Akoloutheo moi.

Still moving slowly from waking so early, you fasten your tattered awning and struggle to prepare your display. The newly risen sun rouses the color from the stone walls as you admire all the fresh produce you have to offer. The quiet streets soon spring to life as morning shoppers venture out for the freshest ingredients. While a few new faces are sometimes seen, it's usually the same local patrons day in and day out. This day seemed a bit different, though. It was only a moment ago that you noticed a curious young man as he made his way down the center row of the bustling marketplace. His manner of dress indicated that he was a Jewish teacher and he had a few young men walking beside him, seemingly asking questions. A slightly larger group of people followed close behind and a few more trailed at a short distance. The teacher raised his hand, as if motioning for the men to pause for a moment. He then crouched down to speak to an elderly beggar. He gently lifted the man up off the pavement. The way they embraced, you assumed they knew one another. Moments later, as the teacher winds through the narrowing rows, you see that a considerable number of people have begun to surround him. Three of them are singing. The young men accompanying Him are able to navigate the small crowd, but the teacher has chosen to stop and speak to a middle-aged woman who is crying. Soon after, he is moving closer to your stand. This is your chance. You hastily organize your fruit and vegetables. Surely someone from the approaching throng will make a purchase - your first of the morning. As the teacher, the young men accompanying him, and the crowd nears, you're discouraged to see that none of them are carrying produce, meat or textiles of any kind. Apparently, they're not in the marketplace to shop. What are they doing here? Causing a commotion and blocking your stand from potential customers, that's what! If you don't make enough sales today, you and your daughter won't be eating tonight. By now, the teacher is only a few stands away and the clamor has grown into a dull roar. About ten people are now singing - loudly. Some other men stand off to the side, shouting what sound like curses at him, but he pays them no mind. Within the writhing mass of followers, a few men start pushing each other in order to get closer to the young teacher. One man holds an infant over another man's head, trying to get the teacher to notice. Just then, as the colorful mass of people and sound parades past your stand, the teacher glances over and locks eyes with you. He instantly changes direction, He's coming closer. Swiftly. You immediately reach down, grabbing some pomegranates to offer him as his shadow falls across your hands. You lift your head and there he is, standing directly in front of you. He's gently clutching your arm. His face is so close that you can hear his breathing. Someone is blowing a shofar, but the cacophony of the crowd is completely inaudible for this split second. Every sound around you is eclipsed by the pounding of your own heart. As you stare right into his face, he says just two words, "Follow me." A wave of warmth thunders through your entire body, though you're enable to move a muscle. It's as if a blazing torch is suddenly thrust into the face of a statue. You're absolutely speechless, even as a swarm of thoughts races within your head. "Follow him where? I don't know him! Is he crazy? I'm holding my breath - Breathe! What about my daughter? Who are these men with him? Where will I sleep? I haven't any money!"


Mishkan Among Us

"Seeing in his spirit of prophecy that the time would come when the משכן, 'Mishkan' (the Sanctuary) would cease to exist and the Shekinah would dwell no more in Israel's midst, Moses was anxious to know by what means the sins of his people would then be expiated. The Almighty vouchsafed the information that He would choose a righteous man from their midst, and make him a משכן (pledge) for them, and through him their sins would be forgiven." - Exodus Rabba 35


Revealed in Ruth

"The fourteenth verse in the second chapter of Ruth is thus explained. 'Come thou hither' is the prediction of Messiah's kingdom. 'Dip the morsel in the vinegar,' foretells the agony through which Messiah will pass, as it is written in Isaiah (cap. 51), 'He was wounded for our sins, He was bruised for our transgressions.' 'And she set herself beside the reapers' predicts the temporary departure of Messiah's kingdom. 'And he reached her a parched corn' means the restoration of His kingdom." - Midrash Ruth 5


Good Fruit

"There is a different proceeding in picking out the bad from the good or vice versâ. If one wishes to remove the bad from the good, one usually does it in just one attempt; while if the good are picked out from the bad, one is, as a rule, not satisfied with just one attempt, for one is eager to find more and more of the good, so he reverts to seeking out more, in the hope of finding more good worth selecting. Thus the Holy One, blessed be He! in selecting Israel from the heathen, is continually looking forward for more of other nations to be brought under the wings of the Shekinah." - Numbers Rabba 10


40 years

I never knew, for 40 years, that Jesus was not His real name. I did not know, for 40 years, that His real name is Yeshua. I did not know, for 40 years, that Yeshua is the "Word of God made flesh". Ten years ago, I learned my Savior is Jewish, He lived Jewish ways, kept His own holy festivals, walked and talked in His Father's commandments and commanded us to imitate Him. The traditions of the christian world is not the traditions that Yeshua kept. Even if they are blown out of proportion, the man made holidays that the world keeps do not belong to our LORD, and He never kept them. So if we want to be like Him, let us keep our Father's traditions that He gave us. They tell us of who Yeshua is, and what He has done, and what He is going to do in the future. I would rather spend one day in the courts of HaShem than a million in the palace of those who do away with all His traditions and keep those of any other god. Annette

Just like you, I lurk. And while lurking around some Messianic site (I believe it was an FFOZ page), I came across this comment left by "Annette", who I assume to be a woman with a typical Christian background - someone who learned about the Messiah completely in a "sanitized" Gentile bubble. Apparently, this bubble, void of a holistic, Hebraic understanding, enveloped her view of Messiah for the majority of her life. It saddens me that this seems to be the case for so many. So many years of scripture not quite making sense. So many years of missing out on all the beauty and meaning of the heritage Yeshua loved. So many years of not knowing His name. I know a lot of people were up in arms when The Passion of the Christ came out and I can understand why, but I was so excited about the world hearing the Messiah being referred to by His actual name, Yeshua. I mean, millions of people all over the world heard His name for the very first time when they saw that film. It makes me wonder how many studies commenced after the credits. How many people, in countries all over the world, went home and were unable to look at scripture the way they had before?


New Moon

"And it will come to pass, 
that from one new moon to another, 
and from one Shabbat to another, 
all flesh will come to worship before Me, 
says the L-RD."

~ Yeshayahu 66:23


A Prophet like Moshe

"The L-RD your G-d will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you,
from your brothers – it is to him you shall listen."
~ Deuteronomy 18:15

The only verse in Torah where Moshe refers to himself as a prophet has long intrigued many. It's an interesting verse, to be sure. Islam, for example, claims it as a prophecy of their "prophet", Muhammad - though it clearly says that this coming prophet will be from Yisrael. We're only able to glean a few things from this passage. This coming prophet will be Hebrew, he'll be "like" Moshe, and we should listen to him, apparently. That doesn't tell us very much. Or does it? Let's take a look at a few of the characteristics that set the life of Moshe apart.

A quick overview of Moshe's life reveals that he was, in fact, a Hebrew (Exodus 2:1) and was sent by G-d to redeem Yisrael (Exodus 3:10). That, already, is a pretty tough act to follow. He was born to faithful Jewish parents while they were under foreign rule (Exodus 1:8). While he was an infant, his life was threatened by an evil king (Exodus 1:16) and, because of this, he was supernaturally protected by G-d in Mitzrayim (Exodus 2:10). Later, as an adult, Moshe turned down power and the opportunity to rule an earthly kingdom (Exodus 2:15). Instead, he chose to remain a humble servant of G-d (Numbers 12:3) and became a shepherd (Exodus 3:1). He was rejected (at first) by his own people (Exodus 2:14 & 32:1), but later accepted by Gentiles (Exodus 2:21). He was a teacher (Deuteronomy 4:1) who revealed the name of G-d, but was criticized by his own family (Numbers 12:1). Moshe performed miracles and gave people bread from Heaven (Exodus 16:12), but at one point, he, himself fasted forty days in the wilderness (Exodus 34:28). He bravely offered his own life to G-d for the remission of the sins of Yisrael (Exodus 32:32) and he was a mediator between man and G-d in a covenant of blood (Exodus 24:8). His face shone with the glory of Heaven (Exodus 34:35) and He saw G-d face to face, unlike the other prophets (Numbers 12:8). Moshe sent 12 spies into the land (Numbers 13:3) and later appointed 70 elders (Numbers 11:16). Moshe lifted a serpent in the wilderness to bring G-d's healing to the people (Numbers 21:9). Because of his obedience, the Torah was given 50 days after Pesach. Strangely, there were 400 years of silence before G-d sent Moshe to redeem his people. Moshe conquered the Amalekites, the greatest enemy of Yisrael, by raising his arms, which held a piece of wood, over his head (Exodus 17:11).

Even for an overview, that's quite a list of unusual and incredible attributes for one man's life. How could anyone possibly be like Moshe? I mean, one could try to be like him, but how could they control what happened to them as an infant, or arrange such amazing interactions with G-d Almighty? Most of us would be doing something spectacular if we could achieve any of these things, besides being "criticized by our family". Was there ever a person with a life even close to that of Moshe?



Zion says, "The L-RD has forsaken me. My L-RD has forgotten all about me. But G-d says, "Can a woman forget the child that she nursed, would she show no compassion to her own son? Even if she could forget, I could never and will never forget you. Look, I have carved you into the palms of my hands. The walls of your city are always in front of me." ~ Isaiah 49:15-16


The Immortal Jew

Concerning the Jews
(an excerpt from the article published in Harper's Magazine, 1898)

"If the statistics are right, the Jews constitute but one percent of the human race*. It suggests a nebulous dim puff of star dust lost in the blaze of the Milky Way. Properly the Jew ought hardly to be heard of, but he is heard of, has always been heard of. He is as prominent on the planet as any other people, and his commercial importance is extravagantly out of proportion to the smallness of his bulk. His contributions to the world's list of great names in literature, science, art, music, finance, medicine, and abstruse learning are also away out of proportion to the weakness of his numbers. He has made a marvelous fight in the world, in all the ages; and has done it with his hands tied behind him. He could be vain of himself, and be excused for it. The Egyptian, the Babylonian, and the Persian rose, filled the planet with sound and splendor, then faded to dream-stuff and passed away; the Greek and the Roman followed, and made a vast noise, and they are gone; other peoples have sprung up and held their torch high for a time, but it burned out, and they sit in twilight now, or have vanished. The Jew saw them all, beat them all, and is now what he always was, exhibiting no decadence, no infirmities of age, no weakening of his parts, no slowing of his energies, no dulling of his alert and aggressive mind. All things are mortal but the Jew; all other forces pass, but he remains. What is the secret of his immortality?"


Emblem of Eternity

"The Jew is that sacred being who has brought down from heaven the everlasting fire, and has illumined with it the entire world. He is the religious source, spring, and fountain out of which all the rest of the peoples have drawn their beliefs and their religions. The Jew is the pioneer of liberty. The Jew is the pioneer of civilization. The Jew is the emblem of eternity." ~ Leo Tolstoy


Baggage Claim

Understanding of the notion I've posted about today varies greatly among believers. This could only be the case within an enormous, international group of people with such diverse backgrounds, experiences, worldviews, and beliefs. The degree to which it would be accepted would vary much less, however. I understand this completely - and at the risk of offending most that identify with the term “Christian”, I'd like to present an idea that many would surely consider abhorrent, possibly even satanic, but definitely, completely un-American. Sound interesting?


Agree to disagree

How is a Haredi Jew who insists that a Jew who believes in Yeshua is no longer a Jew, but rather a Christian, any different from a Christian who insists the very same thing? Both of these people are in complete agreement about little else besides this - that a Jew who believes in Yeshua as the Messiah of Israel, the One promised for centuries through myriad prophecies, prophecies given to the prophets of Israel, prophecies fulfilled to exacting precision by Yeshua, in the land of Israel - a Jewish person who believes in Yeshua, the Jewish Messiah (who came to redeem Israel) can no longer be Jewish. By and large, both of these parties agree on this. I find that terribly interesting and I'll explain.


Tikkun leil Shavuot

 “Torah can truly be experienced only when studied with all of one’s soul.
For Torah to truly be studied, it must be studied at night.
Therefore, someone who wants to merit the crown of Divine Wisdom should be conscience every night
of their life to immerse themselves in the study of Torah and higher consciousness.”

- Rambam, Maimonides
The Path to Study Torah, 3:12,13


He came to the disciples and found them sleeping,
and He said to Kefa, "So, could you not watch with me one hour?
Watch and pray so that you do not enter into temptation. 
The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak."

- Yeshua Ha Mashiach, Creator of Rambam (and everything else)
Matthew 26:40,41


The Approach

We have traveled so very far in darkness, but now we discern Your dwelling place before us. We humbly approach Your glorious mountain, as You lovingly approach our ravished hearts. We have come from the cold and barren lands to the green of Har Sinai and the warmth of Your living fire. Our legs thrashed, our feet broken, but hope in You fills our minds, our hearts, our eyes. As You extend Your Arm to give, we extend ours to receive. Through valley and over precipice, the journey has rendered us breathless - fill us with your Ruach. Your breath. Your Spirit, L-RD. Renew us in Your Light.


Bible Quiz

I'm so proud of my 8 year old daughter, Shalom. She's really taken to the scriptures in recent months - and it's been her idea! We've read to her since birth, but lately I've been finding her somewhere reading scripture alone or she'll ask me a random question about something she's recently read. So awesome! It's a very important (and happy) time for me as her dad and I really couldn't be more proud of my little cupcake... er, future scholar.

Today I thought to quiz her. It was the first one so nothing too tricky - just a little messianic prophecy from Dani'el with a dash of the presence of HaShem. Y'know, kids stuff. Thing is, my 8 year old daughter figured out something in about 15 minutes that most Jewish scholars haven't in a lifetime. Did I go too easy? Better ramp it up - Bat Mitzvah is only 5 years away.


The Rosh Pina Project

I want to pass along an amazing online resource I'm very excited about. I've looked for something like this for years and it wasn't until, the always informative, Judah, of Kineti L'Tziyon, posted about it that I realized my search was over. The Rosh Pina Project, "an alternative look at Messianic Jews", describes itself as "an online meeting place for Messianic Jews and all those who believe that Messianic Jews deserve fair treatment in Israel and the Diaspora, and protection as a religious minority in Israel." As noble a mission statement as that is, RPP is so much more. Joseph and Gev will keep you up to date on all the issues that matter most. They feature thought-provoking articles (on everything from apologetics to current events), video interviews, book reviews, plenty of wit and very lively discussions - even the occasional KOEOY post may appear. But I want to reiterate - the discussions can, and often do, get very lively. Nearly everyone that visits RPP has their stuff together and a slightly different view on the topic being discussed, but that's what makes it so great. That, and the fact that it is frequented by many detractors of the Messianic Movement. Because of this, you will learn a lot very quickly and find yourself engaging in real life, high-stakes conversations with Haredim, Chabadniks and other like-minded folk. It's challenging, edifying and just a wealth of knowledge thanks to the many educated people that comprise the community. I've already found quite a few people that I thoroughly enjoy reading.

I think its importance to our community cannot be overstated, but I highly recommend you go see for yourself.


White Mirror

In my recent post, Black Mirror, I spoke about our reluctance to look within ourselves - to avoid examining our heart and motivations, and how they contrast with the Word of G-d. I'd like to continue by discussing the possibilities of transformation in our decision to not only look upon what G-d lovingly reveals to us about ourselves, but also the benefit in committing those things to memory in the event we find ourselves walking away.

"Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in that they do."
James 1:23-25

Notice that the very first principle to grasp is that of listening leading to actually doing something. We listen to the Word and it causes (or should cause) us to then do, to react in some way. Those that hear and do nothing are compared to someone who sees himself in a mirror and immediately forgets what he looks like. Which, if you experienced such a thing, it would the sign of a serious problem. The idea here is that the truth of Torah will convey a message of refinement. It will speak to something that needs to be purified or repaired. To walk away from that and forget about what was revealed, what needs to be improved, would be the sign of a serious problem, as well.


Yom Yerushalayim

From: Air Force Commander 050800
To: All Units

The Egyptian enemy has risen to exterminate us. The IAF, the clenched fist of the IDF, received the order to lead the battle. And so begins the third leg in the battle for our survival.

As in 1948 and 1956 the enemy is coming from all directions.
The spirit of past heroes goes with you into battle. Let the memory of Joshua, King David's warriors, the Maccabees, and the soldiers of the 1956 Sinai war, be the source of your inspiration. They will give you the strength to crush the Egyptian enemy who threatens our nation. With a decisive victory we will secure peace for ourselves, our children and future generations.

Soar and swoop down on the enemy, bomb them to rubble, remove their fangs, and scatter them in the desert so that the People of Israel may live eternally secure in their homeland.

General Mordecai Hod

!!!הר הבית בידינו