In the Vespers of Channukah

In the Vespers of Channukah
By
Robert O. Miller

            Since Chanukah I received a lot of correspondence for and against the observation of Chanukah.  The greatest objection to this Holy Day seems to be an erroneous connection with the pagan Feast of Saternalia.

                The Saturnalia was originally celebrated in Ancient Rome for only a day, but it was so popular it soon lasted a week, despite Augustus’ efforts to reduce it to three days, and Caligula’s, to five. Like our Christmas, this important holy day (feriae publicae) was for more than fun and games. Saturnalia was a time to honor the god of sowing, Saturn. Saturnalia commemorated the dedication of the temple of the god Saturn, which took place on 17 December to 23 December. Seven days not eight. The Saturnalia was the most popular holiday of the Roman year. It involved a couched throne (lectisternium) for Saturn to recline on being set out in front of the temple of Saturn and the untying of the ropes that bound the idol of Saturn during the rest of the year. The Simulacrum Saturni or Image of Saturn depicted an old, dignified but jovial man; his usual attribute is the sickle. When gathering, worshippers greeted each other with “Yo Saturnalia!”

                Besides the public rites there were special home holiday customs celebrated by the Romans such as decorating outdoor trees with sun and star symbols, and using swathes of greenery over doorways, windows, and on people. But the decorations were secondary to the revelry, feasting, drinking, merry-making, pranks, and gift-giving of Saturnalia. The celebrations included a school holiday, the making and giving of small presents (saturnalia et sigillaricia) and a special market (sigillaria). Gambling was allowed for all, even slaves.  In fact Slaves were permitted to use dice and did not have to work. Petronius speaks of an impudent slave being asked at some other time of the year whether it was December yet.

                It was an opportunity for everyone to be completely free with themselves, running around naked, sometimes erupting into homosexual and also pedophilic relations.  In fact the children were emphasized during this time of year.

                According to Aulus Plautius once during the invasion of Britain the Roman Army refused to fight “indignant at the thought of carrying on a campaign outside the limits of the known world.” Only when they were entreated by a former slave dispatched by Claudius did they relent, shouting “Yo, Saturnalia” (LX.19.3).

                In the Saturnalia, Lucian relates that “During My week the serious is barred; no business allowed. Drinking, noise and games and dice, appointing of kings and feasting of slaves, singing naked, clapping of frenzied hands, an occasional ducking of corked faces in icy water—such are the functions over which I preside.”

                Seneca the Younger wrote about Rome during Saturnalia around 50 CE:

“It is now the month of December, when the greatest part of the city is in a bustle. Loose reins are given to public dissipation; everywhere you may hear the sound of great preparations, as if there were some real difference between the days devoted to Saturn and those for transacting business….Were you here, I would willingly confer with you as to the plan of our conduct; whether we should eve in our usual way, or, to avoid singularity, both take a better supper and throw off the toga.” Seneca complains that the “whole mob has let itself go in pleasures” (Epistles, XVIII.3).

                By the end of the first century CE, Statius lamented: “For how many years shall this festival abide! Never shall age destroy so holy a day! While the hills of Latium remain and father Tiber, while thy Rome stands and the Capitol thou hast restored to the world, it shall continue” (Silvae, I.6.98ff). And though its face keeps changing from the celebrated Brumalia (from bruma, winter solstice – December 21st) down to the Christian era, when, by the middle of the fourth century CE, its rituals had become absorbed in the celebration of Christmas on December 25th.

                However, the Jews refused to participate in this festival. Pliny the Younger writes when visiting some Romans during this time that he retired to his room while the rest of the household celebrated (Epistles, II.17.24).

                Obviously, it is Christmas that’s associated with Saturnalia not Chanukah.  Chanukah is the rededication of the Temple at Jerusalem on the 25th of Kislev. The lighting of the Chanukah Menorah is symbolic of the relighting of the Temple Menorah. Why an 8 day celebration?  This answer lies in the celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles.

                “Yahweh said to Moses, ‘Say to the Israelites: “On the fifteenth day of the seventh month Yahweh’s Feast of Tabernacles begins, and it lasts for seven days. The first day is a sacred assembly; do no regular work. For seven days present offerings made to Yahweh by fire, and on the eighth day hold a sacred assembly and present an offering made to Yahweh by fire. It is the closing assembly; do no regular work. (Leviticus 23:33-36)”

                The Book of 2nd Maccabees says that Chanukah happened because the Jews had not been able to keep Sukkot while hiding in the hills so they celebrated it late and ordered later generations to have an eight day festival at this time.

“The Jews celebrated joyfully for eight days as on Sukkot (the Feast of Tabernacles), remembering how, a little while before, they had spent Sukkot living like wild animals in caves on the mountains. Carrying lulavs – palm, myrtle, willow and citron fruit, they sang hymns of grateful praise to him who had brought about the purification of his own Place. By public edict and decree they prescribed that the whole Jewish nation should celebrate these days every year. Such was the end of Antiochus surnamed Epiphanes.  (2 Macabees 10:6-9)”

Once they had control of the Temple Mount, YaHudah who was foremost a Priest said, “Then YaHudah and his brothers said, ‘Now that our enemies have been crushed, let us go up to purify the sanctuary and rededicate it.’

… they took uncut stones, according to the law, and built a new altar like the former one. They also repaired the sanctuary and the interior of the Temple and purified the courts. They made new sacred vessels and brought the Menorah, the altar of incense, and the table into the Temple. Then they burned incense on the altar and lighted the lamps on the Menorah, and these illuminated the Temple. They also put loaves on the table and hung up curtains. Thus they finished all the work they had undertaken.

Early in the morning on the twenty-fifth day of the ninth month, that is, the month of Kislev, in the year one hundred and forty-eight, they arose and offered sacrifice according to the law on the new altar of burnt offering that they had made. On the anniversary of the day on which the Gentiles had defiled it, on that very day it was Chanukah – consecrated with songs, harps, flutes, and cymbals.

All the people prostrated themselves and adored and praised Heaven, who had given them success. For eight days they celebrated the dedication of the altar and joyfully offered burnt offerings and sacrifices of deliverance and praise. (1 Maccabee 4:36, 47-56)

Much is made that the miracle of the Menorah is not mentioned in the Books of the Maccabees, however it is documented in the Talmud: “For our Rabbis taught: On the 25th of Kislev begin the days of Chanukah, which are eight, during which lamentation for the dead and fasting are forbidden. For when the Greeks entered the Temple, they defiled all the oils in it, and when the Hasmonean dynasty prevailed against and defeated them, they [the Hasmoneans] searched and found only one cruse of oil which possessed the seal of the High Priest, but which contained sufficient oil for only one day’s lighting; yet a miracle occurred there and they lit [the Menorah] for eight days. The following year these days were appointed a Festival with the recitation of praise and thanksgiving…Our Rabbis taught: It is incumbent to place the Chanukah lamp by the door of one’s house on the outside; if one dwells in an upper chamber, place it at the window nearest the street. (Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Shabbat, page 21b)”

Others have said that Josephus doesn’t mention it. “Judah and his fellow citizens celebrated the festival of the restoration of the sacrifices of the Temple for eight days, and omitted no sort of pleasure, but everyone feasted upon very rich and splendid sacrifices; and they honoured Yahweh, and delighted themselves with psalms of praise and the playing of harps. Indeed, they were so very glad at the revival of their customs and, after so long a time, having unexpectedly regained their right to worship, that they made it a law for their posterity that they should keep a festival celebrating the restoration of their Temple worship for eight days. And from that time to this we celebrate this, which we call the Festival of Lights [phôta], because, I imagine, beyond our hopes this right was brought to light [phanênai], and so this name was placed on the festival. (Antiquities of the Jews 12)” Notice, that although he stresses the military victory and doesn’t mention the miracle of the lights He does not refer to the Festival by the name of Chanukah; instead he calls it the Festival of Lights.

                During the last week of Messiah YahShua’s life on earth he made a triumphant entry into Jerusalem to cleanse the Temple.  It is obvious that the people think that he is coming to rededicated and sanctify the Temple. “Then Rebbe YahShua went into the Temple of Yahweh and drove out all those who bought and sold in the Temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves.  And He said to them, “It is written, “My house shall be called a House of Prayer,’but you have made it a “den of thieves.”‘  Then the blind and the lame came to Him in the Temple, and He healed them.   But when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that He did, and the children crying out in the temple and saying, “Hoshanu ben David!” they were indignant and said to Him, “Do You hear what these are saying?”  And Rebbe YahShua said to them, “Yes. Have you never read, “Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants you have perfected praise’?” (Matthew 21:12-16)”

The Triumphant Entry was the high point of Rebbe YahShua’s ministry.  This time when He enters everybody knows who he is.  The apocalyptic hopes, which had centered on Him, first as a prophet and then as the Prophet-King, burst into an ecstatic welcome as the teeming crowds of Jerusalem hailed Him with the cry, “Hoshanu!” Save Us!

“O Yahweh, save us [Hoshanu]; O Yahweh, grant us success. Blessed is he who comes in the name of Yahweh. From the House of Yahweh we bless you. (Psalms 118:25-26)”

What was the date of Rebbe YahShua’s Triumphant Entry?  According to the Messianic Accounts, it was at the time of the Feast of Passover so why were the people acting like it is Sukkot – Feast of Tabernacles?

The use of the term “Hoshanu” by the crowd has a special liturgical connection to the Sukkot/Feast of Tabernacles.  The people were acknowledging that Yahweh was tabernacling with them in the personage of Immanuel, King Messiah YahShua.  The cry was addressed to Yahweh, not to Rebbe YahShua, and meant “Save us, Yahweh, through Your Messiah!”  The word “save” is especially associated, throughout the Holy Scriptures, with Yahweh’s mercies through anointed Rulers and Freedom Fighters who protected Israel against their enemies.  A prayer for such a salvation was offered up during Sukkot and would have been especially fitting as an accompaniment to Rebbe YahShua’s Triumphant Entry on a mission of Salvation.

“And they brought the colt to YahShua, and threw their garments on it; and he sat upon it. And many spread their garments on the road, and others spread leafy branches, which they had cut from the fields. And those who went before and those who followed cried out, ‘Hoshanu! Blessed is he who comes in the name of Yahweh! Blessed is the kingdom of our father David that is coming! Hoshanu in the highest!’ And he entered Jerusalem, and went into the Temple area… (Mark 11:8-11a; (Matthew 21:7-10a; Luke 19:35b-38, 45a))”

This leads us to an even more important point: that Sukkot was in a very special sense a Royal Festival.  In general, the Jewish Royal Family had little part to play in the ceremonies of Faith of Yahweh, the exception was Sukkot.  During this feast the King actually entered the Temple Court and read aloud the “Parsha Melekim,” the portion of Torah relating to the King and His duties.

“When you come to the land which Yahweh your Elohim is giving you, and possess it and dwell in it, and say, “I will set a king over me like all the nations that are around me,’you shall surely set a king over you whom Yahweh your Elohim chooses; one from among your brethren you shall set as king over you; you may not set a foreigner over you, who is not your brother.  But he shall not multiply horses for himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt to multiply horses, for Yahweh has said to you, “You shall not return that way again.’  Neither shall he multiply wives for himself, lest his heart turn away; nor shall he greatly multiply silver and gold for himself.

Also it shall be, when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write for himself a copy of this law in a book, from the one before the priests, the Levites.  And it shall be with him, and he shall read it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear Yahweh his Elohim and be careful to observe all the words of this law and these statutes, that his heart may not be lifted above his brethren, that he may not turn aside from the commandment to the right hand or to the left, and that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he and his children in the midst of Israel. (Deuteronomy 17:14-20)”

This reading of the Torah by the King was done every seven years.

He then would enter the Inner Court as King and renew the rite preformed by his great predecessors of the Throne of Israel.  This act more than any other would signal his ascension to the throne and his intention to carry out the duties of King & Savior.

As King Messiah YahShua was entering the city He must have had one figure on His mind, namely King Solomon.  It was Sukkot that Solomon preformed the Dedication of the Temple offering a long and moving prayer to Yahweh standing on a platform specially built in the Temple Court.

“Yahweh, Elohim of Israel, there is no Elohim in heaven or on earth like You, who keep Your covenant and mercy with Your servants who walk before You with all their hearts.  You have kept what You promised Your servant David my father; You have both spoken with Your mouth and fulfilled it with Your hand, as it is this day.Therefore, Yahweh, Elohim of Israel, now keep what You promised Your servant David my father, saying, “You shall not fail to have a man sit before Me on the throne of Israel, only if your sons take heed to their way, that they walk in My law as you have walked before Me.’ And now, O Yahweh, Elohim of Israel, let Your word come true, which You have spoken to Your servant David.

But will Elohim indeed dwell with men on the earth? Behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain You. How much less this Templewhich I have built!Yet regard the prayer of Your servant and his supplication, O Yahweh, my Elohim, and listen to the cry and the prayer which Your servant is praying before You:that Your eyes may be open toward this Temple day and night, toward the place where You said You would put Your name, that You may hear the prayer which Your servant makes toward this place.  And may You hear the supplications of Your servant and of Your people Israel, when they pray toward this place. Hear from heaven Your dwelling place, and when You hear, forgive.

If anyone sins against his neighbor, and is forced to take an oath, and comes and takes an oath before Your altar in this temple,  then ear from heaven, and act, and judge Your servants, bringing retribution on the wicked by bringing his way on his own head, and justifying the righteous by giving him according to his righteousness.

Or if Your people Israel are defeated before an enemy because they have sinned against You, and return and confess Your name, and pray and make supplication before You in this Temple,then hear from heaven and forgive the sin of Your people Israel, and bring them back to the land which You gave to them and their fathers.

When the heavens are shut up and there is no rain because they have sinned against You, when they pray toward this place and confess Your name, and turn from their sin because You afflict them,  then hear in heaven, and forgive the sin of Your servants, Your people Israel, that You may teach them the good way in which they should walk; and send rain on Your land which You have given to Your people as an inheritance.

When there is famine in the land, pestilence or blight or mildew, locusts or grasshoppers; when their enemies besiege them in the land of their cities; whatever plague or whatever sickness there is;  whatever prayer, whatever supplication is made by anyone, or by all Your people Israel, when each one knows his own burden and his own grief, and spreads out his hands to this Temple:then hear from heaven Your dwelling place, and forgive, and give to everyone according to all his ways, whose heart You know (for You alone know the hearts of the sons of men),that they may fear You, to walk in Your ways as long as they live in the land which You gave to our fathers.

Moreover, concerning a foreigner, who is not of Your people Israel, but has come from a far country for the sake of Your great name and Your mighty hand and Your outstretched arm, when they come and pray in this temple;then hear from heaven Your dwelling place, and do according to all for which the foreigner calls to You, that all peoples of the earth may know Your name and fear You, as do Your people Israel, and that they may know that this temple which I have built is called by Your name.

When Your people go out to battle against their enemies, wherever You send them, and when they pray to You toward this city, which You have chosen, and the temple, which I have built for Your name,then hear from heaven their prayer and their supplication, and maintain their cause.

When they sin against You (for there is no one who does not sin), and You become angry with them and deliver them to the enemy, and they take them captive to a land far or near;yet when they come to themselves in the land where they were carried captive, and repent, and make supplication to You in the land of their captivity, saying, “We have sinned, we have done wrong, and have committed wickedness’; and when they return to You with all their heart and with all their soul in the land of their captivity, where they have been carried captive, and pray toward their land which You gave to their fathers, the city which You have chosen, and toward the temple which I have built for Your name:  then hear from heaven Your dwelling place their prayer and their supplications, and maintain their cause, and forgive Your people who have sinned against You.  Now, my Elohim, I pray, let Your eyes be open and let Your ears be attentive to the prayer made in this place.

Now therefore, arise, O Yahweh, Elohim, to Your resting place, You and the ark of Your strength.  Let Your priests, O Yahweh, Elohim, be clothed with salvation, and let Your saints rejoice in goodness.  O Yahweh, Elohim, do not turn away the face of Your Anointed; remember the mercies of Your servant David. (Psalm 132:8-10)” (2 Chronicles 6:14-42)”

King Messiah YahShua was at the height of power.  Though He had no organized army, just a band of armed Talmidim (disciples); the Jewish masses applauded His every move.  The Temple Police who were descendants of Jethro and had no allegiance to any tribe were bound only to the Temple.  They would have moved in against a mere commoner.  But they recognized Rebbe YahShua as a lawful prince and were powerless to hinder His reforms.  If this had been the time, King Messiah YahShua would have appointed a new High Priest (Himself), which as King He was entitled to do.

This was the first thing that YaHudah did after recapturing Jerusalem. The Maccabees founded the Hasmonean  royal dynasty and established Jewish independence in the Land of Israel for about one hundred years, from 164 BCE to 63 BCE.

Messiah YahShua did not choose to commemorate the military victory of Chanukah, instead he capitalized on the miracles of the lights.

Then came the Feast of Chanukah – Dedication or Consecration – at Jerusalem. It was winter, and YahShua was in the Temple area walking in Solomon’s Porch.  The Jews gathered around him, saying, ‘How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah,tell us plainly.’

 YahShua answered, ‘I did tell you, but you do not believe. The miracles I do in my Father’s name speak for me,  but you do not believe because you are not my sheep.  My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.  I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.  My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.’

 Again the Jews picked up stones to stone him, but YahShua said to them, ‘I have shown you many great miracles from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?’

 ‘We are not stoning you for any of these,’ replied the Jews, ‘but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be Elohim.’

 YahShua answered them, ‘Is it not written in your Torah, “I have said you are gods?” (Psalm 82:6) If he called them “elohim,” to whom the Word of Elohim came—and the Scripture cannot be broken— what about the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world? Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, “I am Yahweh’s Son?”  Do not believe me unless I do what my Father does.  But if I do it, even though you do not believe me, believe the miracles that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father.’ Again they tried to seize him, but he escaped their grasp.

 Then YahShua went back across the Jordan to the place where Yochannan had been immersing in the early days. Here he stayed and many people came to him. They said, ‘Though Yochannan never performed a miraculous sign, all that Yochannan said about this man was true.’ And in that place many believed in YahShua. (John 10:22-42)”

“Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the town of Miriam and her sister Martha.  It was that Miriam who anointed the King with fragrant oil and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.  Therefore the sisters sent to Him, saying, ‘Sovereign, behold, he whom You love is sick.’

When YahShua heard that, He said, ‘This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of Yahweh, that the Son of Yahweh may be glorified through it.’

Now YahShua loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So, when He heard that he was sick, He stayed two more days in the place where He was.’ Then after this He said to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.’

The disciples said to Him, ‘Rabbi, lately the Jews sought to stone You, and are You going there again?’

YahShua answered, ‘Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the Light of this World.  But if one walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.’ These things He said, and after that He said to them, ‘Our friend Lazarus sleeps, but I go that I may wake him up.’ (John 11:1-11)”

Rabbi Sha’ul says, “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Messiah. (1 Corinthians 11:1)” It was the Messiah’s custom to celebrate Chanukah by capitalizing on the miracle of the lights, proclaiming Himself to be the Divine Light of the World.  He in turn has ignited our lights to be like Him:

“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. (Matthew 5:14,15)”

“Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of Yahweh is risen upon thee.  For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but Yahweh shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.  Lift up thine eyes round about, and see: all they gather themselves together, they come to thee: thy sons shall come from far, and thy daughters shall be nursed at thy side. Then thou shalt see, and flow together, and thine heart shall fear, and be enlarged; because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee. (Isaiah 60:1-5)”

                And this we shall do throughout our generations.

Originally written by Rabbi Robert O. Miller on Dec. 14 2007
(Robert Owen Miller 1957-2021)

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Chanukah

Chanukah
By
Robert O. Miller

“Sing for joy to Elohim our strength; shout aloud to the Elohim of Jacob! Begin the music, strike the tambourine, play the melodious harp and lyre. Sound the ram’s horn at the New Moon, when the moon is veiled, on the day of our Feast; this is a decree for Israel, an ordinance of the Elohim of Jacob.” (Psalm 81:1-4)

There have been many times that oppressive nations sought to destroy Israel, and we were miraculously saved from their designs. Upon two of these occasions, the Rabbis saw fit to establish an annual holiday commemorating the miraculous salvation, providing us with an opportunity to remember Yahweh’s kindness to us, and thank him for saving us. One of those is the Feast of Rededication – the Festival of Lights – Chanukah.

Chanukah commemorates Israel’s victory over the Syrian-Greeks.  The oppressive acts of Antiochus and the Syrian-Greeks, were to get Israel to abandon Torah, and become integrated into the Greek lifestyle. The oppressors sought only to destroy Israel spiritually. And so, when Yahweh granted MattinYahu and the Hasmoneans victory over the Syrian-Greeks, He was preserving the spirituality of the Israelite nation.

The miracle of Chanukah reflects the active trust of the Hasmoneans (Maccabees) to stand up and fight against the Hellenistic Empire and its paganistic culture. Chanukah begins on the 25th day of Kislev. It lasts for eight days, and therefore carries over into the next month of Tevet.

The year was about 165 BCE. A large group of men led by Judah the Maccabee climbed to the top of a mountain overlooking Yerushalayim (Jerusalem). It was the same mountain from which, many centuries later, the Crusaders would launch their attack against the Moslems and from which the Jordanian artillery would shell Yerushalayim in 1967. In 165 BCE, however, Judah and his men, with the help of Yahweh, were about to complete a great victory, a triumph that lives on as the miracle of Chanukah.

After the death of Alexander the Great, conqueror of the world and friend of Israel, his Empire was divided among his generals. Eretz Yisroel (the land of Israel), – the Kingdom of Judea – was added to the Empire of Antiochus Epimanes (the madman), the most infamous of all Syrian Rulers down through the ages, whose hunger for power and glory was boundless. He viewed himself as the direct offspring of Alexander the Great although the Book of Maccabees denies this.

“A scion of this stock was that wicked man, Antiochus Epiphanes, son of King Antiochus. He had been a hostage in Rome before he succeeded to the throne in the year 137 (185 BCE) of the Greek era” (I Maccabees 1:7-10).

When Antiochus Epiphanes became king of the Syrian-Greeks, he was not content to accept the taxes and loyalty of the Jews as his predecessors had done. He wanted the Jews to lay aside their Torah and ancient religion, and, in their place, substitute the Hellenistic Greek culture and Grecian idols.

King Antiochus bore down on his Jewish subjects with a measure of ruthlessness, stubbornness and cruelty that earned him the nickname Antiochus the Madman. He defiled the Beit Hamikdash (Temple) – by filling it with pagan idols and sacrifices of pigs. He forbade Israel to observe the commandments of Brit Milah (circumcision), Rosh Chodesh (the New Moon), and the Shabbat. Jewish women were systematically mistreated.

To provoke a war in which he could exterminate the Jews, he set an image of himself up in the Holy Temple pictured as Zeus Epiphanes. He prohibited the observance of any Torah ordinance, and sacrificed the blood of a pig on the Temple Brazen Altar. Under the pretext of peace, he had attacked Jerusalem on the Sabbath, thinking that the Orthodox would not fight.

“On the fifteenth day of the month Kislev in the year 145 (167 BCE), the Abomination of Desolation was set up on the altar. Pagan altars were built throughout the towns of Judea …. On the twenty-fifth day of the month they offered sacrifice on the pagan altar which was on top of the altar of Yahweh” (I Maccabees 1:54, 59).

The Chashmonaim weren’t only fighting the powers that be. They were also executing Hellenized, or assimilated Jews as traitors.

The Book of Judith is about how Israelite women behaved in the Maccabean Wars. The beautiful Judith, the daughter of Yochanan the High Priest and a widow during a siege of the Jewish city of Bethulia, was determined to save her people by assassinating the Assyrians’ general, Holofernes. Bitterness for the Assyrian occupational government was building due to the recent ordinance that every virgin bride prior to marriage was obliged to sleep with the Assyrian Governor. She acted as if she was forced to flee the city with her maid, reached General Holofernes’ camp, and encouraged him to believe that victory would soon be his. General Holofernes invited her into his tent for an evening banquet, intending to seduce her; instead, Judith waited until he fell into a drunken sleep, grabbed his sword, and cut off his head, bringing it in a sack to Bethulia. The Hebrew defenders mounted the head on the town’s ramparts and soon routed the leaderless Assyrian troops.

The Second Book of the Maccabees records cases of pious Jews who chose to die rather than submit to the Syrians. A celebrated mother, Hannah, expressed unfaltering faith in Yahweh as she was forced to watch her seven sons die for refusing to bow to an idol, and then she was martyred herself.

Hannah’s martyrdom raises the issue of supreme sacrifice for religion. We might ask ourselves where we would draw that line today. Hannah also calls upon us to hold in our hearts those mothers in every generation who must give up their children to war. We are reminded in particular about mothers in Israel today.

“…Yahweh says: ‘A voice is heard in Ramah, mourning and great weeping, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because her children are no more…Restrain your voice from weeping and your eyes from tears, for your work will be rewarded…They will return from the land of the enemy. (Jeremiah 31:15-16)”

Jews who dared to remain loyal to the Faith of Yahweh were brutally tortured and murdered. If a woman had her infant circumcised, she was murdered, the baby publicly hanged, and all who participated in the Brit ceremony were executed and their property confiscated. Against this backdrop, Jewish resistance began to ebb and it seemed inevitable that the last remnants of resistance would soon be wiped out.

Then, one courageous old man turned the tide. His name was MattinYahu and he was a Kohen – head of the Hasmonean family, from the Judean town of Modi’in near Lod. The Syrian-Greek governor of MattinYahu’s region set up an idol in Modi’in, rounded up the townspeople, and introduced an “enlightened” Jew who would sacrifice a pig on the idol in recognition of the decree of Antiochus. Old Mattinyahu stepped forward and slew the traitor.

With the rallying cry of, “Mi La’Yahweh Ay-li (Whoever is for Yahweh, let him come to me),” he called the people to rebellion. A pitifully small number responded at first – the people were numb with fear and hopelessness – but MattinYahu’s five sons led the way. They fought the Syrian-Greeks, retreated to the mountains, and began a guerrilla war against the Syrian-Greeks and their Jewish allies. Mattinyahu had not long to live, but on his deathbed he charged his sons to carry on the struggle. The glorious brothers heeded his command. He passed on the leadership to his second son, Judah the Maccabee, who was a mighty warrior and a charismatic leader.

In the Maccabean Wars, Antiochus was defeated. Exactly three years to the day after his Abomination of Desolation, the Jews rededicated the Holy Temple:

“Then early on the twenty-fifth day of the ninth month, the month Kislev, in the year 148 (164 BCE), sacrifice was offered as the Torah commands on the newly made altar of burnt offering. On the anniversary of the day when the Gentiles had profaned it, on that very day, it was rededicated … They celebrated the rededication of the altar for eight days” (I Maccabees 4:52-54, 56).

“Now Maccabeus and his followers, Yahweh leading them on, recovered the Temple and the city and they tore down the altars which had been built in the public square by the foreigners, and also destroyed the sacred precincts. They purified the Sanctuary and made another altar of sacrifice. Then striking fire out of flint, they offered sacrifices, after a lapse of two years, and they burned incense and lit lamps and set out the bread of the Presence. When they had done this, they fell prostrate and besought Yahweh that they might never again fall into such misfortunes, but that if they should ever sin, they might be disciplined by him with forbearance and not be handed over to blasphemous and barbarous nations. It happened that on the same day on which the sanctuary had been profaned by the foreigners, the purification of the sanctuary took place, that is, on the 25th day of Kislev. They celebrated it for eight days with rejoicing, in the manner of Sukkot, remembering how not long before, during the Sukkot, they had been wandering in the mountains and caves like wild animals. Therefore bearing ivy-wreathered wands and beautiful branches and also fronds of palm, they offered hymns of thanksgiving to him who had given success to the purifying of his own holy place. They decreed by public ordinance and vote that the whole nation of the Jews should observe these days every year.” (2 Maccabees 10:1-8)

Josephus, living about the time of YahShua said:  “Now Judas celebrated the festival of the restoration of the sacrifices of the Temple for eight days; and omitted no sort of pleasures thereon; but he feasted them upon very rich and splendid sacrifices; and he honored God and delighted them by hymns and psalms. Nay, they were so very glad at the revival of their customs when after a long time of intermission they unexpectedly had regained the freedom of their worship, that they made it a law for their posterity, that they should keep a festival on account of the restoration of their Temple worship for eight days. And from that time to this we celebrate this festival, and call it Lights. I suppose the reason was, because this liberty beyond our hopes appeared to us; and that thence was the name given to that festival. Judas also rebuilt the walls around the city, and reared towers of great height against the incursions of enemies, and set guards therein. He also fortified the city Bethsura, that it might serve as a citadel against any distresses that might come from our enemies.” (Antiquities of the Jews 12:7)

Many miracles happened. Outnumbered a hundred to one, Judah and his men won many battles. Jews came to join him. In a few years, he had defeated the mightiest armies of Syria. Victory belonged to the Jew, the pure, the righteous, and the loyal defender of the Torah. Following the rebellion, the kingdom of Israel was restored for 200 years, until the destruction of the Second Beit Hamikdash.

So it was that Judah and his men climbed the mountain above Yerushalayim and saw that there was no resistance. On the 25th day of Kislev, they marched into the Holy City and immediately made their way to the Beit Hamikdash where they saw a sight that left them shocked and angered. Idols, filth, impurity were everywhere. They rummaged through the ruins seeking at least one flask of pure olive oil with which to light the makeshift menorah they hastily put together.

Flask after flask they found – every one of them defiled. Finally – another miracle! One small jug, sufficient for only one day, remained with the seal of the Kohen Gadol intact! Quickly, with trembling hands, they poured it into the menorah and lit it. It would be eight days before they could manufacture more oil for the next lighting, but meanwhile, they lit what they had.

“What is the reason for Chanukah? For our Rabbis taught: On the 25th of Kislev begin the days of Chanukah, which are eight, during which lamentation for the dead and fasting are forbidden. For when the Greeks entered the Temple, they defiled all the oils in it, and when the Hasmonean dynasty prevailed against and defeated them, they [the Hasmoneans] searched and found only one cruse of oil which possessed the seal of the High Priest, but which contained sufficient oil for only one day’s lighting; yet a miracle occurred there and they lit [the lamp] for eight days. The following year these days were appointed a Festival with the recitation of Hallel and thanksgiving.” (Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Shabbat, page 21b)

The flames of the menorah burned and burned and burned and burned and burned and burned and burned and burned. For eight days they burned. (I bet you counted). Those eight miraculous days were chosen as the eternal symbol to commemorate the miracle of Chanukah and to celebrate the vengeance of Yahweh – the eight day long Festival of Lights, where we light the Menorah each evening, publicizing the miracle hwhy performed over 2100 years ago.

This was the inauguration of חֲנֻכַּת khan·ük·kä’, the Hebrew word for “dedication.” In a strange turn of events, the false gods of Greco-Romans were brought together in a historical moment that illustrated one thing with utmost clarity; HaSatan desires to have his man stand up in the Holy Temple and declare himself as a god.

The events in the life of Antiochus model the horrors of that future event, when the Moshaich Neged (Antichrist) declares himself to be the very embodiment Elohim of Heaven.

The Seleucid Dynasty continued until, in the days of Antiochus XIII, Pompey journeyed to Syria and publicly declared it to be a Roman province. This event, in 63 BCE, marked the end of Syrian autonomy. Syria, still to this day, points to the Chashmonaim Revolt as the point in which they lost political face and they have never forgot it.  They still want revenge.

The Syrians believe that revenge has already started with the recent war between Israel and Hezbullah.  The perceived win has bolstered their momentum for blood.

“Concerning Damascus: ‘Hamath and Arpad are dismayed, for they have heard bad news. They are disheartened, troubled by the restless sea. Damascus has become feeble, she has turned to flee and panic has gripped her; anguish and pain have seized her, pain like that of a woman in labor.

Why has the city of renown not been abandoned, the town in which I delight?

Surely, her young men will fall in the streets; all her soldiers will be silenced in that day,’ declares Yahweh Almighty. ‘I will set fire to the walls of Damascus; it will consume the fortresses of Ben-Hadad.” (Jeremiah 49:23-27)

The “wall of Damascus” refers to the Old City. Its ancient wall still stands today, surrounding the Azam Palace, the “palaces of Ben-Hadad”. Everything within the wall encompasses the ancient and venerable history of commerce, wars, conquests, religion and politics. The “sons of Hadad” are the Ammonite rulers. The Ammonites are modern Arameans, the original Syrians.  The Assad family is “ben Hadad.”

The ultimate Syria’s destruction acts as a catalyzing factor that precipitates the assault mentioned in Ezekiel 38. This explains why Syria fails to appear in Ezekiel’s list of the forces allied in the attack.

As we celebrate all the victories Yahweh has given at this time of year our appreciation for these gifts, the opportunity to serve Yahweh and recognize him as our Elohim, is best acknowledged through spiritual expressions of praise & worship.

All of our holiday-related activities on Chanukah should carry this significance with it. We should take the opportunities we are granted to praise Yahweh and re-affirm our commitment to Him.

All observances connected with Chanukah, whether physical or spiritual, be a point of inspiration to carry us through until we reach the next holiday which celebrates our physical salvation – Purim.

Originally written by Rabbi Robert O. Miller on Dec. 2 2010
(Robert Owen Miller 1957-2021)

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Isaiah 29 and the Apostasy of Rabbinic Judaism (Video)

Notes for Isaiah 29 and Rabbinic Apostasy

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My Opus Magnum on Nazarene Philosophy

Shalom Chaverim,

Our time is short, we know not how short. It has been impressed upon me in recent months, that none of us are promised tomorrow. My life’s mission has been the restoration of the ancient sect of Nazarene Judaism. I am grateful to YHWH to be able to know my purpose in life. In 2002 Rick Warren (a teacher of apostasy) wrote a book titled The Purpose Driven Life, which sold millions of copies. The sad message is that millions of people do not know their purpose in life. So I count it a blessing, that I have known my purpose since the mid 1980’s. That said, it has been impressed on me that the time is short, and I must focus more narrowly on that mission, in the time that I have. There are a number of things I have been impressed to do, while there is still time. One of those is compile a book of Nazarene Philosophy comparable to the Tanya in its scope, but from a Nazarene perspective. This is to me my Magnus Opus on the topic of the Philosophy of Nazarene Judaism, A book (Titled Ahavat HaChak’mah (The Love of Wisdom)) that could, some day, be studied and taught in Nazarene Yeshivot (schools) in the same way that the Tanya is taught in a Chabad Yeshiva. To that end, I have begun writing that book online, free. You will be able to read new chapters as they are written. I have just completed Chapter 1 on the Two Inclinations.

The Link to this new book is here:

Ahavat HaChak’mah (The Love of Wisdom)

I invite you all to read the first chapter, and leave your comments here. I would love to hear from you.

James Scott Trimm

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The Mystical Holy Day of Chanukah

The Mystical Holy Day of Chanukah
By
Robert O. Miller

“For Yahweh, Who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of Yahweh in the face of Messiah. (2 Corinthians 4:6)”

The purpose of a Holy Day is not merely to commemorate an event or to continue a religious tradition. Rather during a Holy Day Yahweh seeks to connect with His people.

 “And blessed be [Yahweh’s] glorious name forever! And let the whole earth be filled with His glory. Amien and Amien. (Psalm 72:19)”

                Traditionally, Chanukah is associated with the lighting of a special Menorah called a Chanukiah, one candle for each eight nights, which is why it has become known as the Festival of Lights. Chanukah is an observance commemorating the rededication (164 BCE) of the Second Temple of Jerusalem after its desecration three years earlier by order of whom history calls Antiochus Epiphanes (the Great) but whom we like to call Epimanes (the Madman); the Syrian king that was frustrated in his attempt to eradicate the Faith of Yahweh.  Though modern Israel tends to emphasize the military victory of Judas Maccabeus, the distinctive rite of lighting the menorah also recalls the Talmudic story of how the small supply of non-desecrated oil, enough for one day, miraculously burned in the Temple for eight full days until new oil could be obtained (Shabbat 21b, Babylonian Talmud). Beginning on Kislev 25 (Kislev 25 generally falls in December); Chanukah is celebrated for eight days.  In truth, however, we are not celebrating physical light but rather the primordial spiritual light of Glory. 

The Number 8

                In Hebrew the number 8 is “Sh’moneh” from the root word “Shah’meyn” meaning “to grow fat, rich, robust.”   There are some interesting inclusions in the Scriptures dealing with the number 8.

                There were 8 persons saved in Noah’s ark. (1 Peter 3: 20)

                El Shaddai made 8 covenants with Abraham, 7 before Isaac was sacrificed and the 8th after, the resurrection blessing, in Genesis 22: 15 – 18.    

                Abraham had 8 sons, 7 were “born after the flesh” the 8th was “by promise.”

                Circumcision, the sign of the Abrahamic Covenant, was to be performed on the 8th day. (Genesis 27: 12) And as a side note, the blood of an infant does not coagulate without assistance before this day.

                In the Ten Commandments the Heavenly Father’s Name is mentioned 8 times.

                Yahweh commanded Israel to keep the 7th day Sabbath 8 times.

                The first-born was to be given to Yahweh on the 8th day (Exodus 22: 29, 30).

                A’aron and his sons were consecrated as priests on the 8th day (Leviticus 8: 35;  9:1).

                Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles) is the only Holy Day kept for 8 days, and “the eighth day shall be a Sabbath. (Leviticus 23: 39)”

                There were 8 pieces of furniture in the Holy Temple: the Ark of the Covenant, the Mercy-seat,

the Altar of Incense, the Candlesticks, the Table of the Bread of the Presence, the Altar of burnt-offering, the Lavers, and the Brazen Sea.

                The “Holy of Holies” was to be a perfect cube, 8 is the first cubic number, 2 x 2 x 2 = 8.

                King David was the 8th son of Yishai (Jesse) according to 1 Samuel 17: 12.

            Elijah the Prophet performed 8 miracles (1 Kings 17, 2, 1; 17: 14 – – 23; 18: 38 – 38, 41 – 45, 2 Kings 1: 10, 12; 2: 8).

                Elisha the Prophet asked for a double portion of Elijah’s anointing (2 Kings 2: 9) and Yahweh honored that request and Elijah did exactly 8 x 2 = 16 miracles (2 Kings 2-13).

                The transfiguration of Rebbe YahShua, the Messiah, took place on the 8th day after he disclosed he had to suffer (Luke 9: 28).

                On the 8th day, the day following the second Sabbath of the seven in the counting to the Feast of Weeks, he appeared to His disciples (John 20: 26).

“The magnificence of Elohim is to hide a word but the honour of kings to search it out. (Proverbs 25: 2)”

The Light of Creation

                The glory of Yahweh is the emanation of the essence of Yahweh in a way similar to the emanation of a flame joined to a coal. 

                The first of Creation was Yahweh’s only begotten Son.  The “First born of creation,” is “the image of the invisible Elohim,” the Son of Yahweh called in the Hebrew the “Adam Kadmon.”

“He is the image (Adam Kadmon) of the invisible Elohim (Ayn Sof), the firstborn over all creation (Son of Yahweh). For through Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.  And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.And He is the head of the body, the Assembly, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence (Messiah). (Colossians 1:15-18)”

                The first emanation to show forth out of the Heavenly Father then was the Adam Kadmon, the pre-incarnate Messiah, the Light of Creation. Yahweh the Father, whose knowledge and capacity of knowing is infinite, contemplates eternally His own divine being, His own divine essence. The IDEA or IMAGE or WORD conceived of Himself in His own divine mind is an absolutely perfect living representation of the Father. This living image of Himself which the Father emanated from His divine Person, His bosom, is distinct from the Father but completely dependent on Him. He is the Father’s only-begotten Son. As the writer to the Hebrews expressed it, He is: “the brightness of His glory and the express image of [Yahweh’s] person (Hebrews 1:3).”

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. (James 1:17)”

                The Adam Kadmon is the expression of Yahweh’s complete Word.

“Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended? who hath gathered the wind in his fists? Who hath bound the waters in a garment? Who hath established all the ends of the earth? What is his name, and what is his son’s name, if thou canst tell? (Proverbs 30:4)”

“But our Elohim is in the heavens: He hath done whatsoever He hath pleased. (Psalm 115:3)”

“[Yahweh] has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds;Who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himselfpurged oursins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,having become so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. (Hebrews 1:2-4)”

 “In the beginning Elohim created the Heavens and the Earth. (Genesis 1:1)”

“By the word of Yahweh were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. (Psalm 33:6)”

 “In the beginning (Bereshit – origin) was the Word (D’var – expressed word – Torah) and the Word was with Elohim and the Word was Elohim.  The same was in the beginning with Elohim.  All things were made through Him (Torah) and without Him was not anything made that was made.  In Him was life and the life was the light of men.  And that light shineth in darkness and the darkness comprehended it not.  (John 1:1-5)”

                The darkness referred to is not merely the absence of physical light, but is also SPIRITUAL darkness.  The darkness that existed after the first Angelic Rebellion.  Because of the utter “tohu and bohu,” chaos and destruction, that existed due to Yahweh’s judgment, the first act of Tikkun Yahweh did was, He re-created.  “And the Spirit of Elohim was hovering over the face of the waters. Then Elohim said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.And Elohim saw the light, that it was good (Genesis 1:2, 3)” A light that could create worlds but would never be polluted by them, could bring life yet never be extinguished with it. This light is generated from the place of Yahweh’s infinite goodness, the highest spiritual “World of Atzilut”(emanation). By this light all things exist, physical and spiritual, from a single celled ameba to the Great Blue Whale, from a spec of dirt to our whole Solar System, from the demons and angels to the souls of the prophets.  It is the highest expression of love: unlimited giving without consideration of a response.

“…He maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.  (Matthew 5:45)”

                The first thing Elohim brought back to creation was the Divine Light.  Rabbi Michael L. Munk in “The Wisdom of the Hebrew Alphabet” (p.174) refers to it as the “Primeval Light” — and that it was spiritual in nature. It is called in Hebrew Ohr Yashar – the straightforward light. 

                So to celebrate this “Light” we light candles.  Candlelight is the symbol of Yahweh’s Glory. It is how He clothes Himself in creation and reveals Himself as the great giving Soul of the Universe. This light is forever striving upward toward its spiritual source, yet is held below by the fine thin thread of visible existence, the thread of Messiah. Forever striving upward to unite with its source above yet held down by wick and oil. It consumes its fuel with an endless hunger, radiating a soft, friendly glow that dispels the darkness. A light that is a comfort to the lonely, a seductress to the lover, a ray of hope to the lost, and a symbol of illumination to the seeker.

Israel – the Children of Light

“For you are a holy people to Yahweh your Elohim; Yahweh your Elohim has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples on the face of the earth.Yahweh did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any other people, for you were the least of all peoples (Deuteronomy 7:5-7).”

                According to Genesis 49:33-50:3: “…when Jacob had made an end of commanding his sons, he gathered up his feet into the bed, and yielded up the ghost, and was gathered unto his people. And Joseph fell upon his father’s face, and wept upon him, and kissed him. And Joseph commanded his servants the physicians to embalm his father: and the physicians embalmed Israel. And forty days were fulfilled for him; for so are fulfilled the days of those which are embalmed: and the Egyptians mourned for him threescore and ten days.”  Jacob died on the first day of Sukkot, the Feast of Tabernacles, and the Egyptians wept for him seventy days.  If you count seventy days from the first day of Sukkot, it falls on the 25th day of Kislev, the first day of Chanukah!!!

                These seventy days rectified the seven days of Creation, including the sin of the Tree of knowledge of Good and Evil.  This is why all the Children of Israel, the chosen of Yahweh, including Moses, King David and the Messiah, all come out of Jacob.  However, the family saw him as Jacob but the world sees Israel and for this reason we are either loved or hated.  In Genesis 44:15 it says a most troubling thing:  “Joseph said to them, “What is this you have done? Don’t you know that a man like me can find things out by divination?”  The word for divining is nachash, the same word as the word for the serpent who seduced Adam and Chavah (Eve) into eating the forbidden fruit from the Tree of Knowledge.  Meaning to rectify what was done in the Garden of Eden against us Joseph had to become wise as a serpent.  “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. (Matthew 10:16)”  To combat this kind of evil Joseph was raised to the level of divine wisdom and acted out before the Egyptians the whole story of Messianic Redemption when the brothers ultimately bowed before him and called him Sovereign.  “…then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn. (Zechariah 12:10)” 

                Joseph held up the “cup” as a symbol of Wisdom” not the source of Divine Wisdom.  Joseph testified before Egypt where his revelation power came from.  “And Pharaoh summoned Joseph, and they rushed him from the prison…and he came before Pharaoh.” Pharaoh addresses Joseph: “I heard that you can interpret dreams.” Joseph replies, “It is not I, but Elohim who will speak for Pharaoh’s well being.” Joseph does not take personal credit for the dream interpretation but rather says “Elohim has revealed to Pharaoh”.  The “cup” was symbolic of the Holy Grail – the Cup of Covenant.  “Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it anew with you in my Father’s kingdom. (Matthew 26:27-29)”

                The number “seventy” is especially significant: In the Torah, the number refers to all the nations of the earth. In the Book of Luke Rabbi Silas wants to make it clear that King Messiah YahShua’s mission is to sift the Lost Sheep of the House of Israel from all humankind and not just for the Tribe of Judah, the Jews. In the story that describes the conversation between YahShua and Zacchaeus, we have the statement “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost” not who was lost but what was lost, the House of Ephraim, the rest of Israel and their converts.

                Isn’t it interesting that the numerical value of Ner Chanukah (the lights of Chanukah) is the same as the names of Jacob and Joseph combined, 339? The completion of the seventy days of mourning for Jacob or should I say Israel which began on the first day of Sukkot, when the world is judged on whether Yahweh will send the rains for the crops and for life itself or not, goes through the days of teaching the Law of the Jealous Husband in which Yahweh beckons for His long lost Love – Israel and ends on Chanukah which gives us the light from oil – the Light to the World. Oil represents wisdom as a manifestation of the Holy Spirit and the light represents revelation power. “For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light. (Psalm 36:9)”  During these seventy days all seventy aspects of the soul are brought to completion through our emulating Jacob’s greatness through our study of Torah and coming closer to Yahweh. This is a powerful message. All the Scripture is powerful and speaking to us all the time but we are not listening. The sages said: “The Torah has seventy facets (Zohar, Bereishis 36)” that act on our soul.

“With the two sons who had been born to Joseph in Egypt, the members of Jacob’s family, which went to Egypt, were seventy in all. (Genesis 46:27)”

“[There were] seventy of the elders of Israel… (Exodus 24:1)”

                In Torah, seventy is a mystical number, representing, primarily, wisdom.  That’s why Yahweh first communicated with Abraham in his seventieth year.

                During these seventy days, Rebbe YahShua spoke wisdom to all seventy aspects of the soul. 

The Law of the Jealous Husband (Moshiach ben Yosef)

  • Hosea is the personification of the Jealous Husband
  • Hosea’s wife was an adulteress.
  • Yahweh warns of Judgment.
  • Hosea’s wife, Gomer abandons family.
  • Yahweh heals Hosea’s heart and takes the love away.
  • Yahweh commands Hosea to take his wife back as a show of True Love.
  • Yahweh restores love in Hosea.
  • Yahweh reveals His heart to Hosea.

From Sukkoth (Feast of Tabernacles) to the 1st Day of Chanukah the “Law of the Jealous Husband” was being taught. Though our society takes adultery lightly, it is a serious offence in the eyes of Yahweh.  He listed it right after murder in the Ten Commandments when He says, “You shall not commit murder. You shall not commit adultery. (Exodus 20:13-14)” He made it a capital offence in the Torah, worthy of the death penalty. “The man who commits adultery with another’s wife, even his neighbour’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.(Leviticus 20:10)”

Yahweh has promised to judge those who are adulterers. “Do you not know that the unrighteous and the wrongdoers will not inherit or have any share in the Kingdom of Yahweh? Do not be deceived (misled); neither the impure and immoral… nor adulterers… will inherit or have any share in Kingdom of Yahweh. (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)”

“Let marriage be held in honor (esteemed worthy, precious, of great price, and especially dear) in all things. And thus let the marriage bed be undefiled(kept sacred); for Yahweh will judge and punish the unchaste [all guilty of sexual vice] and adulterous. (Hebrews 13:4)”

Adultery is a sin against the Community of Faith for it destroys friendships, marriages, and families, contributing to the destruction of many children’s lives!  It is a hurt that keeps on hurting.

How can one avoid the sin of adultery?  Make a covenant with your eyes.  Do not look to lust. 

“I made a covenant (a dedicated agreement) to my eyes; how then could I look [lustfully] upon a girl? For what portion should I have from Elohim above [if I were lewd], and what heritage from the Almighty on high? Does not calamity [justly] befall the unrighteous, and disaster the workers of iniquity? Does not [Elohim] see my ways and count all my steps? (Job 31:1-4)”

This is in agreement with Torah.  Rebbe YahShua is not teaching anything new.  He is just rightly dividing the Word of Truth.  “You shall not covet your neighbour’s …wife,…or anything that is your neighbour’s (Exodus 20:17).” If we can prevent the lusting in the heart (or the “lustful eye”), the problem of adultery is “nipped in the bud” or should I say “Plucked in the eye!” It is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be cast into hell (Gehenna). (Matthew 5:29)

  “And Yahweh said to Moses, say to the Israelites, ‘If any man’s wife goes astray and commits an offence of guilt against him, and a man lies with her carnally, and it is hidden from the eyes of her husband and it is kept secret though she is defiled, and there is no witness against her nor was she taken in the act, and if the spirit of jealousy comes upon him and he is jealous and suspicious of his wife who has defiled herself–or if the spirit of jealousy comes upon him and he is jealous and suspicious of his wife though she has not defiled herself– then shall the man bring his wife to the priest, and he shall bring the offering required of her, a tenth of an ephah of barley meal; but he shall pour no oil upon it nor put frankincense on it [symbols of favor and joy], for it is a cereal offering of jealousy and suspicion, a memorial offering bringing iniquity to remembrance. And the priest shall bring her near and set her before Yahweh. And the priest shall take holy water [from the sacred laver] in an earthen vessel and take some of the dust that is on the floor of the Tabernacle and put it in the water. And the priest shall set the woman before Yahweh, and let the hair of the woman’s head hang loose, and put the meal offering of remembrance in her hands, which is the jealousy and suspicion offering. And the priest shall have in his hand the (cup of the) water of bitterness that brings the curse. Then the priest shall make her take an oath, and say to the woman, “If no man has lain with you and if you have not gone astray to uncleanness with another instead of your husband, then be free from any effect of this water of bitterness which brings the curse. But if you have gone astray and you are defiled, some man having lain with you beside your husband,” then the priest shall make the woman take the oath of the curse, and say to the woman, “Yahweh make you a curse and an oath among your people when the Lord makes your thigh fall away and your body swell. May this water that brings the curse go into your bowels and make your body swell and your thigh fall away.” And the woman shall say, “Amien! (So let it be, so let it be). The priest shall then write these curses in a book and shall wash them off into the (cup of the) water of bitterness; and he shall cause the woman to drink the water of bitterness that brings the curse, and the water that brings the curse shall enter into her [to try her] bitterly. Then the priest shall take the cereal offering of jealousy and suspicion out of the woman’s hand and shall wave the offering before Yahweh and offer it upon the altar. And the priest shall take a handful of the cereal offering as the memorial portion of it and burn it on the altar, and afterward shall cause the woman to drink the water. And when he has made her drink the water, then if she is defiled and has committed a trespass against her husband, the curse water which she drank shall be bitterness and cause her body to swell and her thigh to fall away, and the woman shall be a curse among her people. But if the woman is not defiled and is clean, then she shall be free [from the curse] and be able to have children. This is the law of jealousy and suspicion when a wife goes aside to another instead of her husband and is defiled, or when the spirit of jealousy and suspicion comes upon a man and he is jealous and suspicious of his wife; then shall he set the woman before Yahweh, and the priest shall execute on her all this law. The [husband] shall be free from iniquity and guilt, and that woman [if guilty] shall bear her iniquity. (Numbers 5:11-31)”

                It was during this time that Rebbe YahShua was teaching the same thing.  His lessons were taken out of the Book of Hosea (Salvation).

The Book of Hosea contains 14 chapters, usually divided by commentators into two unequal sections: chapters 1-3 and chapters 4-14. In chapters 1-3 the prophet likens the relationship between Yahweh and Israel to that of a man who is married to an unfaithful woman. The description of this relationship is personalized—that is, the husband in the book is Hosea himself, and the unfaithful wife is his wife Gomer. The covenant, between Yahweh and Israel, was formerly seen by Israel as based on law, is envisioned by Hosea as a spiritual bond based on love. The remaining chapters consist of short prophecies dealing with the spiritual corruption of the people; the moral unfitness of the kings, priests, and prophets; and the judgment and punishment that result from infidelity and corrupt behavior.

The Adulterous Woman

Early in the morning Rebbe YahShua came to the Mikdash again. The Jewish people came to Him, so He sat down and taught them. While He did this, the Rabbis of the Torah and P’rushim brought to Him a woman arrested during the act of adultery.

This woman whose guilt was not in question was brought before Rebbe YahShua by the members of the Sanhedrin who had this woman in custody on their way to bringing her to the High Priest and the Bitter Cup.

They put her out front and said to Rebbe YahShua, “Rabbi, this woman was arrested during the very act of adultery. They ask him, “What is your rendering or halacha that we should do to this woman?”  Now Moshe in the Torah commanded us, that such a person should be stoned, but what do you say?”

They said this to test Him, thinking they might get a cause to accuse Him. But Rebbe YahShua stooped down and wrote in the dust (from the Tabernacle) with His finger as though He didn’t hear them.

It appears that Rebbe YahShua is on the horns of a dilemma.  If he lets her go He is damned for He has broken Torah.  If He convicts her He is damned because it is not in His authority because He is not then a High Priest nor a judge.   Rather he does a unique thing, He writes in the dust.  

(“And the priest shall bring her near and set her before Yahweh. And the priest shall take holy water [from the sacred laver] in an earthen vessel and take some of the dust that is on the floor of the Tabernacle…The priest shall then write these curses in a book and shall wash them off into the (cup of the) water of bitterness; and he shall cause the woman to drink the water of bitterness that brings the curse.”)

But they continued to ask Him, so He stood up and said, “The one among you who has no sin is the one who must throw a stone at her first.” Then He stooped down and wrote on the ground again. Rebbe YahShua began to write the offences that Israel had committed against Yahweh.

(“Therefore, O harlot [Israel], hear the word of Yahweh! Thus says Yahweh Elohim: Because your brass [coins and gifts] and your filthiness were emptied out and your nakedness uncovered through your harlotries with your lovers, and because of all the [filthy] idols of your abominations, and the blood of your children that you gave to them, therefore behold, I will gather all your lovers with whom you have taken pleasure, and all those whom you have loved with all those whom you have hated; I will even gather them [the allies you have courted] against you on every side and will uncover your nakedness to them, that they may see all your nakedness [making you, Israel, an object of loathing and of mockery, a spectacle among the nations]. And I Yahweh will judge you as women who break wedlock and shed blood are judged, and I will bring upon you the blood of [your divine Husband’s] wrath and jealousy.” (Ezekiel 16)

As he wrote He began to verbalize them.  “They listened to Him, and then they began going out, conscience-stricken, one by one, from the oldest down to the last one of them, till Rebbe YahShua was left alone, with the woman standing there before Him in the center of the court.”

Then Rebbe YahShua got up and said to the woman, ‘Woman, where are your accusers? Have you no husband to condemned you?”  Where was her husband?  She was caught in the very act of adultery, why doesn’t her husband bring charges on her.  He is the only one who can!  “Because he has brought an evil reputation upon a virgin of Israel. And she shall be his wife; he may not (bring charges) divorce her all his days.”  He was not there because she was falsely accused before.

She responds to Rebbe YahShua by accepting Him as her King. “No one, Adonai! And Rebbe YahShua said, I do not condemn you either. Go on your way and from now on sin no more.”

Israel was that adulterous woman.  “Again the word of Yahweh came to me, saying, Son of man, cause Jerusalem to know, understand, and realize her [idolatrous] abominations [that they] are disgusting, detestable, and shamefully vile.

“And say, Thus says Yahweh Elohim to Jerusalem [representing Israel]: Your [spiritual] origin and your birth are thoroughly Canaanitish; your [spiritual] father was an Amorite and your [spiritual] mother a Hittite.And as for your birth, on the day you were born your navel cord was not cut, nor were you washed with water to cleanse you, nor rubbed with salt or swaddled with bands at all. No eye pitied you to do any of these things for you, to have compassion on you; but you were cast out in the open field, for your person was abhorrent and loathsome on the day that you were born.

And when I passed by you and saw you rolling about in your blood, I said to you in your blood, Live! Yes, I said to you still in your natal blood, Live! I caused you [Israel] to multiply as the bud which grows in the field, and you increased and became tall and you came to full maidenhood and beauty; your breasts were formed and your hair had grown, yet you were naked and bare. Now I passed by you again and looked upon you; behold, you were maturing and at the time for love, and I spread My Talit over you and covered your nakedness. Yes, I plighted My troth to you and entered into a covenant with you, says Yahweh, and you became Mine (at Sinai).

Then I washed you with water (Mikveh); yes, I thoroughly washed away your [clinging] blood from you and I anointed you with oil.

I clothed you also with embroidered cloth and shod you with [fine] leather; and I girded you about with fine linen and covered you with silk.

I decked you also with ornaments and I put bracelets on your wrists and a chain on your neck. And I put a ring on your nose and earrings in your ears and a beautiful crown upon your head!

Thus you were decked with gold and silver, and your raiment was of fine linen and silk and embroidered cloth; you ate fine flour and honey and oil. And you were exceedingly beautiful and you prospered into royal estate.

And your renown went forth among the nations  (as a chosen people) for your beauty, for it was perfect through My majesty and splendour (glory) which I had put upon you, says the Yahweh Elohim.

But you trusted in and relied on your own beauty and were unfaithful to Elohim and played the harlot [in idolatry] because of your renown, and you poured out your fornications upon anyone who passed by [as you worshiped the idols of every nation which prevailed over you] and your beauty was his.

And you took some of your garments and made for yourself gaily decorated high places or shrines and played the harlot on them–things which should not come and that which should not take place.

You did also take your fair jewels and beautiful vessels of My gold and My silver which I had given you and made for yourself images of men, and you played the harlot with them;

And you took your embroidered garments and covered them and set My oil and My incense before them.

My bread also which I gave you–fine flour and oil and honey with which I fed you–you have even set it before the idols for a sweet odor. Thus it was, says the Yahweh Elohim.

Moreover, you have taken your sons and your daughters whom you have borne to Me, and you have sacrificed them [to your idols] to be destroyed. Were your harlotries too little, that you have slain My children and delivered them up, in setting them apart and causing them to pass through the fire for [your idols]?

And in all your abominations and idolatrous whoredoms you have not [earnestly] remembered the days of your youth when you were naked and bare, rolling about in your natal blood.

And after all your wickedness–Woe, woe to you! says the Yahweh Elohim– You have built also for yourself a vaulted chamber (brothel) and have made a high place [of idol worship] in every street. At every crossway you built your high place [for idol worship] and have made your beauty an abomination [abhorrent, loathsome, extremely disgusting, and detestable]; and you have made your body available to every passer-by and multiplied your [idolatry and spiritual] harlotry.

You have also played the harlot with the Egyptians, your neighbours, [by adopting their idolatries] whose worship is thoroughly sensuous, and you have multiplied your harlotry to provoke Me to anger. Behold therefore, I have stretched out My hand against you, diminished your ordinary allowance of food, and delivered you over to the will of those who hate and despise you, the daughters of the Philistines, who turned away in shame from your despicable policy and lewd behaviour [for they are faithful to their gods]!

You played the harlot also with the Assyrians because you were insatiable; yes, you played the harlot with them, and yet you were not satisfied.

Moreover, you multiplied your harlotry with the land of trade, with Chaldea, and yet even with this you were not satisfied. How weak and spent with longing and lust is your heart and mind, says the Yahweh Elohim, seeing you do all these things, the work of a bold, domineering harlot, in that you build your vaulted place (brothel) at the head of every street and make your high place at every crossing. But you were not like a prostitute because you did not ask for pay.

Rather, you were as an adulterous wife who receives strangers instead of her husband! Men give gifts to all harlots, but you give your gifts to all your lovers and hire them, bribing [the nations to ally themselves with you], that they may come to you on every side for your harlotries (your idolatrous unfaithfulnesses to Elohim).

And you are different [the reverse] from other women in your harlotries, in that nobody follows you to lure you into harlotry and in that you give hire when no hire is given you; and so you are different.

Therefore, O harlot [Israel], hear the word of Yahweh! Thus says Yahweh Elohim: Because your brass [coins and gifts] and your filthiness were emptied out and your nakedness uncovered through your harlotries with your lovers, and because of all the [filthy] idols of your abominations, and the blood of your children that you gave to them, therefore behold, I will gather all your lovers with whom you have taken pleasure, and all those whom you have loved with all those whom you have hated; I will even gather them [the allies you have courted] against you on every side and will uncover your nakedness to them, that they may see all your nakedness [making you, Israel, an object of loathing and of mockery, a spectacle among the nations]. And I Yahweh will judge you as women who break wedlock and shed blood are judged, and I will bring upon you the blood of [your divine Husband’s] wrath and jealousy.And I will also give you into the hand of those [your enemies], and they shall throw down your vaulted place (brothel) and shall demolish your high places [of idolatry]; they shall strip you of your clothes and shall take your splendid jewels and leave you naked and bare. They shall also bring up a company against you, and they shall stone you with stones and hew down and thrust you through with their swords. And they shall burn your houses with fire and execute judgments upon you before the eyes of many women spectators [the nations]. And I will cause you to cease playing the harlot, and you also shall give hire no more.

So will I make My wrath toward you to rest and My jealousy shall depart from you [My adulterous wife], and I will be quiet and will be no more angry. Because you have not [earnestly] remembered the days of your youth but have enraged Me with all these things, therefore behold, I also will bring your deeds down on your own head, says Yahweh Elohim. Did you not commit this lewdness above and in addition to all your other abominations? Behold, everyone who uses proverbs will use this proverb against you: As is the mother, so is her daughter. You are your [spiritual] mother’s daughter who loathed her husband and her children, and you are the sister of your sisters who loathed their husbands and their children. Your mother was a Hittite and your father an Amorite. And your elder sister is Samaria, she and her daughters who dwelt in the north and at your left hand; and your younger sister who dwelt in the south and at your right hand is Sodom and her daughters. Yet you were not satisfied to walk after their ways or to do after their abominations, but very soon you were more corrupt in all your ways than they were [for your sin, as those taught of Elohim, is far blacker than theirs].

As I live, says the Yahweh Elohim, Sodom your sister has not done, she nor her daughters, as you have done, you and your daughters. Behold, this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom: pride, overabundance of food, prosperous ease, and idleness were hers and her daughters’; neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. And they were haughty and committed abominable offences before Me; therefore I removed them when I saw fit.

Neither has Samaria committed half of your sins, but you have multiplied your [idolatrous] abominations more than they and have seemed to justify your sisters [Samaria and Sodom] in all their wickedness by all the abominable things which you have done–you even make them appear righteous in comparison with you. Take upon you and bear your own shame and disgrace [in your punishment], you also who called in question and judged your sisters, for you have virtually absolved them by your sins in which you behaved more abominably than they; they are more right than you. Yes, be ashamed and confounded and bear your shame and disgrace, you also, for you have seemed to justify your sisters and make them appear righteous. I will restore them again from their captivity, restore the fortunes of Sodom and her daughters and the fortunes of Samaria and her daughters, and I will restore your own fortunes in the midst of them [in the day of Yahweh],that you [Judah], amid your shame and disgrace, may be compelled to recognize your wickedness and be thoroughly ashamed and confounded at all you have done, becoming [converted and bringing] consolation and comfort to [your sisters.] And your sisters, Sodom and her daughters shall return to their former estate, and Samaria and her daughters shall return to their former estate; then you and your daughters shall return to your former estate. For was your sister Sodom not mentioned by you [except] as a byword in the day of your pride, before your own wickedness was uncovered? Now you have become like her, an object of reproach and a byword for the daughters of Syria and of Edom and for all who are round about them and for the daughters of the Philistines (Palestinians) –those round about who despise you. You bear the penalty of your lewdness and your [idolatrous] abominations, says the Yahweh.

Yes, thus says Yahweh Elohim: I will even deal with you as you have done, who have despised the oath in breaking the covenant; nevertheless, I will [earnestly] remember My covenant with you in the days of your youth and I will establish with you an everlasting covenant.Then you will [earnestly] remember your ways and be ashamed and confounded when you shall receive your sisters, both your elder and your younger; I will give them to you as daughters, but not on account of your covenant [with Me].And I will establish My covenant with you, and you shall know (understand and realize) that I am Yahweh,That you may [earnestly] remember and be ashamed and confounded and never open your mouth again because of your shame, when I have forgiven you all that you have done, says the Yahweh Elohim. (Ezekiel 16)”

It is true because Israel played the whore against Yahweh He wrote her a bill of divorcement.

“…I saw, even though [Judah knew] that for this very cause of committing adultery (idolatry) I [Yahweh] had put faithless Israel away and given her a bill of divorce; yet her faithless and treacherous sister Judah was not afraid, but she also went and played the harlot [following after idols]. (Jeremiah 3:8)”

                Yahweh did write a bill of divorcement but there was a not a judge who dared ratify the divorce.  Yahweh knew that Israel was not a virgin when He married her.  So, He does not go through with the divorce.

“Has Yahweh totally rejected and disowned His people? Of course not! …No, Yahweh has not rejected and disowned His people [whose destiny] He had marked out and appointed and foreknown from the beginning. (Romans 11:1,2)”

“Thus says Yahweh: Where is the bill of your mother’s divorce with which I put her away, O Israel? Or which of My creditors is it to whom I have sold you? Behold, for your iniquities you were sold, and for your transgressions was your mother put away. (Isaiah 50:1)”

                This is why YahShua came to drink the Bitter Cup for Israel.

“Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but [always] Yours be done. And there appeared to Him an angel from heaven, strengthening Him in spirit. (Matthew 26:38-40& Luke 22:41-43)”

Now Israel stands at YahShua’s feet and He asks, ‘Woman, where are your accusers? Has no man (husband) condemned you? She answered, No one, Adonai! And Rebbe YahShua said, I do not condemn you either. Go on your way and from now on sin no more.”

“There is now no condemnation (no guilt) for those who are in Messiah YahShua, who live [and] walk not after the dictates of the flesh, but after the dictates of the Spirit.For the Spirit of Torah is life [which is] in Messiah YahShua [the law of our new being] has freed me from the law of sin and of death. (Romans 8:1,2)”

King Messiah YahShua would not ratify the divorce but He did ratify the New Covenant! (Matthew 26:28)

“Turn, O backsliding children, saith Yahweh; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion: and I will give you Pastors according to My heart which shall feed you with Knowledge & understanding (Jeremiah 3:14,15).”

“Behold, the days are coming, says Yahweh, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah,not according to the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt (Deuteronomy 29-30), My covenant which they broke, although I was their Husband, says Yahweh. But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel: After those days, says Yahweh, I will put My Torah within them, and on their hearts will I write it; and I will be their Elohim, and they will be My people. And they will no more teach each man his neighbour and each man his brother, saying, Know (yada – be intimate with) Yahweh, for they will all know Me [be intimate with Me], from the least of them to the greatest, says Yahweh. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will [seriously] remember their sin no more (Jeremiah 31:31-34)”

“Therefore, behold, I will allure her, will bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfort to her. I will give her vineyards from there, and the Valley of Achor as a door of hope; she shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, as in the day when she came up from the land of Egypt…I will betroth you to Me forever; yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and justice, in lovingkindness and mercy; I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness, and you shall know Yahweh. (Hosea 2:14,15, 19,20)”

The Light of the World

Then Rebbe YahShua did a strange thing He turned and faced the Outer Court of the Temple (where the Gentiles were) and said to those there, “I am the Light of the world. The one who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the Light of life.” (John 8 :12)

Some P’rushim said, “You are testifying on your own behalf, so your testimony is not to be remembered.”

“Even though I testify concerning myself, my testimony is the remembrance,” Rebbe YahShua replied. “For I have seen the place from where I come and where I will go, but you have not seen the place from where I come and where I will go. You discriminate by using the flesh. I discriminate against no one. Yet if I do discriminate, my decision is the remembrance, for I am not alone. I have Abba, who sent me. “[Messiah] was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world.He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him…(John 1:9,10,)”

Rebbe YahShua said that before the restor[ation of] the Kingdom [of] Israel could happen the Full Messianic Message of the Kingdom must be preached to the Majority of the whole world. “…this full Messianic message of the Kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. (Matthew 24:14)” “…ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Spirit is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. (Acts 1:8)”

“…Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, immersing them in the name of the Father, by authority of the Son through the inspiration of the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit), teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you, and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age. (Matthew 28:19)”

                The Full Messianic Message of the reality of the Kingdom is a message only the Commonwealth of Israel can declare!  It is commanded that we fulfill our roles as a Kingdom of Priests (Exodus 19:6 & 1 Peter 2:9) by preaching this truth to the Lost Sheep of the House of Israel. “How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring the full message! (Isaiah 52:7)” (Romans 10:14,15)”

“These twelve Rebbe YahShua sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as ye go, preach, saying, The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. (Matthew 10:5-7)” 

“…He answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Adon, help me. (Matthew 15:24,25)”

“I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will hear to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. (John 10:16)”

You Are the Light of the World – External Influence

“You are the light of the world. (Matthew 5:14)”

“…the sons of this world are more shrewd in their generation than the sons of light. (Luke 16:8)”

“If the ax is dull, and one does not sharpen the edge, then he must use more strength; but wisdom brings success. (Ecclesiastes 10:10)”

                While light dispels darkness, it can also be so “blinding” as to confuse and frustrate. We are admonished to let our light so shine that our fellows will be guided into new and godly paths of righteous illuminated living. Our light should so shine as not to attract attention to self. Rather we are to reflect the light of Messiah for He is the source.

“[Messiah] was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him…(John 1:9,10,)”

“He who believes in [Messiah] is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of Yahweh. And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. (John 3:18-20)”

“As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world. (John 9:5)”

                Messiah has now ascended to the right-hand of the Father as our High Priest and has commissioned us to be His lights.

“Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of Yahweh without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the Word of Life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Messiah that I have not run in vain or labored in vain. (Philippians 2:14-16)”

“A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. (Matthew 5:15)”

                Over looking Capernaum and most of the Sea of Galilee is Sefat, which means “view,” Israel’s mystical city was where the School of the Prophets was located.  The town is aptly named; the view is magnificent.  Being the home of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yechoi, the author of the Zohar, Sefat is a stronghold of Jewish mystical tradition.  It was against this backdrop Rebbe YahShua commissions us to be mystical lights of the full mysteries of Yahweh’s Word.

“[Messiah] said to them, “To you it has been given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God; but to those who are outside, all things come in parables (Mark 4:11)”

“Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my Full Message and the preaching of Messiah YahShua, according to the revelation of the mystery kept secret since the world beganbut now made manifest, and by the prophetic Scriptures made known to all nations, according to the commandment of the everlasting Elohim, for obedience to the faith—(Romans 16:25,26)”

                A light is not a light unless it shines in the darkness.  People never buy a light without purpose…

“Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in Heaven. (Matthew 5:14-16)”

We must search out the lost sheep from the rest of humanity to save them, for this is the severity of our message, you cannot be saved unless you’re are part of the Commonwealth of Israel. Without your place in the Commonwealth “…you [are] without Messiah, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without Yahweh in the world. (But if you will accept the Kingdom and its King you will receive salvation through the shed blood of our Messiah) But now in Messiah YahShua you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Messiah. (Ephesians 2:1-13)”

            Yahweh has already predestined the Majority to be part of the Remnant.  “For He chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love hepredestined us to be adopted as his sons through Messiah YahShua, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. (Ephesians 1:4-6)”

The Blinded Eyes Healed – The Law of the Redeemer (Moshiach ben Adon)

  • Yahweh is in control.
  • Healing is for the glory of Yahweh.
  • Messiah brings light of revelation concerning Torah.

When Rebbe YahShua was walking by a place He saw a man who was blind since his birth. So His disciples asked Him, “Rabbi, what sin caused this? Was it this man’s fault or his parent’s fault that he was born blind?”

“It was not his fault nor His parents,” YahShua answered, “but rather, it is so the works of Elohim would be manifested in him. I must work the works of Him who sent me while it is day. The night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the Light of the world.” (John 9:5)

Then He spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva. He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay and said to him, “Go. Wash in the pool of Shalo-am, [Sent to the people].” The man went and washed, then returned able to see.

The neighbors and those who had known before that the man was blind, said, “Isn’t this the one who sat and begged?”

Some said, “This is the one!” Others said, “This one looks like him.”

Then the man said, “I am the one!”

Therefore they said to him, “How were your eyes healed?”

He answered, “A man called YahShua made clay and anointed mine eyes, then said to me, “Go to the pool of Shalo-am and wash, so I went and washed and then I could see!”

They asked, “Where is YahShua?”

“I don’t know,” He answered.

So they then brought the formerly blind man to some of the P’rushim. It was the Shabbat when YahShua made the clay and healed the man’s eyes. These P’rushim asked the man how he had received his sight. He told them, “YahShua put clay on my eyes, and I washed, and now I see.”

Some of the P’rushim argued, “This man is not of Elohim, because he does not keep the Shabbat.”

Others of the P’rushim countered, “Then how can a man that is a sinner do such miracles?”

This caused a division among them, so they said to the blind man again, “What do you say about him, since he has healed your eyes?”

“He is a prophet,” he answered.

But certain leading Yehudim did not believe the report that he had been blind and then received his sight, until they called his parents. They asked them, “Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How come he now is able to see?”

His parents answered, “We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind, but by what means he now can see we do not know, nor who has healed his eyes. He is of age, so ask him. He will speak for himself.”

His parents spoke this way because they were afraid of the leading YaHudim, because some had already agreed, that if any man confessed that YahShua was the Moshiach, he would be put out of the synagogue. Therefore his parents said, “He is of age. Ask him.”

Then again they called the man who was blind and said unto him, “Give Elohim the praise: we know that this man is a sinner.”

The formerly blind man answered, “Whether or not he is a sinner I don’t know, but one thing I do know: I once was blind and now I see.”

Then they asked him again, “What did he do to you? How did he heal your eyes?”

“I have told you already,” he answered. “And you did not shema it. Why do you want to hear it again? Will you also become his disciples?”

Then they rebuked him, “You are his disciple, but we are Moshe’s disciples. We know that Elohim spoke to Moshe. As for this fellow, we don’t know where he is from.”

The man said, “Wow! This is an amazing thing! You do not know where he is from, and yet he has healed my eyes! We know that Elohim does not hear sinners, but if anyone is a worshiper of Elohim, and does His will, He hears them. Since the world began it has not been heard that any man healed the eyes of someone who was born blind. If this man was not of Elohim, he could not do anything!”

They countered him, saying “You were altogether born in sins, so do you teach us?” Then they threw him out {of the synagogue}.

Rebbe YahShua heard that they had thrown him out, so when He found him He asked him, “Do you trust in the Son of Elohim?”

“Who is he, Adonai, that I may trust in him?” he answered.

“You have seen him and it is he who is talking with you,” explained Rebbe YahShua.

Then he said, “Adonai, I trust!” and the man worshiped Him.

Rebbe YahShua said, “I have come into this world to make a distinction, that those who do not see might see, and that those who see might be made blind.”

Some of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these words and said to him, “Are we blind also?”

“If you were blind you would have no sin,” Rebbe YahShua replied, “but since you say, ‘We see’ your sin remains. It is also written in the Torah, ‘the testimony of two men is remembered.’ I am one who testifies about myself and Abba who sent me also testifies about me.”

Then they asked, “Where is your father?”

Rebbe YahShua answered, “You have not seen me or Avi. If you had seen me, you would have seen my Father also. I go my way, yet you will continue to worship while you plot against me, and you will die in your sins. You cannot come where I am going.”

The leaders questioned among themselves, “Will he kill himself?”

Rebbe YahShua said, “You are from below, while I am from above. You belong to this world, while I am not from this world. For this reason I told you that you will die in your sins, for if you do not trust that I am He, you shall die in your sins.”

“Who are you?” they asked.

“I am the One who was spoken to you from the beginning,” YahShua answered. “I have many things to say and much to judge. He who sent me is remembered. I speak to the world those things which I have heard from Him.”

However, they didn’t understand that He was speaking about Abba.

Then Rebbe YahShua said, “When you have lifted up the Son of man, then you will perceive that I am He, and that I do nothing from myself. As Avi has taught me, I speak these things. And He who sent me is with me. Abba has not left me alone, because I always do those things which please Him.”

As Rebbe YahShua spoke many YaHudim (Jewish people) trusted who He was. To those YaHudim who trusted who He was He said, “If you stand on my Word, then you are my validated disciples. Then you will know the remembrance, and the remembrance will liberate you.”

“For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: for this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins. As concerning the Full Messianic Message, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the father’s sakes. For the gifts and calling of Yahweh are without repentance. (Romans 11:25-29)”

                Remember when Rav Yochannan ben Zakki HaKohen wondered about Rebbe YahShua because He entered the Temple: “Now when Yochanan had heard in the prison the deeds (mitzvoth) of the Moshiach (Messiah), he sent two of his talmidim (disciples) (Symbolic of inquiring Judah and Ephraim), and said to Him, ‘Are You the One that should come, or do we look for another? Rebbe YahShua answered and said to them, ‘Go and show Rav Yochanan again those things that you do hear and see: the blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the besorah proclaimed to them and are acquitted. (Isaiah 35:5-6; 61:1) And blessed is he, who shall not be offended by Me. (Matthew 11:2-6)”  Messiah was saying that He had come to open the eyes of blind Judah and heal crippled Ephraim and the true sheep hear His call having their ears opened all because the Full Messianic Message is being preached to the poor in spirit – the repentant.

The Law of the Good Shepherd (Moshiach ben David)

  • Messiah is the door to Yahweh.
  • Messiah is the ransom for the sheep.
  • Messiah is the Shepherd of the Nations.
  • Believe on the Messiah and you will never parish.

“… Rebbe YahShua answered, “You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice. (John 18:37)”

“Amien, amien! I tell you, the one who does not enter by the door into the sheepfold, but instead climbs up some other way, that one is a thief and a robber. But the one who enters in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the porter opens and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he takes out his own sheep, he goes in front of them and the sheep follow him, because they know his voice. They will not follow a stranger, rather they will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers.” Rebbe YahShua spoke this parable, but they did not understand the things which He was speaking to them.

Then Rebbe YahShua spoke to them again, “Amien, amien! I tell you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came ahead of me {announcing they were Moshiach} are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not shema them. I am the door. If anyone enters in through me he will be preserved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes for no other reason than to steal, kill, and destroy. I have come that they might have life, and that they might have it with overflowing abundance. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives his life for the sheep. The one who is a hired hand, and not the shepherd who owns the sheep, when he sees the wolf coming he leaves the sheep in a hurry. Then the wolf catches them and the sheep scatter. The hired hand leaves in a hurry because he is only a hired hand and does not care for the sheep. I am the good shepherd and I know my sheep, and I am known by my own. As Abba knows me, so also I know Abba, and I lay down my life for the sheep. I also own other sheep who are not of this fold. I must also bring them along. They will also shema my voice, and the result will be one fold and one shepherd.

“Avi loves me because I lay down my life, so that I might regain it. No one takes it from me, rather, I myself lay it down. I have the power to lay it down, and I have the power to regain it. This commandment I have received from Avi.” {In this Rebbe YahShua affirmed that the commandments of Yahweh are given along with the ability to perform them.}

As a result of these words there arose once again a division among the leaders of the YaHudim. Some of them said, “He has a deceiving spirit and is mad! Why do you shema him?”

Others of them argued back, “These are not the words of someone who has a deceiving spirit! Can a deceiving spirit heal the eyes of the blind?””

“Yahweh is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of Yahweh for ever. (Psalm 23)”

A Messianic Chanukah

Now it was time for the Feast of Chanukah in the winter, and YahShua walked in the Mikdash around the part called King Shlomo’s portico. Then some of the leaders of the YaHudim came around Him and questioned Him, “How long will you cause us to doubt? If you are Moshiach declare it plainly to us.”

Rebbe YahShua answered them, “I told you, yet you did not trust it. The deeds which I do in Avi’s Name, they witness concerning who I am. You do not trust because you are not among my sheep. As I told you, my sheep shema my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. To them I give eternal life and they will never perish, neither will anyone remove them from my hand. Avi, who gave them to me, is greater than anyone, and no one is able to remove them from Avi’s hand. Avi and I are Echad [One].”

Then some of the leaders of the YaHudim picked up stones to throw at Him. “Many good works I have showed you from Avi, for which one of those deeds do you stone me?” Rebbe YahShua remarked.

They said, “We do not stone you for a good work, but rather for blasphemy, because you, being a man, make yourself out to be Elohim.”

Rebbe YahShua answered them, “Is it not written in the Torah, ‘I say, you are elohim?’ If he called those ‘elohim’ to whom the Word of Elohim came, and the scripture cannot be broken, how can you say concerning the one Abba has set apart from Himself and sent into the world, ‘You blaspheme,’ simply because I said, ‘I am the Son of Elohim?’ If I do not do the deeds of Avi, then do not trust me. But if I do them, though you do not trust me {because of the way I look to you}, trust in the {miraculous} deeds. You should understand by those and trust that Abba is in me, and I am in Him!”

There they tried again to take hold of Him, but He escaped out of their grip and went away beyond the Yarden River again into the place where Yochanan first performed the mikveh. He found shelter there and many congregated to Him. They were saying, “Yochanan did no miracle, but all the things that Yochanan spoke about this man were true.” Many trusted in YahShua there.

“He who believes in [Messiah] is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of Yahweh.And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. (John 3:18-20)”

“Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of Yahweh is risen upon thee.  For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but Yahweh shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.  Lift up thine eyes round about, and see: all they gather themselves together, they come to thee: thy sons shall come from far, and thy daughters shall be nursed at thy side. Then thou shalt see, and flow together, and thine heart shall fear, and be enlarged; because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee. (Isa. 60:1-5)”

“Do all things without complaining and disputing,that you may become blameless and harmless, children of Yahweh without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,holding fast the Word of Life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Messiah that I have not run in vain or labored in vain. (Philippians 2:14-16)”

“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. (Matthew 5:14,15)”

“Once in while, you get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if you look at it right.” (“Scarlet Begonias” by The Grateful Dead)

Originally written by Rabbi Robert O. Miller on Dec. 31 2005
(Robert Owen Miller 1957-2021)

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The Secret of Chanukah

The Secret of Chanukah
By
Robert O. Miller

“…What do you see?” “I see a branch of an almond tree.” “You have seen well, for I am ready to perform My word.” (Jeremiah 1:11-12 )”

1 Keter (Crown) or Keter Elyon (Supreme Crown)

2 Chokmah (Wisdom)

3 Binah (Understanding or Intelligence)

4 Chesed (Mercy or Grace) or Gedullah (Greatness)

5 Geburah (Severity or Power), Din (Judgment) or Pahad (Fear)

6 Tiferet  (Beauty) or Rahamim (Mercy)

7 Netsach (Victory or Constancy)

8 Hod (Glory or Majesty)

9 Yesod (Foundation) or Tsedek (Justice)

10 Malkut (Kingdom) or Shekhinah (Divine Immanence)

“For the commandment is a lamp, and the Torah a light; reproofs of instruction are the way of life (Proverbs 6:23)”

“Your word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105).

The Story of Chanukah

Most of us know the story of Chanukah. The Greco-Syrians conquered the Jews with the fixation of destroying the Faith of Yahweh by seeking to force Jews to eliminate the Covenant & Torah. This destruction was symbolized by the defiling of the Temple.

After three years of fighting, the Greco-Syrian forces of Antioch Epimanes (the Mad) were repelled by the priestly family of the HaShemites (Keepers of the Name) under the leadership of YaHudah Maccabee (the Hammer). 

The Jews climbed up on the Temple Mount and re-entered the Sanctuary of the Temple to clean the building and to remove the hated Greek symbols and statues.

They set back up the Holy furniture of the Temple but could not find any oil that had not been compromised.  Finally they found one small jug of pure unadulterated olive oil still with the High Priest’s seal on it. There was only a single day’s supply of oil in this container.

The HaShemites declared that the 25th of Kislev in 164 BCE would be the date of the rededication of the Holy Temple.  Oil was needed for the menorah in the Temple, which was supposed to burn throughout the night every night. The menorah was lit with perfect, special, pure super quality extra virgin olive oil. There was only enough oil to burn for one day.  The Jews could have opted to sanctify regular oil and use it.  They chose to make no compromise to use the perfect oil leaving the outcome to Yahweh. Miraculously, it burned for eight days, the time needed to prepare a fresh supply of oil for the menorah. An eight-day festival was declared to commemorate this miracle forever.

Now there is something important about this menorah.  The purest olive oil is poured into the seven cups and seven is the mystical number of creation. The wicks are made of fabric from the discarded priestly garments.  Garments that are saturated with the residue of the very presence of Yahweh.  But oil cannot burn on its own, no matter how pure it is; no amount of heat is sufficient to ignite it.

The wick must draw in the olive oil, but the wick cannot burn on its own. When the wick is infilled with oil, the wick still has to be ignited from the fire that Yahweh has kindled on the Graven Altar, but still the oil burns, not the wick. It is only as the oil diminishes does the wick start to be consumed.  And it is the size of the wick that determines how much oil is consumed and so burned and how much light is given.

It follows that because a thick wick consumes oil more quickly than a thin wick, the time of burning can be varied accordingly.  So the miracle of the menorah was not one miracle but a series of seven miracles of varying dimensions.

The light from the Chanukah menorah is entirely different to any other light; all other candlelight is a means to an end, whereas the Chanukah menorah is an end in itself.

Other lights may be for honor (as in the synagogue) or the actual use of the light (for example, over Havdalah after Shabbat or in an emergency) but it is forbidden to use the light of the Chanukah menorah for a common purpose.  The light of the chanukiyyah is the celebration.  We’re just to look at it and ponder the glory of Yahweh.

When you light your personal menorah you are doing so with a unique memory. A miracle occurred when someone like you performed the same mitzvah over 2,000 years ago without compromise, with a full and sincere heart abandoning their will to the total outcome to Yahweh. You are testifying every time you light your personal menorah, and realize it or not you just re- examined your own faith.   Do I believe that Yahweh still works in the lives of men today?  The flickering light of your menorah resounds with a miraculous yes!

“I would have died, unless I had believed to see the goodness of Yahweh in the land of the living. (Psalm 27:13 )”

So when we look at the Miracles we see there are three aspects of Chanukah. One is the decrees made against us by the infidels, which represented extreme peer pressure that we have to battle all our lives the minute we commit to Yahweh.  The second is the self-sacrifice of the Believer to stand for what is right no matter what the opposition – even to the point of death.  The third aspect of Chanukah is that there were two kinds of miracles; war and the lights, which symbolizes Spiritual Warfare and Revelation.

Israel could have used less pure oil and they could have used smaller wicks. But, for life to be about relationship, they had to leave everything to Yahweh not trying to manipulate the situation. This blind faith in Yahweh is its own conduit for bringing down the blessings like an antenna on a radio brings down the reception of a broadcast.

The miracles that happened expresses the relationship that transcends limitation. You cannot box Yahweh in.  The limitation of that one cruse of oil and a common wick had to give way to Yahweh’s wonder working power. This is why, when we celebrate Chanukah, the Sages made the miracle of the light the main focus of our celebration.  Because without revelation there is no winning the war.

If we keep that Sabbaths, love the name of Yahweh and hold fast to the Covenant of a personal relationship with our Heavenly Father, apart from the by- product of living a purposeful happy life, it is possible to achieve the shalom of the Abundant Life. (Isaiah 56:1-8)

The Significance Of The Menorah

The Sages say the seven lamps represent seven types of divine radiance that emits from Yahweh.

“Make a menorah of pure gold and hammer it out, base and shaft; its flower-like cups, buds and blossoms shall be of one piece with it. Six branches are to extend from the sides of the menorah – three on one side and three on the other. Three cups shaped like almond flowers with buds and blossoms are to be on one branch, three on the next branch, and the same for all six branches extending from the menorah. And on the menorah there are to be four cups shaped like almond flowers with buds and blossoms. One bud shall be under the first pair of branches extending from the menorah, a second bud under the second pair, and a third bud under the third pair – six branches in all. The buds and branches shall be of one piece with the menorah, hammered out of pure gold. Then make its seven lamps and set them upon it so that they light the space in front of it. (Exodus 25:31-37)”

The stress that this passage places on the menorah being constructed from a single piece of pure gold brings home the essential purity and “echad” of our Creator: the menorah arises from and is an expression of pure unity, just as the Tree of Life arises from and is an expression of the Glory of Ayn Sof (Incomprehensible One – Yahweh) and its seven kinds of divine quality .

“Blessed are You, Yahweh Elohim of Israel, our Father, forever and ever. Yours, O Yahweh, is the greatness (Chokmah & Binah), the power (Geburah) and the glory (Hod), the victory (Netsach) and the majesty; for all that is in heaven and in earth is Yours; Yours is the kingdom (Malkut), O Yahweh, and You are exalted as head (Keter) over all. Both riches and honor come from You, and You reign over all. In Your hand is power and might; in Your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all. Now therefore, our Elohim, we thank You and praise Your glorious name.  (Chronicles 29:10-13)”

                Seven symbolizes creation. Elohim created the world in seven days, employing the seven divine attributes (sefirot) to serve as the seven spiritual building blocks of creation. Seven is thus the dominant number in all natural cycles and processes. Hence, the standard operating procedure to bring light to creation is associated with the seven-branched menorah of the Holy Temple.

These seven kinds of divine quality flow downwards, from each lamp, along the seven branches, into the central stem. But when lit the oil is drained from the center stem into the respective arms.  The Torah tells us that there was a design of ‘lamps’ on the branches. According to Maimonides’ drawing, these ‘lamps’ are inverted, towards the central branch. The central stem signifies the seventh Sefirah – Malchut – (Kingship) and uniquely King Messiah YahShua for it is the King that personifies the Kingdom, the central conduit of the divine flow which pours revelation into the world, giving it life, light and blessing.

Notice that this menorah was in the form of an almond tree.  In the Book, “The Rod of An Almond Tree,” by Peter Minchas, it says, “The account in Genesis 2:10-14 gives specific information regarding four rivers in the Land of Eden… Therefore we should look for four separate rivers which share a common headwater source somewhere within Eden…”

‘A river watering the garden flowed from Eden; from there it was separated into four headwaters. The name of the first is the Pishon; it winds through the entire land of Havilah, where there is gold. (The gold of that land is good; aromatic resin and onyx are also there.) The name of the second river is the Gihon; it winds through the entire land of Cush. The name of the third river is the Tigris; it runs along the east side of Asshur. And the fourth river is the Euphrates. (Genesis 2:10-14)”

                “…the missing Pishon and Gihon rivers are not lost at all but are instead currently flowing underground! Moreover there is even evidence that these rivers have been underground or partially underground since the beginning, but shared the same headwater source as the Tigris and Euphrates…”

“…the Gihon Spring, is located beneath Jerusalem as it was in Old Testament times. Moreover, the only Biblical references for the name ‘Gihon’ are in reference to the spring in Jerusalem and the Gihon River in the Garden of Eden.” Where then is the location of this garden?

“The answer is found in…Ezekiel 28:13-14…’You [Lucifer]…were in Eden, the garden of [Yahweh]…You were the anointed Karuv who covers, And I [Yahweh] placed you there. You were on the holy mountain of [Yahweh]…’

“The ‘holy mountain of [Yahweh]’ is a direct reference to Mount Moriah in Jerusalem! Today, Mount Moriah forms the platform for the Temple Mount. [Yahweh] selected Mount Moriah as the site of his Temple… Therefore, the Bible clearly connects Jerusalem to the site of the original Garden of Eden, where [Yahweh] fellowshipped with Adam and Eve. In this regard, it is interesting that according to Jewish legend, Adam was created from the dust of Mount Moriah.”

Ancient Jerusalem was known as Luz – the place of the great almond tree – the Tree of Life. 

“At the time of Adam’s expulsion from the Garden, [Yahweh] gave the rod to Adam. From Adam, the rod was passed down through the generations until it came into the possession of Moses. Interestingly, one story claims Moses’ rod as having come from the Tree of Life.”

                “Tying these various bits of information together, a link to the story of Luz and its unique almond tree emerges. The conclusion drawn by the authors is that the rod of [Yahweh] was in actuality a branch from the Tree of Life, which was an almond tree!”

                “According to [Yahweh]’s command, this perpetually budding almond rod…was to be placed ‘before the testimony’ (Num. 17:10). This meant that it was to be placed in front of the Ark, which contained the ‘testimony,’ that is the tablets of the covenant (Ten Commandments).”

“Yahweh said to Moses, “Put back Aaron’s staff in front of the Testimony, to be kept as a sign to the rebellious. This will put an end to their grumbling against me, so that they will not die.” (Numbers 17:10)”

                In the Tabernacle and later the Temple inside the Holy of Holies the almond tree of A’aron’s rod stood blossoming.  On the other side of the veil in the Holy Place exactly opposite the almond tree is the almond tree menorah symbolizing the Tree of Life.  Thus the true symbol for Chanukah is the Tree of Life.

Chanukah, the Festival of Light, begins on the 25th day of the month of Kislev. The first three letters spell the Hebrew word “Chanu,” which means “They rested;” for the last two letters, we don’t look at what they spell, but at their numerical equivalent. Kaf is 20; and Hay is 5; their sum is 25. The 25th word of the Torah is “ohr” — light, for, on the first day of creation, Elohim said, “Let there be light, and there was light.” It is no coincidence that Chanukah, begins on the 25th of Kislev, everything is part of the Divine Plan.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with Yahweh, and the Word was Yahweh. He was in the beginning with Yahweh. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehendit. (John 1:1-5)” This light was no mere flash of light, this flame was destined to shed purity and light for all generations, under all conditions.

The Midrash explains that the light of the first day allowed Adam to see from one end of the universe to the other. But upon Adam and Eve’s sin Elohim chose to conceal this light, in order to prevent its misuse, and to unveil it in the future, in the Age of the Redemption.

Rav Yochannan ben Zakki (John the Baptist) was heralding the Age of Redemption when he announced, “Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. (Matthew 3:2)”  Rebbe YahShua ended all speculation whether this was the Age of Redemption when he announced during the Chanukah season, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life. (John 8:12 )”  And again, [Miracles happen] so that the work of Yahweh might be displayed in his life. As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world. (John 9:3-5 )”

Physical light enables us to see our surroundings, the outer shell of everything that exists. King Messiah YahShua, the Spiritual light, enables us to uncover the inner beauty and spirit existing at the core of every one created.

When we kindle the Chanukah lights on the Festival of Light we are lining ourselves up to a stronger light – King Messiah YahShua – the light of the world! Chanukah is then a foretaste of the Messianic Era, when Yahweh will reveal everything to us. The reason we give gifts during this festival is to symbolize the wonderful gifts of revelation Yahweh will give to us in the Messianic Age. 

“Behold, the days are coming, says Yahweh, when I will make a new covenant with the House of Israel and with the House of Judah– not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them,says Yahweh. But this is the covenant that I will make with the House of Israel after those days, says Yahweh: I will put My Torah in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their Elohim, and they shall be My people. No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, “Know Yahweh,’ for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says Yahweh. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more. (Jeremiah 31:31-34 )”

The essence of our mission in life is to shed light: every time we proclaiming the Kingdom we are lighting a lamp, illuminating a world of ignorance and strife with the wisdom and harmony of the Creator.

Separating In Holiness

                There is nothing that demonstrates the separation of holiness like this time of year.  We all are feeling the pressure of family and friends to keep the pagan festivals and call it righteousness.  But Yahweh said – “I am Yahweh your Elohim: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy…(Leviticus 11:44 )”

“Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Messiah and Belial? What does a Believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the Temple of Yahweh and idols? For we are the Temple of the living Elohim. As Yahweh has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their Elohim, and they will be my people.” (2 Corinthians 6:14-16)”

Nothing symbolizes the reason for the Christmas season as does the Christmas tree.  The Scriptures makes it quite clear that Yahweh was not pleased with such idolatrous celebrations. One such command was found in Jeremiah 10: 1-5, 8,9, “Hear you the word which Yahweh speaks unto you, O house of Israel. Thus says Yahweh. Learn not the way of the heathen and be not dismayed at the signs of the heaven; for the nations are dismayed at them. For the customs of the people are vain. For one cuts a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman with the axe. They deck it [the tree] with silver and with gold. They fasten it [the tree] with nails and with hammers that it move not. They [such trees] are upright as the palm tree, but speak not. the tree [KJV: stock] is a doctrine of vanities. Silver is spread into plates is brought from Tarshish, and gold from Uphaz, the work of the workman, and of the hands of the founder. Blue and purple is their clothing. They [the trees] are all the work of cunning men.”

                With some kind of twisted reasoning, the church authorities tell the laity that all these pagan customs are innocent enough as long as they “put Christ back into Christmas” with their worshipful adoration of the nativity of the Christ-child. But a problem arises How can the church leaders “put Messiah back into Christmas” when he was never in Christmas in the first place?

In the book “The Two Babylons,” page 98, Rev. Alexander Hislop informs us: “At the winter solstice, the sacred tree was cut down in remembrance of Nimrod’s death and decorated, as a king would adorn himself. So, the tree represents Nimrod and decorating it is a symbol of adoring the pagan god with the beauty fit for a king.  When the tree died (the needles fell and it was naked), all fires in the village were extinguished, …put out. The worshipers would gather and the Baalmas tree was set on fire. A “holy meal” was cooked upon the flames. Sacred fire from this sacrifice was taken back home to re-fire the hearth, as a reminder of Nimrod’s rebirth (reincarnation) and sovereignty over the home. This is the meaning of the Yule log fire. The pagans would take the residue of the burned tree and carve an idol out of it. Part of this practice is even mentioned in the Scriptures: “He burneth part of the idol in the fire; with part thereof he eateth flesh; he roasteth his meat, and is satisfied: yea, he warmeth himself, and saith, Aha, I am warm, I have seen the elohim-fire: And the residue thereof he maketh a elohim, even a graven image of him: he falleth down before it, and worshippeth it, and prayeth unto it, and saith, Save me; for thou art my elohim. (Isaiah 44:16,17)” So, the next time you hear a preacher say, “Celebrate the Season but don’t forget the reason!”  You know the true meaning of Christmas – Nimrod – bah humbug!

“You shall tear down their altars, dash in pieces their pillars and burn their Asherim (Ritual trees) with fire. (Deuteronomy 12:2)”

Scripturally, you cannot mix pagan tradition and the Faith of Yahweh.  When Yahweh told Josiah to restore the Temple Josiah told the high priest’s to bring out not only the vessels made for Asherah in addition to those made for Baal and a multitude of other idols but also the Asherah itself from the House of Yahweh.  “And he brought out the Asherah from the House of Yahweh, outside Jerusalem, to the torrent of Kidron, and burned it at the torrent of Kidron, and stamped it small to powder, and cast the powder upon the graves of the children of the people. And he broke down the houses of the sodomites, which were in the House of Yahweh, where the women wove tents for the Asherah. (2 Kings 23:6-7)” In the words of the biblical writers, the people of Israel who celebrated her under the boughs of a decorated tree playing the harlot, burning with lust among the trees. Sound like a Christmas Office party.

                Idolatry is sin and the wages of sin is death.  So in reality the Christmas Tree is an – Ashurah –  Tree of Death.

“Elohim saw the light that it is good, and He separated between the light and the darkness. And Elohim called the light day and the darkness He called night; and it was evening and it was morning, one day. (Genesis 1:4-5)”

In the beginning, darkness and light were one single, seamless expression of the Creator. But Elohimwanted contrast and challenge in His world. So He separated between light and darkness, between revealed good and concealed good, challenging us to cultivate the day and sublimate the night.

On the most fundamental level, our task is to harness the light and illuminate the darkness. We strive to preserve and develop all that is good and righteous in our world, and to direct these positive forces to overcome the evil and to transform the negativity of the dark side of creation, the Sitre Ahurah.

[Messiah said] “Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven. Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn “ ‘a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law– a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’… Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. (Matthew 10:32-36, 39)”

“For the word of Yahweh is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12 )”

Many of you are feeling that separation and it hurts.  But it is just as it should be, that is the fellowship of Messiah’s suffering.  “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death (Philippians 3:10 ).” 

“Regarding the crucifixion, certain symbolic meanings and patterns are revealed when viewed from the Hebraic perspective. One such pattern is that of the menorah. As previously mentioned, the menorah, the golden seven-branched candelabrum kept in the Holy Place of the Temple, represented the Tree of Life (chapter 5). And a miraculously budding branch of this tree, called Aaron’s rod, was planted on the Mount of Olives by David and grew into the crucifixion tree (Chapters 6 and 7). In this symbolic parallel, [YahShua] represents the fruit of the Tree of Life…” (“The Rod of the Almond Tree” p. 234)

The symbol of Chanukah – the Menorah – is symbol of the Tree of Life.  You have traded Christmas for Chanukah, the Christmas Tree – the Tree of Death – for the Menorah – the Tree of Life. 

“I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. For I command you today to love Yahweh your Elohim, to walk in his ways (culture & tradition), and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and Yahweh your Elohim will bless you… (Deuteronomy 30:15,16)”

                If I were you I would get the largest chanukiyyah and put it in the living room and tell your family the wondrous story of Chanukah that I have reveled to you now! Celebrate the Truth this season.

Let our Heavenly Father resurrect your soul from the depression of pagan celebrations into the revelation of the light of truth. This process was exemplified by the menorah in the Holy Temple: kindled in the light, its rays reached deep into the darkness; kindled in the Holy Place brimming with divine light, it radiates its glow into this mundane everyday world with pure holiness.

“And this Full Messianic Message of the Kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. (Matthew 24:14 )”

Originally written by Rabbi Robert O. Miller on Dec. 12 2004
(Robert Owen Miller 1957-2021)

Our rent is due in less than a week! In these uncertain times, we need your support more than ever. The time is short, and there is much work to be done. This is no time to pull back from the great work in front of us!

As I have said to you many times, I look on this work as a co-operative one with me, and all of you combining our resources together in order to get the job done of helping to teach this great truth to all in the world who will listen. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart for your continued support, you are the ones who make it all possible by your contributions and your prayers for our work. I truly appreciate your help in every way.

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A Tale of Two Souls

A Tale of Two Souls
By
James Scott Trimm

Did you know that as a believer you can have a second soul?

To begin with it is important to know that man has two inclinations, an evil inclination called the “Yetzer HaRa” and a good inclination called “Yetzer Tov”.  The unusual spelling of Yetzer (“formed”) in Gen. 2:7 points us to the fat that man has within him two such inclinations.  As we read in the Talmud:

R. Nahman b. R. Hisda expounded:
What is meant by the text, Then the Lord God
formed [va-yetzer] man? [The word va-yetzer] (Gen. 2:7)
is written with two yods, to show that God created
two inclinations, one good (tov) and the other evil (ra).
(b.Ber. 61a)

It has been taught: R. Jose the Galilean says,
The righteous are swayed by their good inclination,
as it says, My heart is slain within me. (Ps. 109:22)
The wicked are swayed by their evil inclination,
as it says, Transgression speaks to the wicked,
methinks, there is no fear of God before his eyes.
(Ps. 36:1) Average people are swayed by both
inclinations, as it says, Because He stands at
the right hand of the needy, to save him from them
that judge his soul. (Ps. 109:31) Raba said: People
such as we are of the average.
(b.Ber. 61b)

Likewise we read in the Wisdom of Ben Sira:

It was He who created man in the beginning.
And He left him in the power of his own inclination (Heb: yetzer).
If you will, you can keep the commandments,
and to act faithfully is a matter of your own choice.
He has placed before you fire and water:
Stretch out your hand for whichever you wish.
 (Sira 15:14-16)

The word for “average” above (in b.Ber. 61b) is “benoni” referring to an “intermediate one”, one who is caught in the conflict between these two inclinations.

Paul writes of this conflict in the benoni as follows:

14 For we know that the Torah is of the spirit,
but I am of the flesh and I am sold to sin.
22 For I rejoice in the Torah of Eloah in the inward son of man.
(Romans 7:14, 22 HRV)

Because of this, we are not weary, for even if our
outer man is corrupted, yet that which [is] inside
is renewed day by day.
(2Cor. 4:16 HRV)

for the flesh desires a thing which is opposed to
the Spirit and the Spirit desires a thing that is
opposed to the flesh and the two of these are
opposed to each other, that you do not do the thing
which you desire.
(Gal. 5:17 HRV)

And as we read in the Tanya:

Just as two kings wage war over a town,
which each wishes to capture and rule,
that is to say, to dominate its inhabitants according to his will,
so that they obey him in all that he decrees for them,
so do the two souls— the Divine and the vitalising animal soul…
wage war against each other over the body and all its limbs.
(Tanya Chapter 9)

It is this evil inclination that David refers to in the Psalms when he writes:

Behold, I was shapen in iniquity;
and in sin did my mother conceive me.
(Ps. 51:5)

The phrases “in iniquity” and “in sin” could also be translated “with iniquity” and “with sin” meaning that man was born with an evil inclination.

As we also read in 2Esdras:

And yet tookest thou not away from them a wicked heart, that thy law might bring forth fruit in them.
For the first Adam bearing a wicked heart transgressed, and was overcome; and so be all they that are born of him.
Thus infirmity was made permanent; and the law (also) in the heart of the people with the malignity of the root; so that the good departed away, and the evil abode still.
So the times passed away, and the years were brought to an end: then didst thou raise thee up a servant, called David:
Whom thou commandedst to build a city unto thy name, and to offer incense and oblations unto thee therein.
When this was done many years, then they that inhabited the city forsook thee,
And in all things did even as Adam and all his generations had done: for they also had a wicked heart:
(2Esdras 3:20-26)

This Yetzer HaRa (evil inclination) finds a comrade in our primal animal soul.

But you can have a second soul which is a ready comrade for the Yetzer Tov.  As we read in the Tanya:

The second soul of a Jew is truly a part of Eloah above, as it is written, “And He breathed into his nostrils the breath of life,” (Gen. 2:7) and “Thou didst breathe it [the soul] into me.” (b.Berachot 60b).  And it is written in the Zohar, “He who exhales, exhales from within him,” that is to say, from his inwardness and his innermost, for it is something of his internal and innermost vitality that man emits through exhaling with force.
(Tanya LA 2)

In the previous chapter the Tanya refers to this second soul, saying that these two souls are the “souls” referenced in Isaiah 57:16:

For I will not contend forever,
neither will I be always wroth:
for the spirit that enwraps itself is from Me,
and the souls which I have made.
(Is. 57:16 HRV)

This concept of a Second Soul is also found in the Zohar as follows:

It behooves a man to labor in the study of the Torah, to strive to make progress in it daily, so as thereby to fortify his soul and his spirit: for when a man occupies himself in the study of the Torah, he becomes endowed with an additional and holy soul, as it is written: “the movement of living creatures”, that is, a soul (nefesh) derived from the holy center called “living” (hayah). Not so is it with the man who does not occupy himself with the study of the Torah: such a man has no holy soul, and the heavenly holiness does not rest upon him. But when a man earnestly studies the Torah, then the motion of his lips wins for him that “living soul” and he becomes as one of the holy angels, as it is written: “Bless the Lord, ye angels of his” (Ps. 103:20), to wit, those who occupy themselves in the study of the Torah, and who are therefore called His angels on earth. The same are alluded to in the words: “and let birds fly on the earth”. So much for his reward in this world. As regards the other world, we have been taught that the Holy One, blessed be He, will provide them with wings as of eagles, enabling them to fly across the whole universe, as it is written: “But they that wait for YHWH shall renew their strength, then shall mount up with wings as eagles” (Is. 40:31). This, then, is the interpretation of that which is written: “Let the waters swarm with the movement of living creatures”: the Torah, which is symbolized by water, possesses the virtue of implanting in her devotees a mobile soul derived from the place called “living” (hayah), as has already been said. David alluded to this when he said: “Create in me a clean heart, O Elohim”, so that I may be devoted to the Torah, and thus “renew a steadfast spirit within me” (Ps. 51:12).
(Zohar 1:12b)

According to the Zohar this second soul is alluded to in Psalm 51 in the phrase “and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”  If we look at this verse in context we see:

11 (51:9) Hide Your face from my sins:
and blot out all my iniquities.
12 (51:10) Create me a clean heart, O Elohim:
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
13 (51:11) Cast me not away from Your presence:
and take not Your Ruach HaKodesh from me.
14 (51:12) Restore unto me the joy of Your salvation:
and let a willing spirit uphold me!
(Ps. 51:11-14(9-12) HRV)

Here we see that this second soul strives against the Yetzer HaRa (evil inclination) mentioned just a few verses earlier in 51:5 “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.”  (Ps. 51:5)

Now a spirit (ruach) is not a soul (nefesh) but it appears that according to the Zohar that there is in fact a spirit (ruach) attached to this second soul (nefesh) and from these verses we see that this spirit (ruach) is in fact the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit).  Likewise the Ketivim Netzarim (Writings of the Nazarenes, known as the “New Testament”) indicate that Believers are endowed with a second spirit, i.e. the Ruach HaKodesh.

This second soul and second spirit are reinforcements to help the Yetzer Tov as we read in Ezekiel:

17 Therefore say, Thus says the Adonai YHWH: I will even gather you from the
peoples, and assemble you out of the countries where you have been scattered: and I will give you the land of Yisra’el.
18 And they shall come there, and they shall take away all the detestable things thereof, and all the abominations thereof, from thence.
19 And I will give them–one heart–and I will put a new spirit within you. And I will remove the–stony heart–out of their flesh, and will give them a heart of flesh,
20 That they may walk in My statutes and keep My ordinances, and do them: and they
shall be My people, and I will be their Elohim.
21 But as for them whose heart walks after the heart of their detestable things and their abominations, I will bring their way upon their own heads, says the Adonai YHWH
(Ezek. 11:17-21 HRV)

25 And I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and you shall be clean. From all your uncleannesses and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.
26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you. And I will take away, the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you, a heart of flesh.
27 And I will put My spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you shall keep My ordinances, and do them.
(Ezekiel 36:25-27 HRV)

And as our Messiah Yeshua taught us:

But when the Spirit of Truth has come,
She will lead you in all Truth,
for She will not speak from the mind of the nefesh:…
(Jn. 16:13a HRV)

It is this second soul that renews our strength and allows us to mount up with wings like eagles:

But they that wait for YHWH shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with
wings as eagles: they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk, and not faint.
(Is. 40:31 HRV)

Nachman wrote one of the most authoritative Torah commentaries in Rabbinic Judaism.  He puts this well when he writes:

And YHWH your Elohim will circumcise your heart (Deut. 30:6) It is this which the Rabbis have said, “If someone comes to purify himself, they assist him” [from on High]. The verse assures you that you will return to Him with all your heart and He will help you.

This following subject is very apparent from Scripture: Since the time of Creation, man has had the power to do as he pleased, to be righteous or wicked. This [grant of free will] applies likewise to the entire Torah period, so that people can gain merit upon choosing the good and punishment for preferring evil. But in the days of the Messiah, the choice of
their [genuine] good will be natural; the heart will not desire the improper and it will have no craving whatever for it. This is the “circumcision” mentioned here, for lust and desire are the “foreskin” of the heart, and circumcision of the heart means that it will not covet or desire evil.

Man will return at that time to what he was before the sin of Adam, when by his nature he did what should properly be done, and there were no conflicting desires in his will, as I have explained in Seder Bereshit.

It is this which Scripture states in [the Book of] Jeremiah 31:30], Behold, the days come, says YHWH, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah; not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers ..etc. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Eternal, I will put my Law in their inward parts, and in their heart will I write it.

This is a reference to the annulment of the evil inclination and to the natural performance by the heart of its proper function. Therefore Jeremiah said further, and I will be their Elohim, and they shall be My People; and they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying: ‘Know YHWH; ‘for they shall all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them

Now, it is known that the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth and it is necessary to instruct them, but at that time it will not be necessary to instruct them [to avoid evil] for their evil inclination will then be completely abolished. And so it is declared by Ezekiel, A new heart will I also give you, and a new spirit will I put within you; and I will cause you to walk in My statutes . (Ezekiel 36:26)

The new heart alludes to man’s nature, and the [new] spirit to the desire and will. It is this which our Rabbis have said : “And the years draw nigh, when you shall say: I have no pleasure in them; these are the days of the Messiah, as they will offer opportunity neither for merit nor for guilt,” for in the days of the Messiah there will be no [evil] desire in man but he will naturally perform the proper deeds and therefore there will be neither merit nor guilt in them, for merit and guilt are dependent upon desire.
(Nachman on Deut. 29:6)

Our rent is due in just eight days! In these uncertain times, we need your support more than ever. The time is short, and there is much work to be done. This is no time to pull back from the great work in front of us!

As I have said to you many times, I look on this work as a co-operative one with me, and all of you combining our resources together in order to get the job done of helping to teach this great truth to all in the world who will listen. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart for your continued support, you are the ones who make it all possible by your contributions and your prayers for our work. I truly appreciate your help in every way.

If you can make a one time donation of $500 or $1,000 dollars to support this work.

Now is time to step up to the plate!

Donations can be sent by Paypal to donations@wnae.org.


Or click HERE to donate

Orthodox Jewish Scholar’s Profound Words about Yeshua

Orthodox Jewish Scholar’s
Profound Words about Yeshua
By
James Scott Trimm

In 2012 Orthodox Jewish scholar Daniel Boyarin wrote a book “The Jewish Gospels; The Story of the Jewish Christ“.  This book takes a non-hostile approach to Yeshua and his original Jewish followers.  Daniel Boyarin is not only a noted historian of religion, he has also been called “one of the two or three greatest rabbinic scholars in the world.”  He holds dual United States and Israeli citizenship. Trained as a Talmudic scholar, in 1990 he was appointed Professor of Talmudic Culture, Departments of Near Eastern Studies and Rhetoric, University of California, Berkeley, a post which he still held as recently as 2012.

Boyarin opens his book with some very interesting words:

If there is one thing that Christians know about their religion, it is that it’s not Judaism.  If there’s one thing Jews know about their faith, it is that it’s not Christianity. If there is one thing that both groups know about this “double not,” it’s that Christians believe in the Trinity and the incarnation of Christ (the Greek word for Messiah) and that Jews don’t, that Jews keep kosher and Christians don’t.

If only things were that simple.  In this book, I’m going to tell a very different story, a story of a time when Jews and Christians were much more mixed up with each other than they are now, when there were many Jews who believed in something quite like the Father and the Son and even in something like the incarnation of the Son in the Messiah, and when followers of Jesus kept kosher as Jews, and accordingly a time in which the difference between Judaism and Christianity just didn’t exist as it does now.

While by now almost everyone, Christian and non-Christian, is happy enough to refer to Jesus, the human, as a Jew, I want to go a step beyond that. I wish us to see that Christ too–the divine Messiah–is a Jew. Christology, or the early ideas about Christ, is also a Jewish discourse and not–until much later–an anti-Jewish discourse at all. Many Israelites at the time of Jesus were expecting a Messiah who would be divine and come to earth in the form of a human. Thus the basic underlying thoughts from which both the Trinity and the incarnation grew are there in the very world into which Jesus was born and in which he was first written about in the Gospels of Mark and John (1-2)
(Daniel Boyarin, The Jewish Gospels; The Story of the Jewish Christ; 2012, p. 1, 5-6)

Of course I believe that Boyarin uses the term “Christian” too loosely here (the original followers of Yeshua identified themselves as Jews and not as “Christians,”) however it is very interesting that such an important Orthodox Jewish scholar is now willing to admit that not only were Yeshua’s original followers Kosher eating and Torah observant, but that the doctrine of the Deity of Messiah itself was of Jewish origin, was held by the original Jewish followers of Yeshua from the very beginning, and has been rejected by Rabbinic Judaism since the first century in a reactionary manner!


The “Jesus” Judaism has Rejected

In coming years you will see many Jewish people embracing Yeshua as the Messiah.  (In fact it has already begun).  But the Yeshua that they accept will be the real Yeshua and not the Torahless “Jesus” that Christendom has adopted from pagan sources.

The Jewish people know that an anti-Torah Messiah is no Messiah at all, they know better than to accept the rank paganism attached to Gentile Christianity.

As I have been saying for years, I am personally aware of a great many Orthodox Jews (even Rabbis) who already know that Yeshua is the Messiah, but are not yet prepared to reveal this information to the world.  One of these told me that he is waiting until “the right time”. I am humbled by the fact that this ministry is on the cutting edge of this great last days restoration.

The Jewish people will also come to realize that the books known as the “New Testament” (More correctly called the Ketuvim Netzarim, the “Writings of the Nazarenes”) in their original Hebrew and Aramaic rather than their Greek translations, are as much a “Jewish Book” as the Tanak (“Old Testament”).
I am grateful to all of you who support our work financially. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Our rent is due in just nine days! In these uncertain times, we need your support more than ever. The time is short, and there is much work to be done. This is no time to pull back from the great work in front of us!

As I have said to you many times, I look on this work as a co-operative one with me, and all of you combining our resources together in order to get the job done of helping to teach this great truth to all in the world who will listen. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart for your continued support, you are the ones who make it all possible by your contributions and your prayers for our work. I truly appreciate your help in every way.

If you can make a one time donation of $500 or $1,000 dollars to support this work.

Now is time to step up to the plate!

Donations can be sent by Paypal to donations@wnae.org.


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Yeshua, the Besht and Hasidic Origins

Yeshua, the Besht and Hasidic Origins
By
James Scott Trimm

In my previous article Nazarene Judaism is True Chasidic Judaism , I covered the history of the original Chasidim (Hasidim) mentioned in the Book of the Maccabees, and even earlier in the Psalms, and showed that Nazarene Judaism of the First century sought to restore the principles of ancient Hasidic Judaism.  At the end of that article I pointed out that the modern Rabbinic movement of Hasidic Judaism was also an attempt in Rabbinic Judaism to restore the principles of ancient Hasidic Judaism.

In this article I want to explore the many parallels between the Rabbinic restoration of Hasidic Judaism and that of the First century Nazarenes.  I believe that these parallels are so strong as to point to the conclusion that many of the key figures in the restoration and progress of Hasidic Judaism, were in fact believers in Yeshua as Messiah, and may even have been called (whether they realized it or not) to slowly guide Judaism back to Messiah.

I want to explore how this information lays a foundation for both outreach to the Hasidic Jewish community, as well as a deeper understanding for seasoned believers in the teachings of Yeshua and his Talmidim through an understanding of their Jewish roots.

This path may not be for everyone, but if you seek a better understanding of the deep things of YHWH, as well a common ground for outreach to Rabbinic Hasidic Jews, this path may be for you.

Is Nazarene Hasidic Judaism the new defining path of the Worldwide Nazarene Assembly of Elohim?  Absolutely not!  It is only a path within the greater assembly, one that I personally have found enriching.  If you feel the calling to follow this path, then the Nazarene Hasidic Movement Worldwide is here for you.

A Parallel Development

Both Nazarene Judaism and Rabbinic Hasidic Judaism grew out of similar social conditions.  In both situations the Jewish people were dominated by foreign powers.  Both followed the disappointments of the promises of false Messiahs.  And both grew out of a time when the Jewish religious establishment had grown out of touch with the needs and concerns for the common Jew.

During the time of the rise of the ancient sect of Nazarene Judaism the Roman Empire ruled the Land of Israel as well as most of the “Known World” with an iron fist.  The House of Herod was hated as an obvious puppet of Rome and the people were greatly oppressed and longed for freedom and independence.

It was in this atmosphere that a great Messianic anticipation grew, and false Messiahs arose only to leave the people disappointed and downtrodden:

36 For from before this time, Todah rose up, and said concerning his nefesh, that he was something great: and about four hundred men followed him. And he was killed, and those who followed him were scattered, and became like nothing.
37 And Y’hudah HaGalili rose up after him, in the days that men were registered for the poll tax, and caused many people to turn after him. And he died, and all those who followed him, were scattered.
(Acts 5:36-37 HRV)

This demoralization of the Jewish people was compounded by a widespread feeling that the religious establishment had lost touch with the concerns of the common people.   The Sadducees were deeply in league with the nobles, the Pharisees were concentrating on halachic details, and the Essenes were reclusive and isolated from the common man.  The people were hungry for restoration.

Some 1,700 years later in Poland an amazingly parallel situation arose.  Like the ancient Nazarene sect of Judaism, the Rabbinic restoration of Chassidic Judaism flourished in the face of oppression:

…the social and economic circumstances of Polish Jewery were deplorable.  Jews were the target of religious incitement by the Catholic church; secular authorities imposed onerous taxes.  Pogroms were frequent; the ritual murder charge was promoted to arouse the peasantry against Jewish communities; opportunity for general education was almost non-existent, and the morale of Polish Jewry was at its lowest ebb.
(The Hasidic Anthology; Newman, Louis, 1934; p. lxi)

Like the Jews of the Second Temple Era, these Jews cried out for a Messiah to deliver them.  At about that time arose a false Messiah Shabbatai Tzvi, who restored a sense of pride among the Jewish people.  He was claimed by many to be the Messiah until 1666 when he converted to Islam in order to save his own skin.  Jacob Frank was there to pick up the pieces, but his movement quickly degenerated:

 …In the darkness of night and behind closed doors and windows they held their meetings, and sought by means of song and dance, not without erotic accompaniments, to arouse themselves to that orgiastic, ecstatic state which they believed was necessary preliminary for all religious fervor.
(Universal Jewish Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 391, 1948)

The Messianic hopes of these false Messiah’s left the Jewish people with shattered promises and broken hopes.  Rabbinic Judaism was in crisis.  And while the people needed a new hope, the religious establishment concentrated on debating the fine points of halacha.  As Martin Buber observed hese scholars treated the “ignorant” masses with contempt.  (The Origin and Meaning of Hasidim, 1960 p. 60).  One Chasidic saying of the time observed:

 The pious Mitnagdim [anti-Hassidim] are afraid of transgressing against the Code of Torah, but the Hasidim are in fear of transgressing against Elohim.
(Ideas and Ideals of the Hassidim; Dr. Aron Milton, 1969, p. 14)

The ancient sect of the Nazarenes also sought to demystify the mystical teachings of Judaism (which in those days were kept in secrecy among the Essenes) by bringing these mystical teachings to the common people (1Cor. 1-2, 12).  The Hasidic movement of the seventeenth century also sought to demystify these same basic teachings which had come to be known as “Kabbalah”.

Yeshua and the BESHT

There are also many parallels between Yeshua, the founder of Nazarene Judaism (a restoration of ancient Chasidic Judaism) and the Besht (Rabbi Yisroel ben Eliezer known as the Ba’al Shem Tov (Master of the Good Name), the founder of modern Rabbinic Chaddidism.  Both were especially drawn to the poor and needy.  Both dedicated their lives to the well being of the Jewish people.  Both administered healing with compassion to the downtrodden.  And while neither of these men wrote a word of their own, their followers after their deaths recorded their words and deeds.

The Shivchei HaBesht records the words and deeds of the Besht, just as the gospels record the words and deeds of Yeshua.  Both record claims of miracles performed by their respective subjects and both were written about fourty-five years after their subjects death.  While the book of Hebrews makes the claim that Yeshua never sinned (Heb. 4:15) the followers of the Besht ultimately made the same claim about him (Tales of the Hasidim: The Early Masters; Martin Buber, 1947 p. 35).

Yeshua began his ministry at about the age of thirty (Luke 3:23).  The Besht began teaching while in his thirties.

Ha Satan came to earth and sought to prevent Yeshua from succeeding in his work:

3 And the tempter came; he said to Him, If you are the Son of Elohim, say that these stones be made bread.
4 And Yeshua answered and said: It is written, For not by bread alone will man live, but by everything that proceeds from the mouth of YHWH, will man live.
5 Then HaSatan took Him up to the Set-Apart city, and set Him on a turret of the temple,
6 And said to Him, If you are the Son of Elohim, drop yourself down. For surely it is written, For He will give His angels charge concerning you, to keep you in all your ways; upon the palms of their hands they will bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone.
7 And Yeshua answered him and said: It is also written, You shall not tempt YHWH your Elohim.
8 And again HaSatan took Him up into an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all: from the kingdoms of the world, and their glory.
9 And said to Him, All these will I give you, if you will fall down and worship me.
10 Then said Yeshua to him: Get yourself gone, adversary, for it is written,
YHWH your Elohim you shall worship, and Him alone you shall serve.
11 Then HaSatan left Him: and behold, angels drew near and attended Him.
(Matt. 4:3-11 HRV)

Interestingly there is a traditions concerning the Besht which claims that HaSatan came to earth seeking to interfere in his mission as well:

The hours when the hosts of Heaven gathered to listen to the voices of mortals, were hours of grace.  But Satan was there too.  He knew very well that what was in the making down there [on earth] would threaten his power on earth.  So he entered into the body of a sorcerer who could change himself into a werewolf.

Once when Israel [the Besht] was walking through the woods and singing with the little ones in his care, the monster fell on them, and the children screamed and scattered in all directions.  Some of them fell ill from the shock and the parents decided to put a stop the the young school assistant [the Besht].  But he remembered what his father had said as he lay dying, went from house to house, promised the people to protect their children, and succeeded in persuading them to entrust them to him once more.  The next time he shepherded them through the wood, he took a sound stick with him and when the werewolf attacked again, he struck him between the eyes, so that he was killed on the instant.  The following day they found the sorcerer dead in his bed.
(Tales of the Hasidim: The Early Masters; Martin Buber, 1947 p. 36-37).

In another parallel, Yeshua was known to associate with sinners:

10 And it came to pass, as they sat down to eat in the house, behold, many transgressors and sinners came in, and ate with Yeshua and His talmidim.
11 And the P’rushim, seeing, they said to His talmidim, Why does your teacher eat with transgressors and sinners?
12 But when Yeshua heard, He answered, saying:
There is no need of a physician to heal the healthy,
but to heal them that are sick.
13 Therefore, go you and learn what is written:
I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,
for I have not come to call the righteous,
but the sinners.
(Matt. 9:10-13 HRV)

And Yeshua also stood against those who dismissed the common man:

9 And He spoke this saying against the men who were confident concerning their nefeshot–that they were righteous, and were despising everyone.
10 Two men went up to the Temple to pray: one a Parush, and the other a publican.
11 And that Parush was standing with his nefesh and thus praying, Eloah, I thank you that I am not like the rest of mankind: extortioners, and covetous, and adulterers, and not like this publican.
12 On the contrary, I fast twice in a week, and I tithe everything that I own.
13 But that publican was standing from afar, and did not even want to raise his eyes to heaven: but was beating upon his breast and saying, Eloah: have mercy on me, a sinner!
14 I say to you that this [publican] went down to his house more justified, than that Parush: for everyone who raises his nefesh up will be humbled, and everyone who humbles his nefesh, will be raised up.
(Luke 18:9-14 HRV)

The Besht taught very similar views:

I let sinners come close to me, if they are not proud.  I keep the scholars and the sinless away from me if they are proud.  For the sinner who knows that he is a sinner, and therefore considers himself base—God is with him, for He ‘dwelleth with them in the midst of their uncleanness.’  But concerning him who prides himself on the fact that he is unburdened by sin, God says, as we know from the Gemara: ‘There is not enough room in the world for myself and him.’
(Tales of the Hasidim: The Early Masters; Martin Buber, 1947 p. 71-72).

Yeshua was once asked concerning fasting:

14 Then approached Him the talmidim of Yochanan, saying, Why [do we] and the P’rushim fast often, but Your talmidim fast not?
15 And Yeshua said unto them:
Can the sons of the bridegroom cry, as long as they have the
bridegroom with them? But the days will come, when the
bridegroom will be taken from them, and then will they fast.
(Matt. 9:14-15 HRV)

Similarly we read of that the Besht was asked:

What is the essence of the service?  We know that in former times ‘men of deeds’ lived who fasted from one Sabbath to the next.  But you have done away with this, for you said that whoever mortifies his flesh will have to render account as a sinner, because he has tormented his soul.  So do tell us: what is the essence of service?

The Ba’al Shem Tov replied: ‘I have come into this world to point another way, namely that man should try to attain to three loves: the love of Elohim, the love of Israel, and the love of the Torah—it is not necessary to mortify the flesh.
(Tales of the Hasidim: The Early Masters; Martin Buber, 1947 p. 52)

Yeshua emphasized joy in our lives:

These things I have spoken to you that My joy might be in you,
and [that] your joy might be perfect.
(Yochanan 15:11 HRV)

Likewise the Besht said:

No child can be born except through pleasure and joy.
By the same token, if one wishes his prayers to bear fruit,
he must offer them with pleasure and joy.
(The Hasidic Anthology; Newman, Louis, 1934; p. 203)

Yeshua emphasized loving ones neighbor and judging him by the same standards by which you judge yourself:

34 But when the P’rushim heard that He had silenced the Tz’dukim, they took counsel together.
35 And one of them, which was a doctor of the Torah,616 asked Him, and tested Him, and said to Him,
36 Rabbi, which is the greatest commandment in the Torah?
37 And Yeshua answered him, and said: You shall love YHWH your Elohim: with all your heart, and with all your nefesh, and with all your might.
38 This, is the greatest commandment in the whole Torah.
39 And this is the first, but the second is like it: And you shall love your neighbor as yourself.
40 On these two commandments hang all the Torah and the Prophets.
(Mt. 22:34-40)

1 Judge not, and you will not be judged: condemn not, and you will not be
condemned.
2 For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged: and with what measure you mete, it will be measured to you again.
3 And how [do] you see the splinter in your brother’s eye, but see not the beam that is in your own eye?
4 And how [do] you say to your brother, Suffer it now brother,d so that I may pull out the splinter out of your eye: and behold, a beam is in your own eye?
5 You hypocrite! Pull out at the first, the beam from your own eye: and then you will be able to see, to pull out the splinter out of your brother’s eye.
12 Therefore whatever you would that men should do to you, do you even so to them: for this is the Torah and the Prophets.
(Mt. 7:1-5, 12)

The Besht likewise said:

It lies upon you to love your comrade as one like yourself. And who knows as you do your many defects? As you are nonetheless able to love yourself, so love your fellow no matter how many defects you may see in him.
(The Ba`al Shem Tov’s Instruction in Intercourse with God, translated by Martin Buber (English transl. by Maurice Friedman) in Buber’s Hasidism and Modern Man:] 244)

Yeshua was known for having a special love for children:

13 Then were brought to Him children, that He should lay hands on them and pray, but His talmidim rebuked them.
14 And Yeshua said: Allow the children, and hinder them not from coming to Me: for of such is the Kingdom of Heaven.
(Matt. 19:13-14 HRV)

Likewise of the Besht’s students said of him:

I wish people would kiss the Holy Torah in the same manner the Besht used to kiss the children when he gathered them to bring them to their studies.
(Ideas and Ideals of the Hassidim; Dr. Aron Milton, 1969, p. 32)

In fact just as Yeshua was resurrected, many of the the followers of the Besht came to claim concerning him:

…those whom he had bidden attend to his body and his burial,
said they had seen the Ba’al Shem’s soul ascend as a blue flame.
(Tales of the Hasidim: The Early Masters; Martin Buber, 1947 p. 84)

Of course there are also serious differences between Yeshua and the Besht.  Yeshua was, of course the Messiah, while the Besht made no such claim.  And of course some of these claims about the Besht may well more rooted in legend than in reality (such as claims that he was sinless).

In restoring the ancient Sect of the Nazarenes we are ourselves restoring true Chasidic Judaism, and so there should be no surprise to see many parallels between Nazarene Judaism and Rabbinic Chasidic Judaism.  Both are sects of Judaism seeking to restore the original Chasidim.

Our rent is due in just ten days! In these uncertain times, we need your support more than ever. The time is short, and there is much work to be done. This is no time to pull back from the great work in front of us!

As I have said to you many times, I look on this work as a co-operative one with me, and all of you combining our resources together in order to get the job done of helping to teach this great truth to all in the world who will listen. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart for your continued support, you are the ones who make it all possible by your contributions and your prayers for our work. I truly appreciate your help in every way.

If you can make a one time donation of $500 or $1,000 dollars to support this work.

Now is time to step up to the plate!

Donations can be sent by Paypal to donations@wnae.org.


Or click HERE to donate