ֖י וְשֵׁ֥שׁ וְעִזִּֽים׃
דַּבֵּר֙ אֶל־בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל וְיִקְחוּ־לִ֖י תְּרוּמָ֑ה מֵאֵ֤ת כָּל־אִישׁ֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר יִדְּבֶ֣נּוּ לִבּ֔וֹ תִּקְח֖וּ אֶת־תְּרוּמָתִֽי
Whos Heart Motivates Him
In the above pasuk the word for “motivate” is the Hebrew word יִדְּבֶ֣נּוּ “נָדַב” As you can see from the word יִדְּבֶ֣נּוּ the nun is missing.
Just like the NUN from Psalm 145, it is also missing the letter Nun. In Hebrew grammar sometimes the nun will drop from a word. Nun is the symbol of life and the word “Neshama” begins with the letter Nun. The Neshama is one of the five levels of our soul.
Neshama: The World of Creation
The word neshama has the same root in Hebrew (NShM) as the word for breath. This soul level is associated with higher awareness and angelic realms, it is a defining quality of human consciousness.
The Zohar describes the neshama as follows: “The nefesh and the ruach intertwine together, while the neshama resides in a person’s character. This is an abode which cannot be discovered or located. Should a person strive towards purity in life, he or she is aided by a holy neshama. But should the person not strive for righteousness and purity of life, this person is animated only by two grades: nefesh and ruach.”1
Whereas we all have the power to develop the neshama aspect of our souls, there is no assurance that we will do so. In some ways, this is analogous to a potter’s kiln. Some glazes require a specific temperature for a fixed length of time. If this temperature is not reached, the glaze will not set.
From a spiritual perspective, our life is fired by conscious action (fuel) and clean living (oxygen). We need a good mix of the two to get the temperature high enough to vitalize our higher soul potential. Once this is accomplished we have access to expanded realms of awareness.
Even though our power to nurture our highest soul level is not guaranteed, it is assumed that the purpose of human existence is to parent this lofty objective. The Zohar says: “At first a person has a nefesh. Then she or he is crowned by the grade that rests upon the nefesh, which is the ruach. After this, a superior grade that dominates the others, the neshama, takes up its abode, and the person becomes worthy of the world to come. Nefesh cannot exist without the help of ruach, and ruachin turn is sustained by neshama. The three form a unity.”1
Simply said, human life is not complete without the neshama.
The neshama emanates from an elevated source, while the ruach emanates from a somewhat lower origin. When these two sources unite, they shine with a celestial light and are called: “lamp.” This is found in Proverbs, where it says that “the lamp of God is the neshama of humankind.”1
In many ways, the neshama is an essential aspect of creation. As the neshama is an aspect of soul that is directly connected with the divine source of life, it is via the neshama, and the higher levels of soul, that we co-partner with God in the continuous unfolding of creation.
The neshama is pure in its essence. It cannot be blemished. When we die, it immediately returns to its source. (Rabbi David Cooper)
Who defines Hashem’s Words?
I was speaking with a friend of mine who is an attorney and he was doing some research on a Jewish subject and noticed that he had to literally go through hundreds of Christian sites to find a Jewish source on the subject. How could it be that if you want to know something Jewish today on the web you have Christians defining what Jewishness means? Our culture, our laws, our stories all have been changed to fit a narrative that our fathers did not know.
In this weeks Torah portion I find much hope and comfort as our Hakham, Chazal, Sages and Rabbi’s have kept all our Temple services alive and well for us to know and do. Over fifty chapters of the Torah is dedicated to the Mishkan and as a Jew, I can still participate in all its functions.
The Torah is not something one just studies but it is something that one does. When one reads about tefillin, and kosher, and prayers and sacrifices and tzitzit and all the commandments of Torah we do them and not just study about them. As a Jew, I am proud to know that you can search the web and find thousands of websites that tell you about Judaism but in this weeks Torah portion I find a promise that moves me and motivates me to be Jewish.
Bring A Gift
All the chapters on the Mishkan are not about learning how they really are speaking about “someone to come” as you will find on the web. (Just look it up and you will see what I mean. Everything is defined by those who are not Jewish.)
But it is about how I can keep the religion of my forefathers and pass this knowledge down to my children. How they can read about the Mishkan and live every word of it each day of there lives. Our sages in their great wisdom incorporated all the rituals of the fifty chapters on the tabernacle in our Synogagues and our prayers and our homes and our daily lives so that I might live the Torah and keep Hashem’s covenant and His promise to us.
Hashem’s lives inside every Jew and every Human being
Okay, if Hashem lives inside of every human being, what tasks do the Jewish people have?
To live the Torah.
Shemot 25:8 And let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell in them.
Here we see the wisdom and beauty of Judaism. Every part of our lives is fixed in time to be a sanctuary for Hashem.
No other people in the world can make this claim. No other people have ever experienced what the Jewish people have experienced.
Just ask Hashem and He will tell you.
Devarim 4:32For ask now of the days past, which were before thee, since the day that God created man upon the earth, and from the one end of heaven unto the other, whether there hath been any such thing as this great thing is, or hath been heard like it? 33Did ever a people hear the voice of God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as thou hast heard, and live? 34Or hath God assayed to go and take Him a nation from the midst of another nation, by trials, by signs, and by wonders, and by war, and by a mighty hand, and by an outstretched arm, and by great terrors, according to all that the LORD your God did for you in Egypt before thine eyes? 35Unto thee it was shown, that thou mightiest know that the LORD, He is God; there is none else beside Him. 36Out of heaven He made thee to hear His voice, that He might instruct thee; and upon earth He made thee to see His great fire; and thou didst hear His words out of the midst of the fire. 37And because He loved thy fathers, and chose their seed after them, and brought thee out with His presence, with His great power, out of Egypt, 38to drive out nations from before thee greater and mightier than thou, to bring thee in, to give thee their land for an inheritance, as it is this day; 39know this day, and lay it to thy heart, that the LORD, He is God in heaven above and upon the earth beneath; there is none else. 40And thou shalt keep His statutes, and His commandments, which I command thee this day, that it may go well with thee, and with thy children after thee, and that thou mayest prolong thy days upon the land, which the LORD thy God giveth thee, for ever.
Exodus 13 – 17
יז וַיְהִ֗י בְּשַׁלַּ֣ח פַּרְעֹה֮ אֶת־הָעָם֒ וְלֹא־נָחָ֣ם אֱלֹהִ֗ים דֶּ֚רֶךְ אֶ֣רֶץ פְּלִשְׁתִּ֔ים כִּ֥י קָר֖וֹב ה֑וּא כִּ֣י ׀ אָמַ֣ר אֱלֹהִ֗ים פֶּֽן־יִנָּחֵ֥ם הָעָ֛ם בִּרְאֹתָ֥ם מִלְחָמָ֖ה וְשָׁ֥בוּ מִצְרָֽיְמָה׃
יח וַיַּסֵּ֨ב אֱלֹהִ֧ים ׀ אֶת־הָעָ֛ם דֶּ֥רֶךְ הַמִּדְבָּ֖ר יַם־ס֑וּף וַחֲמֻשִׁ֛ים עָל֥וּ בְנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל מֵאֶ֥רֶץ מִצְרָֽיִם׃
(17) And it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God led them not by the way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for God said: ‘Lest the people regret when they see war, and they return to Egypt.’
The word “let” in Hebrew has more of a meaning to be sent.
In this weeks Torah portion we see that Pharoah had to send the children of Israel out. With all the troubles and challenges that faced us in Egypt, we had to be sent out? How could one endure the heartaches and hardships? How could one endure the disappointments and the ridicule of all the harsh words? Why did we have to be sent out after all this?
In our lives today we are faced with many of the same challenges and yet we refuse to grow and overcome these obstacles. We hold on to a false hope of how things could be if we just hold on.
Well, Einstien said, “to continue to do the same thing and expect a different result is called insanity”. How do you define yourself?
More on this to come: Why the long way?
Who is it that has rejected the Messiah?
Who is the one that has not returned from any exile because of their rebellion?
Can it be that the one who has rejected the Jewish Messiah is not the one you thought?
Can it be that the Christians and the Messianics are guilty of rejecting Hashem’s anointed?
What does the word gentile mean in the Tanach? Could it be a code word for the northern kingdom of Israel according to Torah?
Have we, the Jewish people stayed faithful to Hashem’s Torah and thus patiently wait for the Messiah of Israel and wait for our brother to return from his exile and bring forth Mashiach ben David?
In this study, I would like to prove that it is the Christian/Messianic who have rejected Hashem’s Mashiach by the way of rejecting Judah as the lawgiver.
The United Kingdom
The kingdom of Israel was once united under King David but it later became divided during and after David’s reign and then it was divided after the death of King Shlomo and remains divided until this day.
Many Messianic’s belief that the division between Jews and Christians has to do with Yeshu/Jesus/Yeshua. The division of this united kingdom began during David’s reign as king of Israel and is still not settled as far as biblical prophecy is concerned.
This division started many hundreds of years ago. ( 2708-1052 BCE)
Was King David Mashiach?
What does this mean to the Ten Triber’s today?
Notice the northern kingdom rejected Hashem’s anointed.
King David give us a hint on how to treat Hashem’s anointed.
2 Samuel II 2:12 Abner the son of Ner, and the servants of Ish-bosheth the son of Saul, went out from Mahanaim to Gibeon.13And Joab the son of Zeruiah, and the servants of David, went out; and they met together by the pool of Gibeon, and sat down, the one on the one side of the pool, and the other on the other side of the pool. 14And Abner said to Joab: ‘Let the young men, I pray thee, arise and play before us.’ And Joab said: ‘Let them arise.’ 15Then they arose and passed over by number: twelve for Benjamin, and for Ish-bosheth the son of Saul, and twelve of the servants of David. 16And they caught every one his fellow by the head, and thrust his sword in his fellow’s side; so they fell down together; wherefore that place was called a Helkath-hazzurim, which is in Gibeon. 17And the battle was very sore that day; and Abner was beaten, and the men of Israel, before the servants of David.
1 Samuel 26:9 And David said to Abishai: ‘Destroy him not; for who can put forth his hand against the LORD’S anointed, and be guiltless?’
Again, we find that Ephriam/Israel rejecting Hashem’s anointed; 2 Samuel II 20 : 1Now there happened to be there a base fellow, whose name was Sheba, the son of Bichri, a Benjamite; and he blew the horn, and said: ‘We have no portion in David, neither have we inheritance in the son of Jesse; every man to his tents, O Israel.’ 2So all the men of Israel went up from following David, and followed Sheba the son of Bichri; but the men of Judah did cleave unto their king, from the Jordan even to Jerusalem.
Early in Jewish history, we have a division between Israel and Judah.
The rejection of David as King is likened to rejecting Hashem Moshiach.
How could this be? Christians and Messianincs are rejecting Hashem’s Moshiach the House of David.
Judah is called the House of David.
What is the reason for rejecting Hashem Messiah? They did not want the rulership of Judah and the Torah of Hashem. (Oral and Written Torah)
Do you understand the rebellion of this people? The Northern Kingdom wanted its own set of rulers and laws, along with its own set of priest.
So this is the beginning of rejecting Hashem’s lawgiver.
For Christians and Messianic this has nothing to do with Yeshu/Jesus/Yeshua. This has to do with not wanting to follow the biblical laws and Hashem’s lawgiver, Judah. The refusal to accept Hashem’s authority through the bet din and Hakahmim/Rabbis.
Quote: I am not going to listen to no Rabbis and I am not going to follow their oral law. Who do they think they are?
One of the leaders of the Messianic movement, Tony Robinson of Restoration Ministries, told me, ” I am not going to follow the Jews because we do not have to become Jewish. I do not have to listen to their leadership because of we Ten Tribers know just as much as the Jews and have just as much to offer.” “If you think I am going to follow the Jews then our relationship is over. I will not follow the Jewish Laws or their Rabbi’s.” I have not spoken to Tony Robinson in years.
Do you see a problem began thousands of years ago?
Look at several translations:
WEB Psalm 60:7 Gilead is mine, and Manasseh is mine. Ephraim also is the defense of my head. Judah is my scepter.
Psalm 60:7Gilead is mine, and Manasseh is mine; Ephraim also is the strength of mine head; Judah is my lawgiver;
ESV Psalm 108:8Gilead is mine; Manasseh is mine;
Ephraim is my helmet,
Judah my scepter.
KJV Psalm 108:8 Gilead is mine; Manasseh is mine; Ephraim also is the strength of my head; Judah is my lawgiver;
Here, also is prophecy of Judah’s role in Hashem’s Kingdom;
Genesis 49:10 The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, Nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, And unto him shall the obedience of the peoples be.
Here what the Tanach says about the Northern Kingdom in Exile.
Psalm 78:67 Moreover He abhorred the tent of Joseph,
And chose not the tribe of Ephraim;
68 But chose the tribe of Judah.
Zechariah 10:6And I will strengthen the house of Judah,
And I will save the house of Joseph,
And I will bring them back, for I have compassion upon them,
And they shall be as though I had not cast them off;
For I am the LORD their God, and I will hear them.
7And they of Ephraim shall be like a mighty man,
And their heart shall rejoice as through wine;
Yea, their children shall see it,
And rejoice, their heart shall be glad in the LORD.
8I will hiss for them, and gather them,
For I have redeemed them;
And they shall increase as they have increased.
9And I will sow them among the peoples,
And they shall remember Me in far countries;
And they shall live with their children, and shall return.
10I will bring them back also out of the land of Egypt,
And gather them out of Assyria;
And I will bring them into the land of Gilead and Lebanon;
And place shall not suffice them.
11And over the sea affliction shall pass,
And the waves shall be smitten in the sea,
And all the depths of the Nile shall dry up;
And the pride of Assyria shall be brought down,
And the sceptre of Egypt shall depart away.
12And I will strengthen them in the LORD;
And they shall walk up and down in His name,
Saith the LORD.
What obedience to Hashem’s Moshiach have the Northern Kingdom had? Do they follow the authority of our Sages and Rabbis?
Yes, I know. You’re going to say, “I follow Rabbi Yeshu/Jesus/Yeshua.” Well Yeshu/Jesus/Yeshua said, Matthew 23:1 “Then spoke Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples, 2 Saying The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat: 3 All therefore whatever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not you after their works: for they say, and do not. (How convenient is it for you to now be Kararite.) Nehemiah Gordon claims, it does not say that in the Hebrew Matthew. Again, how convenient.
I will remind you of what David our King said “1 Samuel 26:9 And David said to Abishai: ‘Destroy him not; for who can put forth his hand against the LORD’S anointed, and be guiltless?’
Here is what a Messianic stated “It would have been wonderful if Judah had stayed true to her Elohim. But regretfully they didn’t. Look at the very next chapter, 2 Chronicles 12:1 “And it came to be when Rehoboam had established himself, that he forsook the Torah of Elohim, and all Israel (in this case, Judah) with him.” A little further, in vs 14: “And he (Rehoboam) did evil BECAUSE HE DID NOT PREPARE HIS HEART TO SEEK ELOHIM.”
Christians the Messianics, state that it is perfectly fine that the northern kingdom of Israel rebelled against Rehoboam because of his taxes. And his harsh treatment against the northern kingdom.
Are taxes a reason to disobey Hashem and His Mashiach?
You can not justify what the northern kingdom did no matter what rationalization you use. King David’s words to us about a Messiah that did not follow Hashem’s word’s should be our example. David warned us not to reject Hashem’s anointed.
1 Samuel 26:9 And David said to Abishai: ‘Destroy him not; for who can put forth his hand against the LORD’S anointed, and be guiltless?’
I Samuel 24:6 And it came to pass afterward, that David’s heart smote him, because he had cut off Saul’s skirt.7And he said unto his men: ‘The LORD forbid it me, that I should do this thing unto my lord, the LORD’S anointed, to put forth my hand against him, seeing he is the LORD’S anointed.’ 8So David checked his men with these words and suffered them not to rise against Saul.
The answer to this question is obvious, Ephriam is guilty of this, to this very day Ephriam as rejected Hashem’s anointed. (Judah)
I. [שָׁלָה, שָׁלֵו] verb be quiet, at ease (Ecclus 47:13 שלוהprosperity, Ecclesiasticus 41:1c שליו prosperous, at ease; be tranquil, quiet, ceaee; ᵑ7 שְׁלָא, שְׁלי be at ease, then be careless, thoughtless, go astray [for Hebrew שָׁגָה, שָׁגַג] Aph`el neglect (God, etc.), Biblical Aramaic ᵑ7 שָׁלוּ error; Arabic () be. forgetful, neglectful, content, free (from anxiety)); —Qal 1. be, (have) quiet: Perfect1singular שָׁלַיְתִּי Job 3:26.
2 be at ease, prosper, of wicked, 3 plural שָׁלוּ Jeremiah 12:1; Lamentations 1:5, also Imperfect3masculine plural יִשְׁלָ֫יוּ (Ges§ 75u) Job 12:5, and (of good) Psalm 122:6 (יֵ֫שֶׁל Job 27:8 see II. שׁלח).
Niph`al Imperfect2masculine plural תִּשָּׁלוּ jussive 2 Chronicles 29:11 benot negligent (easy-going; German ‘bequem’).
Hiph`il Imperfect2masculine singular תַּשְׁלֶה jussive 2 Kings 4:28 do not mislead me (compare תְּכַזֵּב 2 Kings 4:16), strong Aramaism, whence Klo תַּשְׁגֶּה.
שׁלה, שׁלו (√ of following; Biblical Hebrew I. שׁלה (late)).
Do we have peace?
Devarim 32:21 They have moved me to jealousy with that which is not God; they have provoked me to anger with their vanities: and I will move them to jealousy with those which are not a people; I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation.
Who is this foolish nation?
This nation will be the northern kingdom of Israel who will be scattered among the nation and become mixed up with the nation. (i.e. Gentiles).
Exo 19:5 Now, therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:
Exo 19:6 And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.
Has this come to pass?
Jos 18:1 And the whole congregation of the children of Israel assembled together at Shiloh, and set up the tabernacle of the congregation there. And the land was subdued before them.
The purpose of Israel.
Deu 4:6 Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.
Deu 4:7 For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the LORD our God is in all things that we call upon him for?
Deu 4:8 And what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day?
Did Israel fell in this purpose?
Jdg 2:11 And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and served Baalim:
Jdg 2:12 And they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, which brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, of the gods of the people that were round about them, and bowed themselves unto them, and provoked the LORD to anger.
Jdg 2:13 And they forsook the LORD, and served Baal and Ashtaroth.
How do we bring about a restoration of all those who claim to follow the GOD of Israel? This is going to come about when those among the nations turn to Judah and our Rabbis and our traditions.
At that time, the Levites were the legitimate authority in Torah and Temple worship. When the Northern Kingdom replaced them with men who had no right to be priests, the Levites were right to leave. They left apostate Northern Israel and joined themselves to Judah, who at that time, was following the God of Israel and Torah. It is similar to: “Come out of her (Babylon) My people.” They came out of her.
Do you know what percentage of Rabbi’s today and throughout the history of Israel are Kohens and Levites? (A large percentage today are Kohens and Levites).
Some claim that only Kohens and Levites were to be the teachers of Israel.
Paul is not a Levite or Kohen and neither is Jesus and they are the leaders of Christianity and Messianic Judaism. Then how can this be the idea that only Levites are the true teachers of Torah as some claim?
DNA Chain of Tradition: Source ( http://www.cohen-levi.org/the_tribe/kohanim_forever.htm)
|Aharon HaKohen—First Kohen Gadol, founder of the dynasty|
Pinchas—Earned the kehuna/priesthood, identified as Eliyahu HaNavi.
Eli HaKohen—Kohen Gadol and judge at Shiloh, teacher of Shmuel HaNavi.
Tzadok—First Kohen Gadol of the First Temple, loyal to Kings David and Shlomo.
Ezra HaSofer—Leader in the Babylonian exile, organized the return to the Second Temple.
Yehoshua HaKohen HaGadol—First Kohen Gadol of the Second Temple.
Shimon HaTzaddik—Kohen Gadol who met with Alexander the Great.
The Hasmonean Dynasty/Maccabees—Reinaugurated the Temple service, established Chanukah.
Abaye and Rabah—Amoraim of the Babylonian Talmud.
HaRav Shabtai bar Meir HaKohen (the Shach)—Commentary on the Shulchan Aruch.
HaRav Moshe Kalfon HaKohen—Scholar and leader of the ancient Kohanim community of Jerba, Tunisia.
Rabbi Yisrael Meir HaKohen Kagan (the Chofetz Chaim)—Leader of European Jewry, promoted Temple studies, particularly for Kohanim.
Rav Avraham Yitzchak HaKohen Kook—First Chief Rabbi of pre-state Israel.
|Eliyahu HaNavi—Comes to prepare the final redemption, soon in our days.
Kohanim Forever: From the Sources
God’s promise to Aharon and his sons of continuity throughout all generations is mentioned repeatedly in the Written Torah, the Prophets, and the Oral Torah.
Torah: “Bring close Aharon your brother and his sons with him from among the children of Israel to become Kohanim/Priests to Me.” (Exodus 28:1) (Every use of the Hebrew word Li, “to me” is for all time—Midrash Gadol)
“and they shall have the Kehuna/Priesthood as a statute forever, and you shall consecrate Aharon and his sons.” (Exodus 29:9)
“And anoint them as you anointed their father, that they may serve Me, and it shall be for them an appointment to an everlasting Kehuna/Priesthood throughout their generations.” (Exodus 40:15)
“You and your sons with you shall keep your Kehuna/Priesthood, I give your Kehuna/Priesthood as a gift of service.” (Numbers 18:17)
“It is an everlasting covenant of salt before God with you and with your descendants.” (Numbers 18: 19)
“And it shall be to him and to his descendants after him a covenant of everlasting Kehuna/Priesthood.” (Numbers 25:13)
“For God your God has chosen him of all your tribes to stand and serve with the name of God he and his sons forever.” (Deuteronomy 18:5)
Prophets “The Kohanim, the Levites, the sons of Tzadok kept the charge of my Sanctuary when the children of Israel went astray from Me, they shall come near to Me to serve Me and stand before Me to offer before Me the fat and the blood, says the L-rd, God.” (Ezekiel 44:15)
“For the Kohen’s lips shall keep knowledge, and Torah you shall seek from his mouth, for he is a messenger of God.” (Malachi 2:7)
“Behold I shall send to you Eliyahu the Prophet before the coming of the great and awesome day of God.” (Malachi 3:21)
Mishna/Talmud “The Sanhedrin (high court) sat and judged the Kohanim, if no disqualifications were found, they made a holiday and proclaimed, “Blessed is God, that no disqualification was found in the descendants of Aharon, and blessed is He that chose Aharon and his sons to stand and serve before Him in the holy Temple.” (Mishna Middos 5:4)
“When the Holy One, blessed be He, will purify the tribes, the tribe of Levi will be purified first” (Gemara Kiddushin 71a)
Here many people try to say that Judah has somehow lost its authority because they had sinned. That they are no longer are Hashem’s lawgiver. I do not see anywhere in the Tanach where this has come to pass.
Here is a comment from a Messianic and a so-called learned person;
It would have been wonderful if Judah had stayed true to her Elohim. But regretfully they didn’t. Look at the very next chapter, 2 Chronicles 12:1 “And it came to be, when Rehoboam had established himself, that he forsook the Torah of Elohim, and all Israel (in this case, Judah) with him.” A little further, in vs 14: “And he (Rehoboam) did evil, BECAUSE HE DID NOT PREPARE HIS HEART TO SEEK ELOHIM.”
Now look at 2 Chronicles 10:15 “So the sovereign did not listen to the people, for the turn of events was from Elohim, in order for Yah to establish His word,….”
But, as in everything, you must read in context to know what’s really being said. Go back and read verses 1-15. The Northern Kingdom would have followed Rehoboam had he treated them as they would have wanted to be treated themselves. Instead, he chose to keep them in harsh bondage. What do you think Judah would have done were roles reversed?
Just like Pharaoh’s heart was hardened to enslave Elohim’s people, so was Rehoboam’s. And, in both instances, it was from Elohim.
Why did this happen? Look back at 1 Kings 11. Read the whole chapter. His father, Solomon, son of David, did evil in Elohim’s eyes by going after other gods. Therefore, the kingdom was torn from his son Rehoboam – except for Judah and Benjamin. Yes, this was from Elohim.
2 Chronicles 10:19 “Israel rebelled against the house of David unto this day.” House of David is synonymous with Judah. Just as the Levites were right then to leave Northern Israel, the house of Israel is right today not to come under the authority of the House of David. Why do I say that?
Matthew 21:42-43 “Yeshua said to them, (the Pharisees/Rabbis) ‘Did you never read in the Scriptures, ‘The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief corner-stone. THIS WAS FROM ELOHIM, and it is marvelous in our eyes. BECAUSE OF THIS I say to you: the reign of Elohim hall be taken from you and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits of it.” (In this case, Northern, dispersed, returning Israel, including some of Judah).
Again, why? “See! Your house is left to you desolate, for I say to you (Pharisees/Rabbis) from now on you shall by no means see Me, until you say, ‘Blessed is He who is coming in the Name of Yah!” Matthew 23:38-39; Psalms 118:26
So the statement that Judah kept worshipping according to Torah is a false statement. The Northern Kingdom was the first to leave Torah, but Judah was not far behind.
Elohim did not leave His Torah in the hands of a few men, making the majority dependent upon a few to be able to learn and therefore, keep Torah. Over and over and over the Scriptures read: “It is written”.
“But the anointing which you have received from Him stays in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as the same anointing does teach you concerning all, and is true, and is no falsehood, and even as it has taught you, you stay in Him.” 1 John 2:27
These are the words from the majority of Christians and Messianics as they continue to justify their actions against Jewish authority. Which, by the way was affirmed by the Nazarean in Matthew 23: 1Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples, 2 Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat: 3 All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.
Please do not quote Neihimah Gordan and the so-called Hebrew Matthew because that is easy to dismiss. There are seven copies of the Hebrew Matthew and only one says what you want it to say and by the way, all the Greek copies and there are hundreds of handwritten copies say “3 All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do”.
What does History say about Judah and his faithfulness?
Do you know how many years after Rehoboam, Judah continued to serve Hashem?
Thus, Hirsch’s interpretation speaks of the three physical exiles from the Land. This should not be confused with the Four Monarchies: Babylon, Persia, Greece and Rome, which subjugated Israel from the time when the Monarchy of Judah first fell into decline. The exile of the Ten Tribes is not commonly reckoned among the exiles because they are regarded as a rebellious offshoot, rather than as the essential part of the nation.
Part II to follow.
Exodus 6 – 9
ב וַיְדַבֵּ֥ר אֱלֹהִ֖ים אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֑ה וַיֹּ֥אמֶר אֵלָ֖יו אֲנִ֥י יְהוָֽה׃
ג וָאֵרָ֗א אֶל־אַבְרָהָ֛ם אֶל־יִצְחָ֥ק וְאֶֽל־יַעֲקֹ֖ב בְּאֵ֣ל שַׁדָּ֑י וּשְׁמִ֣י יְהוָ֔ה לֹ֥א נוֹדַ֖עְתִּי לָהֶֽם׃
ד וְגַ֨ם הֲקִמֹ֤תִי אֶת־בְּרִיתִי֙ אִתָּ֔ם לָתֵ֥ת לָהֶ֖ם אֶת־אֶ֣רֶץ כְּנָ֑עַן אֵ֛ת אֶ֥רֶץ מְגֻרֵיהֶ֖ם אֲשֶׁר־גָּ֥רוּ בָֽהּ׃
(2) And God spoke unto Moses, and said unto him: ‘I am the LORD; (3) and I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, as God Almighty, but by My name ….a I made Me not known to them.
The words of Hashem as the “ וַיְדַבֵּ֥ר אֱלֹהִ֖ים אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֑ה וַיֹּ֥אמֶר אֵלָ֖יו אֲנִ֥י יְהוָֽה׃ (3) וָאֵרָ֗א אֶל־אַבְרָהָ֛ם אֶל־יִצְחָ֥ק וְאֶֽל־יַעֲקֹ֖ב בְּאֵ֣ל שַׁדָּ֑י וּשְׁמִ֣י יְהוָ֔ה לֹ֥א נוֹדַ֖עְתִּי לָהֶֽם׃ ” are a secret, that is revealed in the names of the El of Abraham, El of Isaac, El of Yaacov.
The world was built on love/chesed and brought into a place of chaos and then rectification. These three things are the foundations of the world.
So many of us are like a child of three years old and our love and faithful obedience toward those we love is blind and untrained. We see the world as a child. We are nieve and unable to see around the corners.
Many are like Yosef at the age of seventeen, immature and unable to be directed, because we know everything, and our goals and dreams must be first, and primary to all others wishes and objectives. Our careers are what we are chasing, and Hashem will have to wait, until I am ready, to hear from Him. The one chasing this world does not need direction from above, to find the way below. Do you remember seventeen and know everything?
Wo, are my grey hairs, for I am a man of eighty. With much strength, and wisdom, to bring stability, and balance to the world. But the world has passed me by because it has failed in its own self-portrait. Like Moses, sent at eighty to free a people that were destined to be great but had to be strengthened in the fire of Egypt, in that narrow place. Moses was eighty, you see?
The world has not given to those in need. The world has not helped the ones, who need help the most. The world has not forgiven the ones that need forgiveness, the guilty have lost hope of ever being forgiven. We all have sought honor for ourselves, and everything given, must have something in return, to give to me, or it is not worth my time or effort. There must be a reward for everything, I do.
Remember, that you were once in that same state, of not knowing. Like a child and then young, looking for a friend to help you overcome the ordeal you were standing in. Empathy was looking to find a home, but you were hurt, and offended, by someone’s words, and could not give, or share a kind word of support.
You see, loving kindness built this world, and judgment will one day have its place. Abraham taught us this lesson when asked Hashem, to save the wicked along with the righteous in that place. Isaac was not offended when the wells of his father were covered up and no longer provided living water to those who needed it. Great love, have they, who love your Torah and nothing shall offend them.
Can you not see, that the world is not a place of sin and punishment, but a place to grow, and to become like the El of Abraham, the El of Isaac and the El of Yaacov. A place of chesed, strength, and truth, all working together. Everyone working as a crew, together, to bring us to the mountain of Hashem to serve Him there. To do and to hear. That was the plan. On that day Hashem will be One and His name will be ONE.
Hashem gave Israel a free gift in Egypt. As He defeated the Egyptians through His ten emunations and then He took us out to the place of words, and then told us, now you must do it yourselves. You must defeat, this world.
Published on Dec 30, 2017
Published on Dec 31, 2017
Exodus 1 – 6
א וְאֵ֗לֶּה שְׁמוֹת֙ בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל הַבָּאִ֖ים מִצְרָ֑יְמָה אֵ֣ת יַעֲקֹ֔ב אִ֥ישׁ וּבֵית֖וֹ בָּֽאוּ׃
ברְאוּבֵ֣ן שִׁמְע֔וֹן לֵוִ֖י וִיהוּדָֽה׃
ג יִשָּׂשכָ֥ר זְבוּלֻ֖ן וּבְנְיָמִֽן׃
ד דָּ֥ן וְנַפְתָּלִ֖י גָּ֥ד וְאָשֵֽׁר׃
My thoughts this week in the Torah Portion comes from a lecture I heard from Rabbi Jonathan Sacks where he states ”