Why Keep Shabbat? I’M Not A Jew!

I’m not a Jew either, although I suspect I may be an ‘Israelite’ of the grafted-in sort…at least an ‘Israelite’ in spirit, and in full knowledge that the land promises and the promise of the Millennial Kingdom to the Jews stand intact, if unfulfilled at present.  I have tossed out all of the Pagan influences of the Christian Church, and seek to walk a little bit more like a 1st Century Messianic Gentile.  I keep a Saturday Shabbat, from Sunset on Friday evening, to Sunset on Saturday Evening.  And I enjoy it a lot.

I didn’t at first, as I struggled to follow the gentle suggestion of the Ruach ha Kodesh that I ‘consider keeping the Sabbath’.  It took me three years just to become aware of the original daily plan of the Creator, YHVH.  I missed more sunsets the first few years than I managed to even notice!  But I kept pursuing the idea.

And one day, I found that sunset had become important to me everyday.  In fact, I frequently ask myself, “Is today preparation for Shabbat?” as the sun dips in the west, because it is a wonderful thing to keep Shabbat as G-d ordained…in the beginning.

Genesis 2:2-3 (CJB)
2  On the seventh day God was finished with his work which he had made, so he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.
3  God blessed the seventh day and separated it as holy; because on that day God rested from all his work which he had created, so that it itself could produce.

 

Shabbat celebrates G-d finishing creation for us to use and enjoy.  And as we are a holy people, we should at least honor those things that G-d sets apart as holy, not to mention setting ourselves apart to be holy, and kept blameless.

 

1 Thessalonians 5:16-23 (CJB)
16  Always be joyful.
17  Pray regularly.
18  In everything give thanks, for this is what God wants from you who are united with the Messiah Yeshua.
19  Don’t quench the Spirit,
20  don’t despise inspired messages.
21  But do test everything — hold onto what is good,
22  but keep away from every form of evil.
23  May the God of shalom make you completely holy — may your entire spirit, soul and body be kept blameless for the coming of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah.

Keeping Shabbat is not a Jewish thing; it is a G-d thing, and the easiest way of stepping back from the world.

How to keep Shabbat:

Well, the Bible gives specific rules…that were given to the Israelites and the Gentiles when they came out of Egypt, before the Torah was given…before there were any ‘Commandments’.

Exodus 16:23 (CJB)
23  He told them, “This is what Adonai has said: ‘Tomorrow is a holy Shabbat for Adonai. Bake what you want to bake; boil what you want to boil; and whatever is left over, set aside and keep for the morning.’”

 

Exodus 16:25 (CJB)
25  Moshe said, “Today, eat that; because today is a Shabbat for Adonai — today you won’t find it in the field.

Exodus 16:26 (CJB)
26  Gather it six days, but the seventh day is the Shabbat — on that day there won’t be any.”

Exodus 16:29 (CJB)
29  Look, Adonai has given you the Shabbat. This is why he is providing bread for two days on the sixth day. Each of you, stay where you are; no one is to leave his place on the seventh day.”

Exodus 20:8 (CJB)
8 “Remember the day, Shabbat, to set it apart for God.

Exodus 20:10 (CJB)
10  but the seventh day is a Shabbat for Adonai your God. On it, you are not to do any kind of work — not you, your son or your daughter, not your male or female slave, not your livestock, and not the foreigner staying with you inside the gates to your property.

Exodus 20:11 (CJB)
11  For in six days, Adonai made heaven and earth, the sea and everything in them; but on the seventh day he rested. This is why Adonai blessed the day, Shabbat, and separated it for himself.

So, you are to gather and prepare food ahead of Shabbat, enough for two days…Friday and Saturday, and then rest.  Just rest.  At home…you know, kick back?

That is all that Shabbat is…an enjoyment of all that G-d created.

Yes, there are rules you can keep to make Shabbat special…if you happen to be Jewish, and have those traditions, but I am speaking to Gentiles.  If you want to organize your Sabbath, that’s fine…I am not going to judge you on how you keep Shabbat.  Technically, you can keep it by deliberately disregarding it…as the military, police, fire department, and hospital people do.  So, if you do not like relaxing and being with your family and friends, go and do for others.  Visit the sick, the old, the indigent, and take food with you for them.

Play music, make merry and laugh…is it so difficult to disregard all the rules that the Orthodox Jews made for their lives?

Well, actually, it is.  In the back of our minds, we have what we have read in the five books of Moshe, and if we are intent on becoming separated unto G-d, we will also have read what other people do on Shabbat, particularly as we begin to consider keeping it.

The Orthodox Jews have made rules on their rules and to me, life a misery on Shabbat, and if you want to work that hard at resting, I won’t stop you, but it’s not anywhere commanded in the Scriptures.

All one needs to do is look at the idea of rest, and then try to do that…don’t work, don’t buy and sell, don’t carry heavy burdens, don’t make a fire from scratch…don’t do those things that are part of your customary work…whatever that is.

Truck drivers shouldn’t drive a truck.  Housewives should put their feet up, and nibble on cold chicken, and cookies.  Children should play, and not go to school.  And yes, one should keep in mind that the day is set aside to G-d, and not just to relaxation…so praise G-d in song, and read a few nice things from the Scriptures, and then take a nap.  And then gather together again, and celebrate Shabbat, for it is supposed to be the most marvelous day of the week…a holiday…a set apart day.

Go to the synagogue or church if you can find one teaching on Friday evening or on Saturday…take communion at home if you can’t.

Make it up as you go along, and as the Ruach ha Kadosh leads you.

Is Shabbat that EASY?

Actually, it is.  If you read the scriptures in Exodus that discuss Shabbat, or do a study on the word, you will find very little is forbidden and less is mandated.

I like the last three verses of the Study of the word Shabbat in particular, as they tell people what to do, and not do as Believers in Yeshua.

1 Corinthians 16:2 (CJB)
2  Every week, on Motza’ei-Shabbat, each of you should set some money aside, according to his resources, and save it up; so that when I come I won’t have to do fundraising.

Colossians 2:16 (CJB)
16  So don’t let anyone pass judgment on you in connection with eating and drinking, or in regard to a Jewish festival or Rosh-Hodesh or Shabbat.

Hebrews 4:9 (CJB)
9  So there remains a Shabbat-keeping for God’s people.

Yes, I know that Hebrews was written to the Hebrews, but are we not G-d’s people too?  And if so, why are we not keeping Shabbat in order to please G-d?  Oh, you don’t want to stop going to church?  Church has nothing to do with G-d’s Sabbath.  Church is church, and you go if you like as often as you like…it is not a Shabbat activity, even if you have come to think that it is.

It was the Catholic Church that deliberately changed the keeping of the seventh day each week to the eighth…very anti-Christ like of them. When the Reformation began, no one dared change it back…the rules were very strictly kept by good Christians, and you could get in trouble if you didn’t go to Church on Sunday.  And a whole set of rules grew up around keeping Sunday…even though it is about sun worship, and not worshipping the Son.

So, keeping a Saturday Sabbath might set you apart from the rest of the world?  Yes, well, that is the purpose of it…to make you separate and different from those infidels out there…you know. all those pagans that do not know and value Yeshua?  And those that have not read their Bible enough to know how much G-d appreciates those who keep his Sabbath…well, I don’t want to tell Yeshua when he comes that the Sabbath he demonstrated to be free from unnecessary restrictions was completely avoided by me.

Consider carefully whether to keep the Sabbath on Saturday, in the way that G-d mandated, to please him, and no other, because there is no other reason to keep Shabbat.

 

 

 

 

Can a Bear keep Shabbat?

In my world, and in the world of Rabbi Jacob Ben Avraham, yes they can.

Goldilocks and the Three Bears

(From a Jewish Perspective)

…..It was around noon time when Goldilocks left her Brooklyn apartment on the corner of Court Street and Atlantic Ave.  She would finally spend a Sabbath Eve with her grandma “Zaide” Sarah who lived in a small retirement village apartment on the corner of 9th Street and 7th Ave.  She was in her late 80s now, and really didn’t get around much anymore, at least that was what Goldilocks thought.  So she thought it might be a good idea to visit her and spend a Sabbath Eve with her.  Mamma thought it was a good idea too.
…..So Mamma baked a fresh loaf of Challah, wrapped it in plastic wrap and placed it inside of Goldilocks’ back-pack.  She went to the corner of 9th and 7th and waited for the bus.  Once she boarded, Goldilocks settled down in a seat in the middle of the bus, leaned her head against the window and closed her eyes.  Her memories took her back to the times when grandma and grandpa had spent more time together with her.
…..In past years, they had taken her to Prospect Park which was near the grandparents place. They would walk together, throw nuts to the squirrels and bread crumbs to the birds.  Goldilocks would swing on one of the many swing-sets in the park.  A few years ago, grandpa had given up the ghost, and now it was only grandma “Zaide” Sarah.  These thoughts had slowly lulled Goldilocks to sleep.  She wasn’t planning a nap on the bus, it just happened that way.
…..When she awoke, the bus had stopped for a few minutes because the bus driver had gone into a store for a snack and a restroom break.  She looked around and saw the street sign, “New York Ave”, quite a way from where she had planned to get off.  She had plainly slept through her stop at 7th and 9th Ave.
….”Have a nice day” said the driver as he got back on.
….”Yeah, you too” replied Goldilocks as she rushed down the aisle and jumped down the steps and passed the open door.  A few more passengers got on and the driver closed the door and drove away.
…..So there she stood there at the corner of Midwood and New York Ave thinking that, ‘somehow, I have to get back to where Grandma lives’.  She opened her purse and fumbled around looking for another bus token, but all she found was some loose change, an old grocery receipt, some paperclips and an old folded up homework assignment from Mr. Stein’s Social Studies class.
…..’Great’ she thought, ‘so this is where it was, two weeks too late.  I’ll turn it in anyway, better late than never.’
…..The loose change amounted to twenty-two cents, not even enough for a cup of coffee.
…..’Well, she thought, I could “schnor” myself back to grandma’s place.’
…..She remembered the stories that grandma and grandpa had told her about “schnorers” back in the old country, destitute beggars asking pedestrians for a few Kopeks or even a Ruble or two near the great city of Kiev.
…..But, ‘No’ she thought, ‘there’s no way I’m going to schnor for bus fare, I’ll just walk it out.’
…..So Goldilocks began her trek back towards grandma’s place at 9th and 7th.  Sure, it was a long way off, but if she walked fast, she ought to be there in time for Sabbath.  With the loaf of challah in her backpack, she hurried along New York Ave as fast as she could walk.  A little ways up ahead she noticed a sign that pointed to Prospect Park.
…..’Well’ she thought, ‘I could go around the park or cut through it.  If I cut through it, I’ll save some time, yeah, cut through it.’ she decided finally.  So Goldilocks started through Prospect Park with backpack and challah loaf inside.  Soon she noticed a trail that led to Brooklyn’s only forest.
…..This somewhat intrigued her.  She remembered grandma “Zaide” telling her about this small forest in Brooklyn, yet she never took her along one of these quaint forest paths.
…..’Guess I can make a detour’ thought Goldilocks, ‘ten or fifteen minutes won’t matter. I’ll still make it back to grandma’s before the Sabbath begins.’
…..So Goldilocks started to walk along the main trail that lead to towering trees and bushes.  She was enthralled by such greenery in the middle of the city, she was captivated by the tweeting of the birds, and the scurrying squirrels that paused for a second to stare at her before disappearing into the thickets and trees.
…..Soon, she came upon a small log cabin house that was nestled between a clump of trees.  It was off the beaten trail but nevertheless, curiosity got the better of her.   She went over to investigate.  She made her way to this small, strange house in the middle of this vast Brooklyn forest.  She read the sign that was nailed to the front of the door which read; “BEARkowitz Family”. There were also three mail boxes near the front door with the names; Papa Bearkowitz, Mama Bearkowitz, and Baby Bearkowitz.
…..Goldilocks went closer for a better look and noticed that the front door was opened a crack, so she went up and knocked.
…..”Hello, anyone at home?”
…..Her knocking opened the door a bit more.  No one answered, so she pushed open the door and went inside the BEARkowitz residence.  Upon entering she noticed a small, cozy kitchen to the left and around the corner was a combination dining and living room.  On the dining room table, she noticed three bowls of porridge.  The aroma of the porridge stirred up her appetite, so her went over and sat down in a large chair in front of the larger bowl of porridge.  She tasted it but, alas, it was much too hot.
…..She moved over to the medium sized chair in front of a smaller bowl and tasted the porridge. But “oi” it was too cold and bland.  Then she saw the smallest bowl of porridge in front of the smallest chair.  The chair looked comfortable so she sat down and tasted the porridge.
…..”Yes” she exclaimed, “just right”
…..So she ate it all up.  After eating, Goldilocks felt a little tired so she went into the living room and saw two cushioned chairs and a small rocking chair.  She sat down in the first chair, but it was much too hard for her comfort.  She then tried the next chair, but the cushion was too soft for her comfort.  Finally, she sat down in the rocking chair and started rocking back and forth.  Yes, it seemed just right.
…..After about ten minutes of rocking back and forth in the small rocking chair, Goldilocks began to feel sleepy so she went into the master bedroom and found two beds.  She lay down in the first bed which was pretty large, but the mattress was too hard and firm.  She went to the other bed and lay down, but the mattress was much too soft.  Then she went into the adjoining bedroom and found baby bear’s bed, (who wasn’t really a baby anymore on account that he was already 13 and bar-mitzvahed).  She lay down on the bed and she felt that it was just right.  Soon, she fell fast asleep.
…..In the meanwhile, Papa bear, Mama Bear, and Baby bear (who wasn’t a baby anymore since he was already 13 and bar-mitzvahed) returned home from shopping.  They saw that the door was already open a jar, so Papa Bear said;
……”Honey, did you forget to lock the door again?”
….. “Oi Vey” responded Mama Bear, “Seems like I am getting to be a bit absent minded these days, my bad!”
…..”That’s OK” replied Papa Bear, “We don’t have anything worth stealing anyway.”
…..So the three BEARkowitz bears entered and Mama Bear put the groceries on the kitchen table for the Sabbath Eve dinner.  It was then that Papa Bear noticed the bowls of porridge on the table.
…..”Someone has been eating my porridge!” said Papa bear a little annoyed.
…..Mama Bear went over to the table and looked at her bowl of porridge and exclaimed;
…..”Oi, someone has been eating from my bowl of porridge too!”
…..The baby Bear (who wasn’t such a baby anymore since….well…you know)  went over to his bowl of porridge and cried out;
…..”Someone ate all of my porridge, and I am really hungry now!”
…..”Do you suppose that someone came in here while we were out shopping?” asked Mama Bear a bit surprised.
…..”Well”, replied Papa Bear, “you did leave the door unlocked didn’t you? We’ll just look around and see.  If someone is here, we’ll soon find out.”
…..So the three bears went into the living room and went over to their chairs.
…..”Someone has been sitting in my chair” exclaimed Papa Bear, noticing that his chair had been moved slightly.
…..”Someone has been sitting in my chair too” exclaimed Mama Bear, noticing that the cushion had been moved.  Then Baby Bear (who wasn’t a baby…..you know the rest) went over to his rocking chair and said;
…..”Someone has been rocking in my chair, look, my comic book that was on my chair is on the floor!” and he went over and placed the comic book on the rocking chair seat again.
…..”Good observation son” replied Papa Bear, nodding his head. “we’re getting closer to the truth of the matter, let’s check out the bedrooms.”
…..So the BEARkowitz bears went into the master bedroom.  Papa Bear noticed that the bedspreads were a bit out of place.
…..”Someone has been sleeping in my bed” he exclaimed, shaking his head!’
…..”Someone has also been sleeping in my bed” replied Mama bear, noticing that the sheets were pulled back a bit.
…..”Mama, Papa” cried out Baby (well, you know the story) Bear, “someone is sleeping in my bed, and here she is!”
…..Mama and Papa Bear rushed into their son’s bedroom and were very much surprised to see the young girl asleep in the bed.  For a minute, they just stood there staring at Goldilocks.
…..”Is she a friend of yours son?” asked Papa Bear.
…..”Never seen her in my life Papa!” replied (well, we have call baby Bear something else).
…..Then Mama Bear, very gently, reached over and shook Goldilocks’ feet.
…..”wake up, wake up little girl” she said softly.
…..Goldilocks stirred a little and awoke from her sleep.  She rubbed her eyes a bit and sat up.  When she opened her eyes and saw the three bears standing at her bedside, out of her mouth came..
…..Ayyyyy! Yahhh, Yahhhh, yahhh…. screaming at the top of her lungs, terrified to see the bears.
…..”Oi, little girl, stop screaming so, you act as though we’re going to eat you alive” responded Mama Bear, a little surprised to see the girl act so.
…..”Well Bears are bad, and evil” replied Goldilocks still a little distraught, “They attack and eat people and tear them limb from limb!”
…..”I think wolves do that” said baby bear, “it was a big bad wolf that ate little Red Riding Hood’s grannie!”
…..”Oi Vey” groaned Papa Bear shaking his head, “She must have gotten a hold of last month’s Field and Stream magazine, you know, the one that had the article about the hikers in the Rockies getting attacked by a grizzly.”
…..Mama Bear just smiled at Goldilocks and sat down in the bed beside her.  “Not all bears are bad dear” she said, trying to calm the young girl, “but grizzlies, well, they’re bears with an attitude”
…..”So what kind of bears are you?” asked Goldilocks, now a bit more composed.
…..”Well” began Papa Bear, “To be perfectly honest, we do have some grizzlies in our family.  My great, great aunt and uncle; Sasha and Tatyana BEARkovich lived in the forests of Siberia near Yakutsk.  Now those were two bears with an attitude, why they took on 4 Cossacks at once and tore them apart.  But the Cossacks were the ones looking for trouble mind you!”
…..”Yeah, but they’re probably a pair of rugs now in the Tsar’s palace” responded Baby (but not so baby any more) Bear, a little excited to join the conversation.
…..”Son” growled Papa Bear, “what did I tell you about saying that kind of thing. They aren’t rugs, they just…well… vanished one day.
…..”sorry” sighed baby Bear, a little embarrassed now, especially in front of this unexpected visitor.
…..”Well dear” replied Mama Bear, remembering the question, “What kind of bears are we? Well? We’re…ah…”Brooklyn bears!” Mama bear didn’t quite know what else to say.
…..”Yeah” added baby Bear, “like the Brooklyn Dodgers”
…..Goldilocks just looked at the three bears wide eyed, just looking for a chance to escape.  She still had her back pack on and she slowly got off the bed.  “Weeell” she began, “I’m not really into baseball, I’m a tennis fan…soooo….gotta go now…bye…” and she quickly headed toward the bedroom door.  Papa bear, though, moved quickly in front of her.
…..”Just a minute young lady, you haven’t told us why you’re here” he said, standing in front of the door, blocking Goldilock’s getaway.  Goldilocks stopped, threw the backpack on the bed and sat down again.
…..”First of all, my name is Goldilocks, and well…this is how it went.”  So she told the story of how she left her apartment and headed towards grandma “Zaide” Sarah’s place, fell asleep on the bus, got off at the wrong stop, ran out of bus tokens, head back to grandma’s place, took a short cut through the park and then…ended up at the Bear’s house.  Now, the Bear family’s interest was really sparked,
…..”So you see sir” continued Goldilocks.
…..”I’m Mr. BEARkowitz, and this is my family” interrupted Papa bear.
…..”OK, nice to meet you…as I was saying…I came across your house, the door was open a crack, I came in, I was a bit hungry and I still am, and well…I saw your porridge and well…you know the rest.”  Goldilocks stopped talking and waited for the Bear’s response.
…..”So you say you’re on your way back to your grandma’s place near 9th and 7th Street, right?”
Asked Papa Bear.  “what’s her name if I may ask?”
…..”Sarah” answered Goldilocks, “Zaide” Sarah.
…..”Grandma “Zaide” Sarah is YOUR grandmother?” questioned papa Bear a bit surprised. “Zaide” Sarah Goldstein?”
…..”You know her?” questioned Goldilocks, wondering how in the world he could know her grandma.
…..”Why everyone around here knows Grandma “Zaide” Sarah Goldstein”  replied Mama Bear, “She is so friendly, always comes to the park, feeds the birds, the squirrels, tells the children in the park Bible stories, why, we just saw her today when we were on our way home from shopping.  She was at Temple Beth Shalom.  I believe that Rabbi Stein and his wife invited her to their place to spend Sabbath Eve, such a nice old lady” smiled Mama Bear looking at Goldilocks with all serenity.
…..”You mean to tell me that I came all this way and she isn’t even home!? Answered Goldilocks, quite annoyed now, upon hearing this unexpected news.
…..”Well, you could have called her on the phone” replied Mama Bear quietly.
…..”She never answers the stupid phone” cried Goldilocks,  “and mama baked this Challah especially for her!” she added, taking the paper wrapped loaf of Challah bread out of her backpack, showing it to the bears.
…..”The challah” cried out Mama Bear, slapping herself on the side of her head.  “That’s what we forgot dear husband, the Challah bread at Aaron’s bakery!”
…..Papa bear just stood there, stroking his chin, deep in thought.  “You know” he began, “This is a very interesting situation.  We have a Sabbath Eve chicken dinner in the oven, and Goldilocks here has the Challah.  Young lady, how would you like to be our Sabbath Eve dinner guest this evening?”
…..”Yes” added Mama Bear, “it would be an honor to have you!”
…..Goldilocks didn’t quite know how to respond.  Then she smiled a big smile, and nodded
“Thank you so much, I accept, I’m as hungry as a bear….Oh…sorry, no pun intended, my bad.”
…..”Well” replied Mama Bear,  “It’s settled, let’s go into the dining room and wash up, the Sabbath is almost upon us”.  So the three bears and Goldilocks left baby bear’s bedroom and went into the dining room.
…..”Now, you two go to the sink and wash your hands and don’t forget the hand washing blessing. Papa bear and I will get the dinner on the table, and get the candles and wine out to greet the Sabbath.
…..So baby bear and Goldilocks washed their hands, recited the blessing, and went over to the dining room table.
…..”Goldilocks, you sit over there” said Mama Bear, pointing to one of the chairs, “and Baby bear, you sit next to Goldilocks.”
…..”Come on Mama” cried out baby bear, “Cut it out with the ‘baby bear bit’ I’m already 13 years old, remember my Bar mitzvah last month?”
…..”Well” began Mama Bear, “You know how the story goes, the author named you…”
…..”I know, I know” interrupted baby bear, “but you can change my name…Pleeeeeaase!! He cried.
…..”Go ahead, change the name” responded Papa Bear, as he set the candles in place on the table.
…..”How about, YOUNG BEAR?” asked Mama, looking inquisitively at her son.
…..”Sounds native American” replied her son bluntly.
…..”I like it” replied Goldilocks, smiling from ear to ear.
…..”YES” shouted Young Bear, pumping his fist in the air, “Young Bear, Young Bear, Yes, Yes!”
…..”OK, it’s settled, YOUNG BEAR, you sit with Goldilocks, the Sabbath is almost among us” replied Mama Bear as she put on her white scarf.  Papa Bear put the roast chicken, mashed potatoes and corn in the middle of the table. The table already had a beautiful white linen table cloth, especially for the Sabbath.   He poured some wine in the four wine glasses which was in front of each family member and the surprise visitor.  He then set the Challah bread next to the chicken and sprinkled some salt on it.  Papa put on his Yarmulke and looked at his wife and nodded to her to begin.
…..Mama bear lit the candles and waved her hands, as if drawing in the light of the Sabbath candles, then recited the prayer;
…..”Baruch Atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech HaOlam……..”  Then Papa Bear took the Challah and cut it, and recited the Sabbath prayer for the bread, then gave a piece of Challah to those at the table.  Then came the blessing over the wine, and the wine was shared as well.
…..After all had partaken of the bread and the wine, Papa Bear said, “Aumein” and the rest responded,  “Aumein”
…..”OK, so let’s eat” replied Mama Bear, as she served the chicken, the mashed potatoes and the corn to everyone at the table.
…..”Gut Shabbos everyone” said Papa Bear, nodding at Goldilocks.
…..”Gut Shabbos” replied Goldilocks, “Gut Shabbos to all of you and thank you.”
…..”You are so welcome young lady” said Mama Bear, very happy to have a Shabbos guest.
…..Goldilocks was really enjoying the BEARkowitz’s Shabbos meal, and then she noticed that “Young Bear” was looking at her, and seemed to have something on his mind.  He finally got enough nerve and lifted up his voice saying;
“…..Uh…uh…Goldilocks?…uh…I wanted to, kinda, like, ask you something?”
…..”Yeah, what?” replied Goldilocks, a bit curious as to the nature of the question.
…..Young bear swallowed a piece of chicken with a bit more wine and then responded;
…..”OK, are you…well…kinda like…uh…going with someone? I mean…do you…like have a boyfriend?”
…..Goldilocks just smiled and rolled her eyes; “Oi” she said, “what next?”

Now it came to pass that an old rabbi with a long white beard, a bekishe, and a black hat just happened to come across this story written on several sheets of lined notebook paper.  He just happened to be walking in Prospect park in early Spring.  He sat down on one of the park benches to meditate on the creation of HaShem.  He looked and saw the 5 pieces of notebook paper stapled together and folded.  They were right at the end of the bench weighted down by a small rock.
He read through the story, smiled and said within himself; ‘Yes, this would be perfect for next Sabbath’s message.’  So, the rabbi went home and made some notes with the help of the rebbetzin.
Upon the arrival of the next Sabbath, the rabbi went up to the Bema and began his discourse.
“God has given us all the spirit of curiosity, began the rebbe, We are curious about new things, new situations, our nature is to be inquisitive, so we venture off-course a bit to explore new terrains.  What lies behind closed doors you might ask? Sometimes, the doors are open just a bit to invite you to ‘push it open and take a look inside.’
Life is full of new experiences and opportunities that we might wish to tackle.  Some of them might be just “too hot” to handle.  We might not be prepared just yet.  Other tasks may be, in our opinion, “too cold” “too bland” or just “too boring” for us to handle, or accept.  However, if there is a job that needs to be done, a “mitzvah” needing to be performed, a person in need of your help, no matter how “bland” or “how boring” it may seem to you, God has put you there for a reason.  Never think that a “mitzvah” is beneath your dignity, God will bless and reward many “humble floor sweepers.”
Then there are the situations and “mitzvoth” that seem “just right” right up your alley you may think.  “This is just what I was hoping for.”  Or “expecting” or “waiting for.”  Then there is “sit down” time, “down time” a time for a rest, a personal “shabos” time.  You may rest in an easy chair, or take a long snooze in a “b.b.b.” (baby-bear bed).
Many will take their long-awaited summer vacation, some will just be satisfied with a weekend Sabbath rest.  Some will take a yearlong “sabbatical” that is if it can be afforded.  God created the world in six days and rested on the seventh.  He worked and then rested.  We should take his example.  There is a time for work, to do mitzvoth (good deeds), and a time for rest.  There is a time and a season for everything and everything has its time and its season.
There is a time and a season to repent of wrong doing, a time for teshuvah, to get right with God, that time is now.  There is a time, a place, a season just right for you.  Take advantage of it, because there is no promise of tomorrow.  As the Prophet Isaiah said; “Seek the L-RD while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near!” (55:6)

By Rabbi Jacob Ben Avraham,  re-printed by permission.

Read more: http://theloveofgod.proboards.com/thread/4230/goldilocks-bears-retold-jewish-persp?page=1#ixzz4haZbWmIz

Are YOU lukewarm?

The Christians of the world are going seriously astray, but worst of all,  either do not see that they are falling off the path of righteousness, or are being told there is no path to walk!  The wolves are in the fold everywhere, with their sheepsuits on, pretending to have the word of G-d.  And those of us who are attempting to stick to the basic straight and narrow way have trouble even getting a hearing with these deluded people.

They do not want to hear a message of repentance and obedience, they want to sing and dance and enjoy themselves without any real recognition of G-d.  They worship their worship, and not G-d, and turn away at the first mention of a serious subject in the sermon that currently lightly discusses how to be happy in a worldly way with no attempt at or acknowledgement of the obedience they owe to G-d.

“I’m not a Jew!”

They say they are not Jews, and want their Easter and Christmas celebrations of the most pagan things of the old Roman church under Constantine.  They don’t seem to be aware except in the most superficial manner that YHVH is the one that gave the New Covenant that we are partakers in through Yeshua, and that he also is the G-d that the Jews worship.  They turn away from the Saturday Sabbath because Sunday is what everyone else does, and are thus obeying the changing of times and seasons of the Roman Catholic Church under Constantine!

Romans 2:26-29 (CJB)
26  Therefore, if an uncircumcised man keeps the righteous requirements of the Torah, won’t his uncircumcision be counted as circumcision?
27  Indeed, the man who is physically uncircumcised but obeys the Torah will stand as a judgment on you who have had a b’rit-milah and have Torah written out but violate it!
28  For the real Jew is not merely Jewish outwardly: true circumcision is not only external and physical.
29  On the contrary, the real Jew is one inwardly; and true circumcision is of the heart, spiritual not literal; so that his praise comes not from other people but from God.

Granted, they are not Jews, but they are Israelites, grafted into Yeshua, the vine of Judaic faith, and need to stop acting like Greco-Romans!  Christmas is Pagan, and Easter is Pagan, and they need to stop celebrating the wrong things, even if they do not want to leave their Pagan ways behind, because commandments are just that…commandments. They might not want to prevent themselves from killing people, particularly evil people, but they obey the commandment because it is a commandment!

Sooner or later, they need to begin celebrating the true Shabbat and the true Festivals of G-d in their own un-Jewish way, and begin to obey G-d in the ways that are taught by the Apostles, and by Yeshua, and not by their so-called Pastor.  There is no need to act Jewishly, but the Festivals are Prophetic, and they are shadows of the Messiah, and if you ignore the Shabbats of G-d and the Appointed Times of G-d YHVH might accept it, but he might also feel as he isn’t being loved very much, and indeed, is being hurt by their lack of interest in what he wants.

Matthew 7:21-27 (KJV)
21  Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
22  Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23  And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
24  Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
25  And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
26  And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
27  And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.

Acting out our obedience to G-d is our worship, however quietly and discreetly we may act it out so as to not disturb others, yet that does disturb the Paganized Christians I know, although they say they accept this odd behavior in me while thinking me a bit insane to be so Biblical.  However, I think one day it will not be acceptable to the interfaith Churchianity that is looming out there on the horizon and I think that keeping a Saturday Shabbat and the Moedim is going to become a real problem to the AntiChrist one day, just like anyone who doesn’t take the Mark will be.

Even though we Messianic Believers dont follow Torah in any uniform or traditional way, most of us follow the original Acts 15 decree, and the New Covenant as Yeshua taught with no particular set of traditions or rules.  But just the fact that we are not doing what is important to the world will soon cause offense to Churchianity because what we are doing doesn’t fit in their world.

To them, we are looking suspiciously like Jews in some ways (Shabbat, Moedim, avoiding Lashon haRa, Kosher Lite), and that is not easy or popular, and might one day be dangerous.  And that keeps people in Pagan Churches, because it is uncomfortable to be obedient to G-d sometimes.  Yeshua warned that he had come to bring the sword of division between family members, and friends, and it will happen.  The point is always, who do you love more, Abba, or your comfortable relationships with family and friends?

That doesn’t apply to me!

My friends and everyone I interact with regularly are all Believers in Yeshua, but are resting in Grace PLUS their general awareness of Yeshua’s desires as stated in the Brit Chadashah, and their following of that awareness.  And yet, they do not keep the Moedim…Shabbat, and the Festivals of G-d.  They do not follow the Acts 15 commandments.  They say the Moedim that G-d enacted as part of the Mosaic Covenant does not exist in the New Covenant, and does not apply to them, even though the New Covenant is that part of the Mosaic Covenant that was once written on stone that is to be carved into their hearts and minds by the Holy Spirit.  They also say that they avoid all the things in the Acts 15 decree, so what is the problem?

There is no blatant, obvious sin in their lives, and most of them have withdrawn to one degree or another from Churchianity simply out of disgust, but they are not in the least bit interested in what the Bible says outside of their original teaching in the Christian churches either.  They look upon those attempting the following of the commandments as odd because they are uninterested being different from the world they are happy in, and they think there is no penalty for disobedience to G-d because Yeshua took the sin of the world on his shoulders.  Yeshua did exactly that for those who repent of their sins, and turn away from them…repent from not doing what he commands, and turn away from lawlessness.

But these many Believers in Yeshua cannot seem to connect the idea of lawlessness with themselves and their behavior.  Even if I mention that Yeshua is soon to come, as in their lifetime and mine, they nod, and agree, but do not seem to take anything about that fact as a reason to try and improve their walk.  Their walk, to them at least, is just fine, and I need to stop bothering them about my silly ideas of what the Bible really says!

At most I get a vague interest in the End Times and in prophecy from a few people, and how it is playing out on the ground from those who have never been previously interested in prophecy, which is, other than our personal example, about all there is to talk about with people who are not attempting Torah obedience to the minimal extent the Acts 15 Decree mandates.  And oddly, they do not seem much interested in helping anyone else to a saving knowledge of Yeshua either, except in a general, positively affirming kind of way.  Still, those interested in prophecy are not seeing what I do in the Bible, and a lot of others like me.

They are not uninterested exactly, but they are not overly concerned either, so my mentioning what I see in the Acts 15 Decree, and in Yeshua’s many descriptions of how to follow the commandments that discuss loving G-d and loving one another, cannot be used to interest them in the future consequences of their lack of action.  And the weird church behavior that is showing everywhere they are aware of, and pretty much agree with me that it is terrible, but do not see what there is to be done about it.  They also think that those horribly fake Churchians are very wrong and different from themselves, yet they do little that is different from the people they disapprove of openly, except avoid the wacky churches.

Pagan is as Pagan does!

The Christians that I know well and love dearly are also somewhat aware of the pagan behavior of the Western World and the various Christian denominations, but more or less gently accept it, and partake of it to the social degree necessary in the society around them to keep others from being uncomfortable.  They just do not wish to do anything about it.

So what can we do, who are worried about their friends and families future status in the Kingdom of G-d run into the fact that those around us can tolerate that we think a different way, and see different things in the Scriptures, and thus act differently, but do not want to join us?  It often seems that we can do nothing because they are simply not interested in what we have to say, and see no reason to be interested in doing anything about it.

Some amongst the more Non-Pagan Believers out there in the world are beginning to say that those who do not do as they do are not saved.  We are almost all the way back to having Believers in Yeshua who are not able to accept those that do not do as they do in regard to the commandments Gentiles are supposed to follow, even though they are only Torah Observant in a very limited, un-Orthodox, un-Rabbinical way.  Some Torah Obedient Beleivers in Yeshua are flat-out saying that everyone is wrong except them…which is not a matter of simple disagreement over non-salvation matters as is usually the case between denominations, but ex-communication or dis-fellowship.

Some of those Believers that value Easter and Xmas over the Acts 15 Decree instead of thinking them idolatrous also eat blood, pork and shellfish even though they know Abba doesn’t like it, continue to not marry their lovers, and also fellowship closely with other Paganized Christians and even Unbelievers.  They do this, because they say they are not Jewish.  They say that was what they were brought up with, and it was never wrong to anyone they know.  They want to keep their pagan stuff because of their understanding of the Acts 15 decree as saying they need do nothing but avoid Idolatry, avoid Temple Prostitution, avoid eating blood, and avoid foods sacrificed to Idols.  They are so uninterested in anything Biblical that one might call them Christianizers, if in a non-Orthodox, non-Catholic way.  But being a Disciple of Yeshua is not about mere avoidance!

Avoidance is not Obedience

Avoiding Idolatry means worshiping G-d the Father in the ways he wants to be worshipped, which we can know because it is written down in the Scriptures, and it is plain that Abba likes the Saturday Sabbath and his Festivals celebrated.   They are celebrations and are meant to be enjoyed even as we learn from them about Yeshua.

Avoiding fornication is the avoidance of close, intimate friendship with those people in Pagan faiths as much as it is about being chaste, and avoiding what were orgies at the local Temple of Diana.  It means withdrawing a way from those you love that are not willing to be obedient to G-d.

Avoiding the eating of blood and of eating foods not sacrificed to Idols means eating Biblically clean foods, and at the least washing/brining/salting your meat before you cook it unless you can afford Kosher meat which is kashered already, because from Noah onward, clean animals were separated out for food, and killing them kindly, and draining the blood from them fully was important from the beginning.

They were lied to and they BELIEVE the lie.

Still, I am gravely afraid that there is no reasonable way to broach the matter as being of importance to those Pagan Christians that are tolerant of the idea that I honor Shabbat and the Feast Days when they are also firm in their trust in Yeshua for their salvation, and are actively walking out their understanding of the New Testament.

They do not see that they are doing anything wrong when they are not doing what Yeshua did and spoke about in the simplest, scripturally stated, non-pagan, non-Jewish manner that they can. They don’t see that Yeshua spoke constantly about Shabbat and explained about how not to tie people up in rules.  They don’t see that Yeshua celebrated every Festival, and also spoke about how to walk in the path of righteousness created by following the Ten Commandments in great detail!  They don’t see that Sha’ul kept all the commandments, and that his freedom from the ‘law’ was freedom from the Phaisaic traditions of the Sages and the Elders.  It wasn’t about freedom from the Mosaic Covenant, because the New Covenant is the Mosaic one written on the heart, and not on tablets of stone.

The people I know are all Gentiles, and sincerely believe that they are not required to be anything but circumcised in their hearts.  They do not see that circumcision of the heart is created by being willing to do all that the Ruach haKodesh shows them is right, and that part of what is righteous is written down in the Acts 15 Decree, and in all the teachings of the Apostles, as well as every word that dropped from Yeshua’s lips.

They have been wrongly taught, and they understand only that they are under ‘Grace’, and think that good intent and good will are enough to please G-d.   They want a simple faith, like they were brought up with, and don’t want all these new ideas…the ideas that are written in their Bible.  They are law-abiding in the civil sense, but they walk in the ways of the Pagans as much as they walk after Yeshua.  I do not know how to dispute that without being offensive until something is being done against those that keep Shabbat, and the Festivals in the Western World, except to write about it here, and elsewhere, and pray that someone will read it that needs to understand more about their relationship with Yeshua than their initial redemption and salvation through faith.

They Don’t Know That Obedience IS WORSHIP!

Salvation is through faith in Yeshua’s action on the stake, but pleasing G-d takes a bit more than mental assent!  You would almost think that they don’t want to be blessed by G-d, because a lot of them seem to be doing everything in their power to keep away from YHVH, except to be generally kind and decent to all.  They don’t do much in the way of worshiping G-d, except praise him and thank him for Yeshua, which is only a good beginning of worship, because they don’t understand that obedience is our worship…the valuing of what G-d wants, as stated in the Scriptures.

That frustrates and saddens me, and worries me for their well-being, because I do not see a way to reach people that LOVE Yeshua in these matters until the AntiChrist is fully revealed, and makes it plain what worship he wants, and until the Two Witnesses are available to say with authority what it is that G-d wants from all of us.

I am not particularly good, nor do I walk all that much in righteousness, and I don’t follow the commandments as stated in the Acts 15 Decree and as described and performed by Yeshua in the New Testament as well as I want to, but I do try to follow them, and I do honor them.  Most of those Christians that trust in Yeshua for their Salvation do not.  They see and hear what has been told them for so long…almost 1800 years…that they do not even read their Bibles to see if what they are told is true, because the half-truths taught them are enough to cause them to lose their reward from G-d, presuming they are faithful enough in Yeshua’s eyes to get into the Kingdom by the grace they are counting on.

John 14:21 (CJB)
21  Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me, and the one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and reveal myself to him.”

The Truth is Coming Soon to the Temple in Jerusalem

I also see that this is a big portion of why there will be a Temple, and the Two Witnesses and the AntiChrist stomping all over Jerusalem. There is no other way to reach those that are obedient in their own eyes to YHVH, and who are walking the narrow way that they see before them in the Lukewarm version of a good walk…unless of course, we flat-out tell them they are being Lukewarm, and thus push ourselves over the edge of a cliff of non-fellowship. From their point of view, we are simply being unreasonable, uncivil, and repetitive.  We have no standing, and no authority, and they are unwilling to see if what we say is true, because they might have to do something about it.

If we push ideas at them to the edge of offense without something to point to as being indisputable, like the AntiChrist and the Two Witnesses showing them the time is NOW, are we not going to lose them anyway? How do we truly imperfect followers of Yeshua tell them, who are walking in Yeshua to the best of their knowledge that they don’t know as much as they thought, and that it is time to come up higher, and return to their first love of Yeshua, when anything he wanted was a pleasure to attempt to do.

We can tell them that they are not following the Acts 15 commandments, and know that at least we are telling them an unpleasant truth…that we do not know who the 5 Bridesmaids without oil are, but they might want to re-read their Bible with the question in their mind as they ask for discernment on the matter.

And those of us unwilling to offend those we love need to ask, ”Abba, am I  being lukewarm?”

What Are God’s Ways?

YHVH’s ways are not our ways.  We’re human, and we don’t know very much about how to live as a human until we are out of time to learn how to do it well.  One of the consequences of living life is that we make mistakes constantly.  And as life progresses, we come to see the patterns of our life, and our mistakes, and where we could have done so much better had we only been trained properly!  But proper training requires some dedication to learning G-d’s ways, and Adonai Elohim’s ways are primarily ensconced in the teaching of YHVH to the Jews…actually, not just the Jews, but the original Israelites that came down out of Egypt into what was then and is now called Israel.

I do, however know what he has told mankind about his ways, because I have read the Torah.  Scattered throughout these writings here will always be the odd Hebrew word, for as much as it may irritate us whose first language is another language than Hebrew, that language, in its original paleo form was, as best anyone can tell, the original language of mankind.  Each Hebrew word has a core set of consonants that have extraordinary depth and numerous shades of meaning that non-Hebrew speakers cannot even get at the basis of.  Someone not raised in the language never really can absorb all the nuances of this proto language.

Torah (trh) in its simplest definition means ‘teaching’…what Adonai taught the Israelites through Moshe, and what is recorded in the Hebrew Bible, and translated with less or more accuracy into all languages.  There are a lot of shades of meaning and encoded thought, names, and ideas in the information that Adonai dictated to Moshe in what people know as the first five books of the Old Testament or the Bible.

There are a lot of commandments in the Torah meant for Israelites, and they are about how to be an Israelite. The key teachings that are meant for all mankind are the Ten Commandments that YHVH himself spoke to the Israelites in the Saudi Desert at the real Mount Sinai.  The other 603 commandments given through Moses as they became necessary were meant to shape the rag tag lot of people that came out of Egypt into a separated people…YHVH’s people.

The first five commandments are about man’s duty to G-d, and Adonai Elohim’s line of authority through a person’s parents, while the second five commandments are given to state what is not permissible behavior towards other humans.  Thus we have the following:

Exodus 20:23 (CJB)
2 “I am Adonai your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the abode of slavery.
3 “You are to have no other gods before me.

Exodus 20:4 (CJB)
4  You are not to make for yourselves a carved image or any kind of representation of anything in heaven above, on the earth beneath or in the water below the shoreline.

Exodus 20:5-6 (CJB)
5  You are not to bow down to them or serve them; for I, Adonai your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sins of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me,
6  but displaying grace to the thousandth generation of those who love me and obey my mitzvot.

Exodus 20:7 (CJB)
7 “You are not to use lightly the name of Adonai your God, because Adonai will not leave unpunished someone who uses his name lightly.

Exodus 20:8-11 (CJB)
8 “Remember the day, Shabbat, to set it apart for God.
9  You have six days to labor and do all your work,
10  but the seventh day is a Shabbat for Adonai your God. On it, you are not to do any kind of work — not you, your son or your daughter, not your male or female slave, not your livestock, and not the foreigner staying with you inside the gates to your property.
11  For in six days, Adonai made heaven and earth, the sea and everything in them; but on the seventh day he rested. This is why Adonai blessed the day, Shabbat, and separated it for himself.

Exodus 20:12 (CJB)
12 “Honor your father and mother, so that you may live long in the land which Adonai your God is giving you.

Exodus 20:13 (CJB)
13  “Do not murder.

Exodus 20:14 (CJB)
14   “Do not commit adultery.

Exodus 20:15 (CJB)
15  “Do not steal.

Exodus 20:16 (CJB)
16  “Do not give false evidence against your neighbor.

Exodus 20:17 (CJB)
17  “Do not covet your neighbor’s house; do not covet your neighbor’s wife, his male or female slave, his ox, his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”

 

Now, having once listed those Ten Commandments, it needs to be said that all of the first five books of the Bible are the Teaching…the Torah, but when it comes to people who are not Israelites, how one lives one’s life is accomplished by following at the very least a minimalized version of the Ten Commandments, not by being an Israelite.  Acting like an Israelite is not the point.  Acting like the perfect Israelite Yeshua is.

Therefore, we are to follow what is in the Torah when it comes to how we treat other people…G-d, our parents, and one another in thought and deed.  It isn’t complicated, unless you attempt to follow everyone else’s rules about how to act…the Karaite Jews, the Reform Jews, the Conservative Jews, the Orthodox Jews, the Catholics, and the Protestants and Cults of every denomination and theoretical background have no right to tell you how to follow these rules of living laid down by Abba, and there is no need to take what others say about how to obey the commandments of YHVH to man except as a point of guidance…not a law.

As to all the other good works of behavior laid down for the Israelites in the Torah, they were established to set the Israelites apart from all other nations of man so that they might become the byword for civil behavior that they became.  The Israelites were to stand before the world as G-d’s special people, a people chosen to demonstrate how to live well before their Creator.  And the Israelites were separated to be YHVH’s special people in order to demonstrate that if you did not follow the commandments given you, Adonai would not bless you with all that he can bless you with in the here and now, nor would you have a portion in an eternal future.

This is what the point of ‘legalism’ was all about in the 1st century A.D.  It wasn’t that the Commandments of G-d were an overwhelming burden to mankind, though one cannot keep them as well as Yeshua ben Elohim did…it was the traditions of man as added to those Commandments of G-d that were the problem, and still are.

The Ten Commandments of YHVH are not laws…they are commands.  They form the basis for all civil behavior, and all of what I deem civilization is now based on them.  Those peoples who do not follow them are in my opinion doing less well than they can, in relation to G-d, to their parents, or to one another.  Following these laws is an exercise in loving Abba and loving one another.

These are G-d’s ways, and following them is not hard at all, presuming you care even a little bit about the well-being of other people, or about your own well-being.  Honoring the Creator by valuing only him as G-d by putting his desires for you and for others ahead of your desires for yourself is not hard.  Not making a 3D image of anything that Adonai has made in order to worship it is not difficult once you know that Abba dislikes that behavior.

Not speaking of YHVH or using his name lightly or to swear falsely is not difficult once you know not to do it.  Taking one day off out of seven to enjoy all that G-d has created and given you to enjoy is not difficult, and very good for you.  Treating your parents well is not difficult, even if they are difficult people, when you know that Adonai blesses you for doing so.  And refraining from hurting others by not murdering, not committing adultery, not stealing, not swearing falsely, and not coveting what is not yours is not hard to do, once you know not to do it.

After one has these basics down, one then needs to learn to love others as G-d has loved you, and that is what Yeshua came to teach us about.  He came to not only die as a ransom for all the imperfect people who would ever live and trust in that act of redemption, but to empower us to live in a positive way that does not always look only after ourselves, but after the good of the others around us.  Loving one another is the ultimate expression of G-d, as it is what he does all the time, loving us. These are G-d’s ways…the ways he wants us to follow in.