In my last post Mind If I Rant? I posed a question to everyone: Does the term ‘secular Jew’ bother you? Although I didn’t receive hundreds of responses, the responses I did receive (todah rabah, thank you very much) had one common answer: “who am I to judge?” No one thought it appropriate to judge another person’s walk. One reader even thought I came across as insulting to the Goyim (Gentiles, Nations) although I can assure you it was not my intention to insult anyone. Then an interesting question was asked of me. Would I be willing to write about my life’s mistakes? (more…)

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Shabbat Shalom!

Two loaves of challah

Two loaves of challah

While doing some reading/studying this erev Shabbat I was made aware of just how amazing our Elohim really is and why it is so important to learn the Hebraic roots of our faith. As with most things I learn about Hebrew, the simple word lechem is not quite so simple. Sure lechem means bread but it also conveys the meaning of Torah or the Word of YAH. When we ask YAH to provide for us our lechem continually we are not merely asking to have bread to eat but also that He would feed our soul with His Torah, His Word. Just as eating food refreshes our body, consuming the Torah refreshes our soul!

With this understanding of the significance of the word lechem we can begin to understand the significance of why the Meshiach was born in Beit Lechem (Bethlehem). Beit Lechem literally means: House of Bread. The Meshiach, Yahushuah, is the living Torah, the living Word of YAH. Yahushuah is that lechem that refreshes our soul. Therefore the House of Bread is the House of Torah, the House of the Living Word. How awesome is Avinu (Our Father) to give us such beautiful poetry in our simple lives? All we have to do is open our eyes and look around to see His amazing creations surrounding us.

I’ll leave you with this to meditate on: it’s not that Yahushuah had to be born in Beit Lechem but rather, Beit Lechem had to be so named because this would be the birthplace of our Meshiach! HalleluYAH!

Shabbat Shalom.

Was I ever excited when I woke-up to see the FedEx truck parked outside this morning. Just this past Sunday I had ordered a copy of the newly released 2009 version of The Scriptures. Actually, I ordered two copies: one for my daughter and one for myself. Anyways, I was quite surprised to have it in my hands in only three days! And no, I didn’t have to pay for expedited shipping.

So, why did I order the latest revision? Well, unlike my electronics addiction, it’s not because I just had to have the latest & greatest version. I believe the Institute for Scripture Research (ISR) really hit one out of the park with a great feature: whenever the Brit Chadasha makes an allusion to something in the Tanakh they have drawn attention by placing the text in bold type and also providing a citation to the source! This is a huge tool for all of us wishing to draw closer to YHWH and gain a deeper understanding of the beauty of His Word. They have also added illustrations, maps, and reference tables for distance and weight measurements. At last, I know what a cubit is!

I just wanted to commend the folks at the Institute for Scripture Research for all the hard work they are putting in. The restoration of YHWH’s name is vitally important to all people. Now is the time for us to return to the good life YAH has intended for us by returning to His Torah. Think about it, YHWH gave us an owner’s manual for our lives. All we have to do is open it up and learn how to keep our “life maintenence” on schedule.

Yerushalyim is on the horizon! As of this writing I am less than three weeks away from beginning a trip to a land that I have longed to see since my conversion began. It was only a short time ago that I was thinking I might never get the chance to daven at the Kotel. Now it’s so close I can almost touch it!

YHWH’s blessings are truly amazing! He knows exactly what we need and when we need it. All we have to do is trust in Him and realize we are His servants not vice-versa. I will be bringing my camera with me so when I return I hope to have a collection of pictures to show you, along with plenty of new post topics.

We will also have the privilege of being at Mount Sinai on Shavu’ot (Festival of Weeks). What a joy it will be to stand at the mountain where Mosheh and Yisra’el received the Torah from the voice of YHWH Himself! I have to admit when I first learned of our itinerary I was disappointed that we would not be in Yerushalyim for Shavu’ot. Then when I learned we would be at Mount Sinai I had to stop and thank YAH for his greatness! Our Father loves us so much and looks out for our welfare even when we aren’t looking. I wonder if when I meet Him, He will tell me of all the instances where He guided and protected me while I wasn’t paying attention?

If you haven’t read A Personal Letter yet I would ask you to take a couple of minutes and check it out. Unfortunately, we are still lacking funds to complete our payment obligations. Todah and may YHWH bless you and guard you!

No chametz

No chametz

As I write this we are only 3 days away from Pesach! I have so longed for my first Passover and now it is barreling down at me like a freight train (but in a good way).

My family and I have begun the process of removing the chametz (leaven) from both our houses and our lives. As instructed by the Torah, we will not be eating leavened bread for the period of the Passover. Additionally, we will be working on removing the chametz from our own personal lives.

This past Erev Shabbat (Friday evening) I asked my family to make a written list of what needed to be removed from their lives, what they felt necessary to work on in order to lead a more pleasing life to YHWH. We will use this list as a daily reminder of just how important this Festival really is. Each person’s list is private in that no one is allowed to take a peek at another’s.

Now to claim that the average person can lead a sinless life would be foolish. There was only one man that was ever able to accomplish this but does that mean that we shouldn’t even try? Are we to just throw our hands in the air and exclaim “I give up!” Of course not.

For those of us that have children think about how pleasing it is when they listen to us, when they make an honest effort to do what we ask of them. How much more so for YHWH when we obey Him and make an honest effort to listen to His commands? I think all too often we forget that we are all children in YAH’s eyes (myself included).

Thanks to Jason Patterson, I’ve come across a video series called God on Trial (WARNING: profanity, violence) produced by the BBC.

The screenplay is based on an event described by Elie Wiesel in his book The Trial of God, where prisoners of Auschwitz form a Beit Din to decide whether or not YHWH has broken His covenant with Israel. The story is fictional but stunning nevertheless. It asks the question “what if?” What if YHWH has abandoned us? What if we are no longer the chosen people?

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This is an issue I have been dealing with since I first began my studies and conversion. I am really hoping that those of you that might have been down this road before can offer some advice.

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