בראשית ־ BEREISHIT

בראשית ־ BEREISHIT
״ בראשית…״
“In the beginning…” (1:1)
QUESTION: Wh y does the Torah start wit h the letter beit,
the second letter of the Hebrew alef-beit, rather than wit h the
first letter, alef?
ANSWER: The Torah consists of two parts, the Written
Torah and the Oral Torah. The Written Torah starts wit h the
word “bereishit,” and the Oral Torah starts wit h the wor d
“mei’ei’matai” (מאימתי .(Thus, the first letters of the Written and
Oral Torah spell the word “bam” . This alludes to what our
sages tell us (Yoma 19b) on the words “vedibarta bam” — “and
you shall speak of them.” A person should use his speech and
conversation for the study of the Written Torah and the Oral
Torah and not for idle or forbidden talk.
(מגיד תעלומה)


Actually, the Midrash Tanchuma (Berei shit 5) asks this question and answers as follows: “Because alef is the first letter of the word “arur” — “cursed,” whereas beit is the first letter of
the word “baruch” — “blessed.”
But this explanation is difficult to understand. Alef is also
the first letter of beautiful words, such as “emet”— “truth, ” or
“ahavah” — “love,” while beit is also the first letter of bad words
such as “barad” — “hail ” (seventh of the ten plagues of Egypt),
and “bli’ya’al” — wickedness. Why then does the Midrash offer
an explanation that doesn’t seem to fully answer the question?
The Midrash may be alluding to the following: The letters of
the Hebrew alef-beit also serve as numbers. Each has a number-
value — alef equals one, beit, two , and so on. By extension, alef
can mean to care about only one person, oneself, and to forget
about others. Beit, on the other hand, means coexistence, caring
and getting along wit h another.
The Torah starts wit h a beit to teach us that caring about
others is baruch — the source of all blessing, and that alef —
selfish caring only about oneself is arur, cursed.
The explanation of the Midrash thus shows how the very
first letter of the Torah teaches us the importance of ahavat
Yisrael, loving one’s fellow Jew!
A similar idea is expressed in a story told i n the Gemara
(Shabbat 31a). A non-Jew came to Hillel, the great sage and leader
of the Jews in his time, and said to him, “Convert me to Judaism
on the condition that you will teach me the entire Torah while i
stand on one foot.” To do this, Hille l chose a brief teaching that
summarized all of the Torah: “What you dislike, do not do to
others, this is the entire Torah. The rest is an elaboration [of what
is hateful to others and should be avoided].”
Hille l wanted to show this proselyte, at the very beginning
of his journey to Judaism, that the basis of the entire Torah is to
avoid selfishness and to care about others.
(פניני התורה)
״ בראשית ב רא א לק״ם…״
“In the beginning of G-d’s creating…” (1:1)
QUESTiON: On Simchat Torah, when we finish reading all
five books of the Written Torah, we immediately start reading
all over again from Bereishit. This shows that the Torah has no
end, like a circle which has no beginning or end.
i n this spirit, it is customary when finishing a volume of the
Gemara to explain some connection between the start of the trac¬
tate and its end. The same is true of the Written Torah; how are
the very first word of the Torah and the last words connected?
ANSWER: One connection between the beginning and the
end of the Torah can be understood according to a famous
story related i n the Gemara (Megillah 9a). The Egyptian king,
Ptolemy I I (3476-3515 or 246-285 BCE) commanded 72 Torah
sages to translate the Written Torah into Greek.
He placed them in separate rooms, where they would be
unable to communicate with each other. By placing them in
solitary confinement, he hoped to demonstrate that their
separate translations would reflect many differences of opinion,
proving that the Torah is not Divine in origin (G-d forbid).
Hashem inspired them all to produce the exact same
translation, known among non-Jews to this day as the
Septuagint, from the Greek word meaning “seventy.” Al l 72
sages made certain identical changes from the literal meaning
of the Torah in several places to forestall possible
misunderstandings by non-Jews seeking to confirm their own
mistaken beliefs.
One of these changes was at the beginning of the Torah, i n
the words, “Bereishit bara Elokim.” The sages were worried that
non-Jews, seeking to prove that our Torah substantiates their
belief in the existence of more than one god, would try to bring
proof that some other god called “Bereishit” created G-d!
Therefore, all the sages individually reversed the order of
these words to read, “Elokim bara Bereishit” — “G-d created i n
the beginning.” This shows that G-d is but one, and He was the
First Being and the sole Creator of the world and all other
beings.
This change, however, was only for the sake of non-Jews,
whose mistaken beliefs could bring them to a false
interpretation of the verse. But when Hashem commanded
Moshe to writ e down the words of Torah that He taught him,
He knew that the Jewish people would not misinterpret these
words. He, therefore, told Moshe to write them in their true
order. (Many profound meanings lie in the order of the Torah’s
words and letters.)
This, then, is the connection between the very first words of
the Torah and its last phrase: “Le’einei kol Yisrael” — “before the
eyes of all Israel” (Devarim 34:12). Hashem told Moshe that
“le’einei kol Yisroel” — “before the eyes of all Israel,” [he should
write ] “Bereishit bara Elokim,” and there is no need to reverse the
order of the words, since the Jewish people believe i n only one
G-d, and He alone created everything.
(שרית תירוש ויצהר סי קס״ג בשם ספר מגדל דוד)
״ בראשית ב רא א לק״ם״
“In the beginning of G-d’s creating.” (1:1)
QUESTION: On this first pasuk of the Torah, the Midrash
(Yalkut Shimoni) says that it will be understood with the saying
“Rosh devarcha emet” — “Your very first utterance is truth “
(Psalms 119:160). What is the connection between these two
passages?
ANSWER: The final letters of the words רא ב בראשית ״
spell the word — “truth. ” The Gemara (Shabbat
55a) says, “Hashem’s signet is .” Hashem exists simultane¬
ously i n the past, present and future. Likewise, the word
is made up of the first, middle and last letters of the Hebrew
alef-beit to indicate that truth does not change, it is consistent in
the past, present and future.
The word אמת״ ״ adds up to 441, whose numerals (4+4+1)
add up to 9, and i n mispar katan (“single numerals” —
disregarding the “0” in the numerical value of a Hebrew letter
so that is 2 and is 3, etc.), it also adds up to 9. The
uniqueness of the number 9 is that the digits of all its multiples
always add up to 9 (e.g., 9×73 = 657, 6+5+7 = 18, 1+8 = 9).
Likewise, truth always remains the same and can never be
altered. Similarly, Hashem is true from beginning to end.
Moreover, taking the letters of the Hebrew alef-beit, begin¬
ning with , every three letters together add up to 9 (e.g.
9 = 2+3+4 = ד+ג+ב , and 9 = 2+7 ,27 = 8+9+10 = י+ט+ח , etc.).
The word — “falsehood” — in single numerals
(3+1+2), adds up to 6. Starting with , the alef-beit can be
divided into sequences, each of three consecutive letters, each
of which adds up to six, (e.g. = 1+2+3 = 6, and =
7+8+9 = 24, 2+4 = 6, etc.).

The Midrash is questioning why the Torah begins with and not with . i t answers, since the beginning of Hashem’s
words (לקים״ א רא ב ״בראשית (emphasize the concept of truth,
therefore, the Torah starts wit h , as it is the beginning of the
sequence of groups of letters adding up to 9.
(פון אונזער א לטען אוצר – ד ת ודעת)
״ בראשית ב רא א זיקים א ת ה שמים ו את ה ארץ, ו הארץ ה יתה ת ה ו
ו בהו ו חשך עזי פ ני ת הום… ו יאמר א זיקים יהי א ור״
“In the beginning of G-d’s creating the heavens and the earth. And
the earth was formless and empty, with darkness over the
depths…And G-d said: ‘There shall be light.'” (1:1-3)
QUESTION: The word “Torah” is derived from the world
“hora’ah” — “teaching” (see Psalms 19:8, Radak. Zohar Vayikra
53b). What lesson do these very first words of the Torah teach us?
ANSWER: I n a letter to a Bar-Mitzvah boy, the Lubavitcher
Rebbe once wrote that these opening words of the Torah teach
the approach all Jews should take i n serving Hashem. Every
Jew should always remember the three lessons he or she can
learn from these three verses:
1) It was Hashem Himself who created heaven and earth,
and therefore He alone is Master of the world and of
everything within it.
2) A t first the world is dark and empty of Hashem’s light,
but every Jew has his ow n share of the world , which he has to
improve and illuminate.
3) The way to brighten his share of the world is through
“and G-d said” — fulfilling the word of Hashem by studying
Torah and keeping mitzvot. Through this, the Jew accomplishes
his purpose in the world and “There shall be light ” — the
world becomes illuminated with the light of G-d’s Torah.
(אגרות קודש ח״ז להב״מ של א חי הרב שמואל פסח שי׳ באגאמילסקי)
״ויה״ ע רב ויה״ ב קר יום א חד״
“It was evening and it was morning, one day.” (1:5)
QUESTION: Why does the Torah say “yom echad” — “one
day” — and not “yom rishon” — the “first day” (as for the next
five days, which it calls “second,” “third, ” etc.)?
ANSWER: The Midrash calls the Yeitzer Hara, the inner
voice and evil inclination that tells us to do wrong , “evening”
because it brings darkness to the world . “Morning, ” on the
other hand, refers to the Yeitzer Tov, our inner voice that tells us
to do good, for it brings only light to the world .
The innate selfish instincts every child has at birth come
from the Yeitzer Hara. The Yeitzer Tov begins to express itself
only gradually in the child, and is first fully expressed when a
boy turns thirteen years old — Bar Mitzvah. (See Shulchan Aruch
Harav 4:2.)
This, then, is the meaning of the verse: I n man’s life,
“evening” — the Yeitzer Hara — comes first: Then “morning, “
the Yeitzer Tov, comes. When do they first meet, both being
fully expressed? On yom echad: the day a Jew becomes echad, of
which the three Hebrew letters (alef equals one, chet, eight and
daled, four) total thirteen!

Simchat Beit HaShoevah

The Rejoicing in the House of the Water Pouring (Simchat Beit HaShoevah) is a ceremony included in Sukkot. It is mentioned in the Mishnah and not in the Torah. The water pouring became a focus of joy. The Talmud states, “He who has not seen the rejoicing at the place of the water-drawing has never seen rejoicing in his life.” So, the water pouring ceremony became the occasion for an outpouring of intense joy.

Sukkot is the only Feast in which God commanded the people to be joyful. As a result, Sukkot became known as The Season of Our Joy. Passover is the Season of Our Freedom whereas Pentecost is the Season of the Giving of the Torah.

Waters were drawn from the Pool of Siloam. They were referred to as the waters of salvation. The festivities were held in the courtyard of the outer Temple. Though it was a relatively small area, many thousands of happy people were able to crowd in miraculously. There was dancing and singing in this celebration of the drawing of the water from the wells of salvation.

Why was the Water Libation such a happy occasion? It is as if God says to Israel, “All your offerings are precious to Me, but this offering of the water which you pour on the altar during the festival is especially precious. Water requires neither planting nor reaping nor pressing nor purifying. Let it be joined with the wine libation, which requires all sorts of preparations. In My eyes, your wine and water are equal, those that require great effort and those that don’t, so long as you rejoice in Me without any mixture of foreign thoughts or ulterior motives.”

The Daily Sukkot Ceremony

The celebration was held every day of the Feast, with the exception of Sabbath and the first day, for then the water libation was not accompanied by music and song. Men, women and children would took part in the celebration which lasted for fifteen and a half consecutive hours, from the time when the daily afternoon sacrifice was offered until the next morning. Such heavenly divine joy!

Each day, there was a special ceremony outside the temple. The priests were divided into three divisions.

Division One

The first division was the priests on duty for that festival. They would slay the sacrifices at the altar as instructed in Numbers 29.

Division Two

At this time, a second group of priests went out the East Gate of the temple and went to the Motzah Valley where the ashes were dumped at the beginning of the Sabbath.

There they cut willows. The willows had to be 25 feet in length. After this, all the priests would form a line, each holding a willow. About 25 or 30 feet apart allowing room for the willows, another line of priests was formed. In due time, there would be rows after rows of the priests holding willows.

After that, a signal was given. The priests would step out with their left feet and then to the right, swinging the willows back and forth.

Division Three

Meanwhile, a third group of priests, headed by the high priest, went out the gate known as the Water Gate.

They had gone to the Pool of Siloam (John 9:7), which means gently flowing waters. There the high priest had a golden vase and drew the water known as the living waters (mayim hayim) and held it in the vase. His assistant held a silver vase containing wine.

Division Two & Division Three Returning To Temple

The whole road back to the temple would be filled with pilgrims. These pilgrims went to Jerusalem to celebrate the festival. They were commanded by God to appear before Him thrice a year during the Feasts of Passover, Pentecost and Tabernacles (Deuteronomy 16:16).

Then the priests in the valley of Motzah and the priests at the Pool of Siloam began to march toward Jerusalem. The willows made a swishing sound in the wind as they marched towards the holy city. The Hebraic word Ruach means both wind and spirit. Therefore, this ceremony is symbolic of the Holy Spirit (Ruach HaKodesh) coming upon the city of Jerusalem.

On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said,streams of living water will flow from within him.” By this He meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified. John 7:37-39

As each of the party reached their respective gates, a shofar was blown. Then one man would stand up and play the flute. The flute player was called the pierced one which was a type of the Messiah. As the flute was pierced, so was Yeshua. He was pierced during the crucifixion (Psalm 22:16; Zechariah 12:10; John 19:34-37; Revelation 1:7).

The flute player led the procession, blowing and calling for the wind and the water to enter the temple. The priests from Motzah (Division Two) swishing the willows entered into the temple and circled the altar of sacrifice seven times. The priests, who had slain the sacrifices (Division One), then ascended the altar and began to lay the sacrifices on the fires.

The high priest and his assistant (Division Three) ascended the altar as all the people of Israel were gathered into the courts around there. The people started singing the song Mayim, saying, “With joy shall ye draw out of the wells of salvation” (Isaiah 12:3).

The high priest took his vase and poured its contents on one of the corners of the altar where the horns were. There were two bowls built into the altar. Each bowl had a hole in it. The water and the wine were poured out over the altar as the priests who had the willow start laying the willows against the altar, forming a sukkah. This was the covering of God.

Hereby, we have a picture of Yeshua as He was dying on the tree. He was on the altar (tree) when His heart was pierced (John 19:34). The water and wine poured out by the high priest and his assistant represented the water and blood that flowed out of Yeshua’s body on the cross. Yeshua said that He was the living water being poured out during this ceremony (John 7:37-38).

Wine is representative of marriage, blood, covenant, joy, and the Messiah in Scripture. The priests took the willows to the altar and set them upright on the side of the altar, forming a wedding canopy (chupah). Through Yeshua, God provides a covering (sukkah) for all those who believe in Him.

Rain is essential to the growing of crops in Israel. It is a blessing from God, and it is a prominent feature in Sukkot. But the ceremony of the water drawing holds a spiritual significance much greater than its agricultural importance.

The rain represents the Holy Spirit (Ruach HaKodesh). The water drawing points to that day when God would rain His Spirit upon all flesh (Joel 2:28-29). As God pours out rain, we draw the waters. As God pours out His Holy Spirit, we receive His Holy Anointing.

In the Talmud we read, “Why is the name of it called the drawing out of water? Because of the pouring out of the Holy Spirit, according to what is said, ‘With joy shall ye draw out of the wells of salvation'” (Isaiah 12:3).

The earth will experience the greatest revival and outpouring of God’s Spirit in the Millennium Reign of Christ in Jerusalem when God tabernacles with man. It will be Sukkot everyday.

VE-ZOS HABRACHAH

Torah Reading for Simchas Torah: VE-ZOS HABRACHAH, Deuteronomy 33:1-34:12
Additional reading: Genesis 1:1-2:3
Maftir: Numbers 29:35-30:1
Haftara: Joshua 1:1-18

AND THIS IS THE BLESSING

After the succession of stern rebukes to Israel in the preceding parshahs, we finally come to the conclusion of the Torah, which is all goodness and blessing. VE-ZOS HABRACHAH: “And this is the blessing with which Moses, man of G-d, blessed the Children of Israel before his death” (Deut. 33:1).

The last of the Torah’s fifty-three parshahs thus completes the circle to make the perfect garden: 53 is the gematria of the Hebrew word GAN = “garden”. The Torah began with the creation of Adam, recounting how he was placed in the Garden of Eden, only to fall and be driven out. Similarly Abraham, Isaac and Jacob planted themselves in the Land of Israel, which is intended to be a garden of a land. But their children fell into exile in Egypt, and the glorious redemption and the Giving of the Torah at Sinai were followed by the making of the golden calf and the other sins in the wilderness. The purpose of all Moses’ labors instilling G-d’s law into the hearts of the people of Israel was to bring about the complete rectification of Adam’s sin in order to enable his children to come back into the garden and enjoy goodness and blessing in their land forever.

The Kabbalah explains that G-d brought about the creation through the concealment of His infinite light and perfect unity, leaving a seemingly separate, finite realm of lack and imperfection. This provides man with an arena of challenge where he can earn higher levels of connection with G-d through his own efforts. The flaw in the creation is man’s rebellious streak. When he succumbs to it, he intensifies the darkness and evil in himself and the surrounding world. But he is also vested with the power to repent and to overcome the evil. In tracing how man became separated from G-d and teaching him the pathways he must follow in order to reconnect, the Torah provides the complete remedy for the whole of creation.

Having recounted man’s sins and the resulting tribulations — imperfection and disunity — and having set forth the code of law through which man repairs himself and the world, the Torah ends with rectification and unity. “And this is the blessing. And there was a King in Yeshurun when the heads of the people were GATHERED and the tribes of Israel TOGETHER” (Deut. 33 v. 1 & v. 5). All the different pieces finally come together again and everything returns to unity. The name Yeshurun refers to Israel in the aspect of Yosher, straightness and rectification. VE-ZOS HABRACHAH speaks of the greatness of Israel and their destiny — each tribe individually and all together collectively. “Happy are you, O Israel! Who is like you?. a nation saved through HaShem” (ibid. v. 29). Nothing in the world can stand between G-d and Israel. Not only was He revealed to them at Sinai. He is even revealed to them out of Se’ir and Paran — Edom, Ishmael and the other forces of concealment: “HaShem came from Sinai, from Seir He shone to them.” (v. 2). Through the power of the Torah, even that which seems furthest from G-d can be brought back and reconnected with Him.

Although the twelve tribes of Israel are all unique, each with their different qualities — multiplicity — they all share a common destiny: to lead the world back to G-d — unity. Thus it says of Zevulun and Issachar, “They will call nations to the Mountain [= the Temple Mount], they will slaughter offerings of righteousness.” (v. 19). Of Joseph it says, “He will gore the nations, TOGETHER even the ends of the earth” (v. 18). Finally, all the scattered sparks will be gathered back together again. In the end, after all their struggles and suffering — “And Israel will dwell securely, the fountain of Jacob alone, in a land of corn and wine. Indeed, his heavens will drop down dew” (v. 28).

Everything is in its proper place. Everything has been rectified. Moses’ mission has been fulfilled, and as a mortal man, he too must die. We cry when we read of the death of Moses — we cry over our own mortality. Yet we must know that eventually we have to die, for only through the death of the self can we be merged with the All-encompassing One. There are no exceptions to G-d’s immutable law, not even in the case of Moses, who was the greatest of all the prophets. For failing to sanctify G-d one time in the wilderness (Numbers 20:1-13), Moses was not allowed to enter the Promised Land. Yet selflessly, he brought the Children of Israel — his children — to the borders of the land, and all that was left for them to do was to enter and make their conquest.

Moses comes to the end, yet it is not the end, because life continues, and where the older generation leave off, the new generation pick up and carry on. After the death of the old comes the birth of the new. It is never the end, because as soon as we reach the end of the Torah, we immediately go back to the beginning and start all over again! This very continuity is the Joy of the Torah, SIMCHAS TORAH, the day on which we complete the annual cycle of the Torah and begin again. Just as G-d is Eyn Sof — NO END — so, the Torah has no end. When you reach the end of the cycle, the circle is complete and you start again from the beginning. For the end is seamlessly attached to the beginning, and the circle goes around and around.

Thus on SIMCHAS TORAH the Children of Israel take all the Torah scrolls out of the ark and dance around and around the reader’s desk in circle after circle, to indicate the endlessness of the Torah. You might have thought it would be impossible for finite man to have any connection with the Infinite G-d. Yet in His compassion, G-d has given us a way to connect with Him: through cycle after cycle of Torah study. Through each circle and each cycle, we expand the horizons of our knowledge of G-d, drawing down His all-encompassing light around and inside ourselves, becoming steadily more and more suffused with His unity, love and peace.

May we have the merit of studying the entire Torah time after time, cycle after cycle, until “the earth will be full of the knowledge of HaShem as the waters cover the seas” (Isaiah 11:9).

Shabbat Shalom!!! Chag Same’ach!!!

Avraham Yehoshua Greenbaum

Saul never said the Law was abolished

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Read for yourself


 
The following is a collection of clear scriptures showing that Paul never taught that we are free to disobey the Law (Hebrew: Torah).

I only ask that everyone read all of this study (please do not skim thru) before coming to a conclusion.

First off, it’s obvious that Paul himself believed in keeping the Law:

Acts 24:14 (NKJV) – “But this I confess to you, that according to the Way which they call a sect, so I worship the Elohim of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the Law and in the Prophets. 

Acts 25:8 – while he answered for himself, “Neither against the Law of the Jews, nor against the temple, nor against Caesar have I offended in anything at all.”

Acts 18:21 – but took leave of them, saying, “I must by all means keep this coming feast in Jerusalem; but I will return again to you, Yahweh willing.” And he sailed from Ephesus.

Romans 7:25 – I thank Yahweh–through Yahushua the Messiah our Master! So then, with the mind I myself serve the Law of Yahweh, but with the flesh the Law of sin.

Paul taught the disciples not to let anyone judge them for observing the Law (See Colossians study):

Colo 2:16-17 – So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the body of the Messiah.

Paul says that the doers of the Law will be justified and those who break it will be judged.

Romans 2:12 – For as many as have sinned without Law will also perish without Law, and as many as have sinned in the Law will be judged by the Law 13 (for not the hearers of the Law [are] just in the sight of Yahweh, but the doers of the Law will be justified;

The word that is translated “without Law” here is word #460 which means “not amenable to the Jewish/Mosaic Law”. (See Thayers and Strong’s lexicon)Paul says that we know His will and approve the things that are excellent when instructed out of the Law.

Romans 2:17 – Indeed you are called a Jew, and rest on the Law, and make your boast in Yahweh, 18 and know [His] will, and approve the things that are excellent, being instructed out of the Law, 19 and are confident that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, 20 an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, having the form of knowledge and truth in the Law.

Here he says that when we break the Law, we dishonor Yahweh and blaspheme His name. 

Romans 2:21 You, therefore, who teach another, do you not teach yourself? You who preach that a man should not steal, do you steal? 22 You who say, “Do not commit adultery,” do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? 23 You who make your boast in the Law, do you dishonor Yahweh through breaking the Law? 24 For “the name of Yahweh is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you,” as it is written.

Here Paul twice states that we learn what sin is from the Law. This backs up the statement in 1John 3:4 that Sin is transgression of the Law.

Romans 3:20 – Therefore by the deeds of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the Law [is] the knowledge of sin.

Romans 7:7 – What shall we say then? [Is] the Law sin? Certainly not! On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the Law. For I would not have known covetousness unless the Law had said, “You shall not covet.”

Here is a key scripture proving that Paul believed that thru faith we do not make the Law void, but rather we establish the Law (To cause or make to stand, #2476).

Romans 3:31 – Do we then make void the Law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the Law.

Here is another key scripture like the one above proving that Paul did not believe that once we are under grace, that we can continue to sin (break the Law):

Romans 6:15 – What then? Shall we sin because we are not under Law but under grace? Certainly not! 16 Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin [leading] to death, or of obedience [leading] to righteousness?

Here Paul is equating “the Law” with “the commandment” and stating his opinion of them:

Romans 7:12 – Therefore the Law [is] holy, and the commandment holy and just and good.

Here is an unpopular statement of Paul’s. Many like to believe that the Law is of the flesh. Not true! It’s spiritual:

Romans 7:14 – For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin.

Paul delights in the Law of Yahweh

Romans 7:22 – For I delight in the Law of Yahweh according to the inward man.

Now we will move on to where Paul uses the term “Lawlessness”. The word that is translated “Lawlessness” in the following verses is the Greek word “anomia” which carries the following definition:

BDB/Thayers # 458
458 anomia {an-om-ee’-ah}
from 459; TDNT – 4:1085,646; n f
AV – iniquity 12, unrighteousness 1, transgress the law + 4060 1,
transgression of the law 1; 15
1) the condition of without law
1a) because ignorant of it
1b) because of violating it
2) contempt and violation of law, iniquity, wickedness

Now for a second witness here is the definition of this in the Strong’s Hebrew Lexicon:

458. anomia, an-om-ee’-ah; from 459; illegality, i.e. violation of the law or (gen.) wickedness: — iniquity X transgress (ion of) the law, unrighteousness.

Now note that both lexicons it states that both of these words come from the Greek word #459. This word means “To be destitute or in violation of the Mosaic or Jewish Law” (See Thayer’s and Strong’s Lexicons). Now the word #458 is translated “transgression of the Law” in the King James version of 1john 3:4

1Joh 3:4 (KJV) Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the Law: for sin is the transgression of the Law.

Yes, this was written by John but it is surely showing that this word is certainly the definition of sin. For sin is “anomia” (condition of being without the Law or violation of the Law, transgression of the Law)

In these verses he shows that righteousness is the opposite of Lawlessness (#458 in violation of the Law). Therefore if one is keeping the Law, they must walking in righteousness. (Though this is confirmed already by many verses I have already shown.) Please also remember this for later in the study.

Romans 6:19 – I speak in human [terms] because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members [as] slaves of uncleanness, and of Lawlessness [leading] to [more] Lawlessness, so now present your members [as] slaves [of] righteousness for holiness.

2Cor 6:14 – Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with Lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?

Here again, Paul equates this word (#458) Lawless with SIN.

Romans 4:7 – “Blessed [are those] whose Lawless deeds are forgiven, And whose sins are covered; 

Now here is an example where this word is used when translating the Old Testament.

Hebr 1:9 – You have loved righteousness and hated Lawlessness (#458); Therefore Elohim, Your Elohim, has anointed You. With the oil of gladness more than Your companions.”

Now this is interesting…here is an example of where the New Testament is quoting from the old testament. (From the Hebrew to the greek). Now what word does this greek word #458 translate from? Let’s find out:

Psal 45:6 (KJV) Thy throne, O El’, [is] for ever and ever: the sceptre of thy kingdom [is] a right sceptre. 7 Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: (From the greek #458) therefore El’, thy El’, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.

So it comes from the Hebrew word reshah (#7562) which means “Wickedness” !! Now how is this word used in other places in scripture? Here we seen an example of a Psalm that makes wickedness the opposite of righteousness. (Just as Paul taught).

Now this study might go on forever and ever proving that the meaning of what Paul meant by “righteousness” was obedience to the Law but lets look at some examples.

Romans 6:16 – Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin [leading] to death, or of obedience [leading] to righteousness?

Here obedience is equated with righteousness (as defined by the Law)

Romans 10:5 – For Moses writes about the righteousness which is of the Law, “The man who does those things shall live by them.”

Here are many other scriptures then where Paul says that we ought to walk in righteousness:

Ephe 5:8 – For you were once darkness, but now [you] [are] light in Yahweh. Walk as children of light  9 (for the fruit of the Spirit [is] in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), 10 finding out what is acceptable to Yahweh. 11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose [them].

Ephe 6:14 – Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness,

Phil 1:9 – And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, Phil 1:10 that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of the Messiah, Phil 1:11 being filled with the fruits of righteousness which [are] by Yahushua the Messiah, to the glory and praise of Yahweh.

2Tim 2:22 – Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on Yahweh out of a pure heart. 23 – But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife.

Here is an example where Paul takes another step forward in showing that ALL SCRIPTURE (which must include the Law of Yahweh because there was no written “new testament” at that time) is given by Yahweh, profitable for doctrine, for reproof and instruction in righteousness.

2Tim 3:16 – All Scripture [is] given by inspiration of Yahweh, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,17 that the man of Yahweh may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Now in conclusion I must say that there would have to be very little doubt that according to these verses in which Paul spoke, he certainly upheld the Law as the very definition of righteousness and holiness. And he taught that breaking these commandments were Unrighteousness, Lawlessness, wickedness, and most importantly, SIN.

Therefore we can conclude that whenever Paul speaks of Sin…he most certainly is talking about disobeying the commandments in the Law. How many more scriptures could be added where Paul speaks against sin? This study would certainly be many pages long!

Therefore, we can see that it must have been obvious to Paul as well as quite obvious to his followers that Law obedience was expected. I believe that many of the details of Law observance were worked out in their public meetings as well as in the synagogues (see where James made the decision in Acts 15 that the Gentiles would learn the Law on the synagogues every Sabbath).

In light of all of these scriptures, it is quite clear that breaking Yahweh’s law is the very definition of sin. May Yahweh lead us into the the truth and into His Kingdom by His wonderful Spirit which is the word of Yahweh. (John 6:63)

One final quote:

Romans 8:6-7 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against Yahweh; for it is not subject to the Law of Yahweh, nor indeed can be.

Chag Yeshua

Chag Yeshua 

(The Feast of Yeshua (Deliverance)

What is Chag Yeshua?

The Feast of Deliverance or “Chag Yeshua” is an ancient festival once kept by the Jewish people.  Chag Yeshua is not a feast from the Torah, it is instead comparable to the feasts of Purim and Channukah.  These feasts were established in and through Scripture by the authority of the Elders.

What is the background of this festival? After the Battle of Raphia in 217 B.C.E. Ptolemy IV sought to enter the Holy of Holies in Jerusalem, but was miraculously repulsed (3Macc. 1:1-2:24). Upon returning from Egypt he seeks to punish the Jews there for his humiliation. He lowers their political status and seeks to impose paganism on them (3Macc. 2:25-33) and tortures and kills those that refuse to renounce Judaism (3Macc. 3:1-5:51) An elder priest named Eleazar prays for the deliverance of his people (3Macc. 6:1-25), YHWH intervenes bringing about the repentance of the king and the deliverance of the Jews (6:16-7:23) The Jews declared an annual festival called “The Feast of Deliverance” (Chag Yeshua) as an annual celebration of the salvation of the Jews in Egypt at this time. The festival enacted from the 8th to the 14th of the Egyptian month of Epeiph. The Egyptian calendar was a Solar Calendar and these days correspond to 19 August 217 BCE on the Julian Calendar and this was 12th Elul 3544 on the Hebrew calendar. This festival should be observed beginning on the 12th of Elul each year.

And there is another element in this festival for us as believers in Messiah. The Hebrew word for “deliverance” is YESHUA so we have here “The Feast of Yeshua”. The deliverance of the Jews from the hand of Ptolemy IV points us forward to the deliverance of Israel by the Messiah Yeshua. This feast gives us another important theme, Messiah and the deliverance of Israel.

How to Celebrate the Feast

What do we do on Chag Yeshua? The text of 3 Maccabees tells us that the day was celebrated with rejoicing and they “were crowned with all kinds of fragrant flowers.” The text also tells us that they:

1. A celebratory meal called “The Banquet of Deliverance” or “The Banquet of Yeshua”. This should not be confused with the Passover Sader and would be more akin to a “Thanksgiving Dinner”, or this time of year, a barbeque. (3Macc. 6:31)

2. Traditional songs (“Songs of their fathers”) and praising Yah as “savior”. Particularly appropriate are songs about “Salvation” or which speak of Yah’s defense as our shield. (3Macc. 6:32)
Recommended Chag Yeshua songs:

Deliverance/Protection/Victory Theme:
Behold!
And it Shall Come to Pass
Melech Ozair
As the Mountains
Shield about Me
In the Shadow of your Wings
Shouts of Joy

Yeshua (the Messiah) Theme:
Do You Know Yeshua?
In Yeshua’s Name
Rejoicing Theme:
He Put Laughter into My Soul
He has Made me Glad
Roni Bat Tzion

3. Traditional Hebraic Dance (3Macc. 6:35)

4. Obviously the festival should involve recounting the story of 3 Maccabees.

Since the festival is in the summer (at least in the northern hemisphere) this points obviously to summer festivities. Modern activities could include barbeques and pool parties.

So plan your own Chag Yeshua events for Chag Yeshua

A Time for Intercessory Prayer
While the general theme of 3rd Maccabees (deliverance) is common in the Scriptures (deliverance from: Pharaoh, Haman, Antiochus Epiphanies etc.) the Chag Yeshua story is unique because it names only two protagonists. These two “heros in named in the Chag Yeshua story of 3rd Maccabees are Simon the High Priest and Eleazar the Priest are both prayer warriors. This is no accident, the lesson of the Chag Yeshua story is the power of prayer, it is a book whose two heroes are prayer warriors.

Simon’s prayer is found in 3rd Maccabees 2:1-20. This Simon, “Simon the Righteous” (219-196 B.C.E.), was one of the last members of the Great Assembly which had been established by Ezra. The Mishna says:

Simeon the Righteous was of the remnants
of the Great Assembly. He used to say, “On three
things the world stands: On the Torah,
On the [Temple] Service,
and on acts of piety (chasidim).
(m.Avot 1:2)

Ben Sira calls him “the leader of his brothers and the pride of his people.” (50:1) and dedicates an entire chapter to his good reputation (Sira 50). Simon was the earliest post-biblical sage cited in the Mishna.

The climax of the story follows a prayer by Eleazar the Priest (3Macc. 6:1-15)

The story lays out the deliverance from Israel and the place that intercessory prayer played in that deliverance.

This is a great time of year to engage in intercessory prayer for the salvation of all Israel and Judah!

The Amidah and Chag Yeshua

Over 2,000 years ago Ptolemy IV Philopater attempted to destroy the Jewish people.  YHWH intervened on our behalf when El’azar of Alexandria stood up and prayed for YHWH to intercede for the Jewish people saying:

1 And El’azar, an illustrious cohen of the country, who had attained to length of days, and whose life had been adorned with virtue, caused the Elders who were about him to cease to cry out to the set-apart Elohim, and prayed thus:
2 O king, mighty in power, most high, Almighty Elohim, who regulate the whole creation with your tender mercy,
3 look upon the seed of Avraham, upon the children of the sanctified Ya’akov, your sanctified inheritance, O Father, now being wrongfully destroyed as strangers in a strange land.
(3Macc. 6:1-3)

Note how these words have an uncanny parallel the opening prayer of the Amidah (called “AVOT” the fathers):

Baruch Atah YHWH Eloheynu v’Elohey a vo taynoo.
Elohey Avraham, Elohey Yitzchak V’Elohey Ya a kov,
Ha EL Ha Gadol, Ha Geebor, v’Ha Nora,
El Elyon, go mail chasadeem toveem, v’konay ha kol.
v’zo care chas day ahvot oo mayvee go ail leevnay v’nay hem
l’ma an sh’mo b’a havah.
Melech Ozair U’MaSHEEAH u OO ‘MAGEN
Baruch Atah YHWH, Magen Avraham!

Blessed Are You YHWH, our Elohim and Elohim of our fathers;
Elohim of Avraham, Elohim of Yitzchak, Elohim of Yaacov,
the great and mighty and awesome Elohim, the most high Elohim,
who bestows grace and creates all
and remembers the kindnesses of the fathers
and brings a Redeemer to their children’s
children, for His Name’s sake with love.
O King, helper Savior and Shield!
Blessed are You YHWH. Shield of Avraham.

Let us each recite this prayer in honor of Chag Yeshua, invoking YHWH to protect His people from the designs of the Enemy. Psalm 27 is Prayed both in Morning and Afternoon.

Psalms Chapter 27 תְּהִלִּים

א  לְדָוִד:    יְהוָה, אוֹרִי וְיִשְׁעִי–מִמִּי אִירָא;
יְהוָה מָעוֹז-חַיַּי,    מִמִּי אֶפְחָד.
1 [A Psalm] of David. The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
ב  בִּקְרֹב עָלַי, מְרֵעִים–    לֶאֱכֹל אֶת-בְּשָׂרִי:
צָרַי וְאֹיְבַי לִי;    הֵמָּה כָשְׁלוּ וְנָפָלוּ.
2 When evil-doers came upon me to eat up my flesh, even mine adversaries and my foes, they stumbled and fell.
ג  אִם-תַּחֲנֶה עָלַי, מַחֲנֶה–    לֹא-יִירָא לִבִּי:
אִם-תָּקוּם עָלַי, מִלְחָמָה–    בְּזֹאת, אֲנִי בוֹטֵחַ.
3 Though a host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war should rise up against me, even then will I be confident.
ד  אַחַת, שָׁאַלְתִּי מֵאֵת-יְהוָה–    אוֹתָהּ אֲבַקֵּשׁ:
שִׁבְתִּי בְּבֵית-יְהוָה,    כָּל-יְמֵי חַיַּי;
לַחֲזוֹת בְּנֹעַם-יְהוָה,    וּלְבַקֵּר בְּהֵיכָלוֹ.
4 One thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life,to behold the graciousness of the LORD, and to visit early in His temple.
ה  כִּי יִצְפְּנֵנִי, בְּסֻכֹּה–    בְּיוֹם רָעָה:
יַסְתִּרֵנִי, בְּסֵתֶר אָהֳלוֹ;    בְּצוּר, יְרוֹמְמֵנִי.
5 For He concealeth me in His pavilion in the day of evil; He hideth me in the covert of His tent; He lifteth me up upon a rock.
ו  וְעַתָּה יָרוּם רֹאשִׁי, עַל אֹיְבַי סְבִיבוֹתַי,    וְאֶזְבְּחָה בְאָהֳלוֹ, זִבְחֵי תְרוּעָה;
אָשִׁירָה וַאֲזַמְּרָה,    לַיהוָה.
6 And now shall my head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me; and I will offer in His tabernacle sacrifices with trumpet-sound;
I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the LORD.
ז  שְׁמַע-יְהוָה קוֹלִי אֶקְרָא;    וְחָנֵּנִי וַעֲנֵנִי. 7 Hear, O LORD, when I call with my voice, and be gracious unto me, and answer me.
ח  לְךָ, אָמַר לִבִּי–בַּקְּשׁוּ פָנָי;    אֶת-פָּנֶיךָ יְהוָה אֲבַקֵּשׁ. 8 In Thy behalf my heart hath said: ‘Seek ye My face’; Thy face, LORD, will I seek.
ט  אַל-תַּסְתֵּר פָּנֶיךָ, מִמֶּנִּי–    אַל תַּט-בְּאַף, עַבְדֶּךָ:
עֶזְרָתִי הָיִיתָ;    אַל-תִּטְּשֵׁנִי וְאַל-תַּעַזְבֵנִי, אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׁעִי.
9 Hide not Thy face from me; put not Thy servant away in anger;Thou hast been my help; cast me not off, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation.
י  כִּי-אָבִי וְאִמִּי עֲזָבוּנִי;    וַיהוָה יַאַסְפֵנִי. 10 For though my father and my mother have forsaken me, the LORD will take me up.
יא  הוֹרֵנִי יְהוָה, דַּרְכֶּךָ:    וּנְחֵנִי, בְּאֹרַח מִישׁוֹר–לְמַעַן, שׁוֹרְרָי. 11 Teach me Thy way, O LORD; and lead me in an even path, because of them that lie in wait for me.
יב  אַל-תִּתְּנֵנִי, בְּנֶפֶשׁ צָרָי:    כִּי קָמוּ-בִי עֵדֵי-שֶׁקֶר, וִיפֵחַ חָמָס. 12 Deliver me not over unto the will of mine adversaries; for false witnesses are risen up against me, and such as breathe out violence.
יג  לוּלֵא–הֶאֱמַנְתִּי, לִרְאוֹת בְּטוּב-יְהוָה:    בְּאֶרֶץ חַיִּים. 13 If I had not believed to look upon the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living!–
יד  קַוֵּה, אֶל-יְהוָה:    חֲזַק, וְיַאֲמֵץ לִבֶּךָ; וְקַוֵּה, אֶל-יְהוָה. 14 Wait on the LORD; be strong, and let thy heart take courage; yea, wait thou for the LORD.

For Free Chag Yeshua Liturgy Click Here

Rising above the physical world

G-d instructed Moses to tell the Jewish people, “You must live in huts (sukkot) throughout this seven-day period.”

The sukkah is unique among the Torah’s commandments in that it is the only one that we physically enter; the sukkah surrounds us on all sides. This property of the sukkah is a physical manifestation of the Divine energy that the sukkah embodies: the awareness that G-d exists apart from the world and beyond its limitations.

We are taught that spiritually, the sukkah derives from the cloud produced when the high priest would burn incense in the Holy of Holies on Yom Kippur. Whereas the animal sacrifices focused primarily on refining our human/animal soul, the incense expressed the inner consciousness of our Divine soul. Our Divine soul operates on a higher plane than that of our normal, human/animal consciousness. The Divine soul enables us to transcend the limits imposed on our lives by our human/animal soul, whose intellect and emotions are focused solely on physical things.
Thus, our task on the holiday of sukkot is firstly to focus on G-d’s unlimited Divinity by building the sukkah, and secondly, to internalize our awareness of this Divinity both by dwelling in the sukkah and by fulfilling the commandment of holding and waving four plant-parts.

“Not Under the Law” in Galatians

In Galatians, Paul teaches his disciples, “If you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law” (Gal 5:18; cf. Rom 6:14-15; 1 Cor 9:20-21). What does Paul mean by “not under the Law”? The traditional answer is that Paul (Shaul) abandoned Torah for an alternative way of living—not a life of legal observance, but a life under “grace” and “faith.” This supposed shift in Paul’s lifestyle assumes that grace and faith are in opposition to God’s Law, but Paul himself denied such an opposition many times over (e.g., Rom 3:31; 4:16; 7:7-16; 10:5). A closer examination of Gal 5:18 shows that Paul does not disdain the Law (far from it), but rather he qualifies the Law’s scope in light of the Messiah’s arrival. I have to warn you, my explanation of the apostle’s words will take you far from the traditional path of reading Galatians.

Shaul’s notion of not being “under the Law” begins earlier in Galatians when he asks, “Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith?” (Gal 3:2-3). Clearly, the Spirit works through faith! Paul adds, “But before faith came, we were protected under the law, being enclosed together to the faith which was later to be revealed. Therefore, the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Messiah, so that we may be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.” (Gal 3:23-25).

First, Paul frequently uses the term “faith” (πίστις; pistis) in Galatians as a shorthand for “faith in Messiah,” and the term “promise” (ἐπαγγελία; epangelía) for the promised inheritance given to Abraham (cf. Gen 12:1-3; 15:18-20). The inheritance or promise is something an heir receives once the child matures. According to Paul, his Galatian disciples already received the “Abrahamic promise/inheritance” by the Spirit, without the involvement of Torah (Gal 3:26-29). Jews can receive the same “promise/inheritance of the covenant” through the Spirit in the process of being guided by the Torah.

Second, Shaul compares the custody of a caretaker or tutor (Greek: παιδαγωγός; paidagogós) over a minor to the custody of Torah over Israel. This is not a perfect illustration (because it highlights only one side of Torah), but Paul introduces an idea of “tutor” as an example from the Roman life his audience would understand. In English, a tutor or pedagogue may imply academic instruction, but in Greek or Hebrew, the terms imply practical training in life skills. In Hebrew (מוֹרֶה; moreh) “teacher” or “instructor”, “someone who points to right direction” is related to the word Torah (תּוֹרָה; torah). Greek “law” (νόμος; nomos) is not the best translation for such relationship but translations are rarely perfect or precise. The issue of Torah comes up because Paul addresses his letter to non-Jews who are contemplating circumcision and formal conversion, which would obligate them to live by the Torah’s commandments.

So, keeping this in mind, what does Paul mean by not being “under the Law” or “under a tutor” in his illustration? The answer can be surprisingly straightforward. Mature heirs know how their father wants them to act and do not require the enforcement of rules by a caretaker who already taught them how to live well in society. Galatians are non-Jews, and technically, they were never “under the law” and thus do not require emancipation from it. So applying this scenario to non-Jews is not entirely proper. Paul merely says there are two paths to the inheritance, one through the Spirit and another through Torah which leads one to Christ. (Gal 3:24). But Galatians did not know Torah. They did not even know God before Paul introduced them to Jesus (Gal 4:8; cf. Eph 2:12) so what law could they be under before Messiah?

Indeed, throughout Israel’s history, Torah served as a guide, as a teacher, and custodian who instructs, corrects and even disciplines. Torah preserved Israel as a people living among pagan nations for many generations, allowing them to finally see the days of the Messiah. Now that Messiah has come, those who embrace him are “mature heirs”, they are ready to receive their inheritance/promise. They are guided by the Spirit and thus not “under the tutor”. Yet this does not mean that Israel as a mature heir can now ignore everything she was taught since childhood and now can live however she pleases without any consequences. Torah’s teaching never ceases to be valid and true. Paul’s illustration should not be pressed too far. Illustrations are rarely perfect and simply exist to clarify an idea. In fact, illustrations are not meant to be scrutinized or made into theology. Paul’s original point is that Galatians, who are Gentiles are not supposed get circumcised and quickly acquire a tutor for themselves. Their journey to the “promise” (ἐπαγγελία; epangelía) is different, according to their teacher (Gal 5:18) and that is why they are “not under the law”.

The bottom line is Saul’s statement in Act 24;14 “But this I confess to you, that according to the Way which they call a ‘sect,’ so I worship the Elohim of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the Torah and the Prophets.” Shows his mind set that the Galatians were not ready for a new life as Hashem intended i.e. the Way that is His Path for all Mankind. Hashem=Haruach Hakodesh=Torah=Yeshua=Lapid