It ain’t over yet

A couple of millennium ago, the King of the Universe became a servant to His creation.  Divesting himself of the majesty and glory that was rightfully His, He took on the flesh of mortal man and became our Korban Chatat (sin offering), our ultimate atonement.  This had been decreed from the foundations of creation, and as such a reality before Adam was.  The coming of our Mashiach was not one of question but rather a foregone conclusion.  Hashem said it, so it was an impossibility it wasn’t going to come to pass.
Our Saviour rose on the first day of the week – yom rishon shavuah.  True it may have been the first day of the calendar week, but it most likely is referring to the first day of the omer.  The wording in a number of the passages refers to shabbaton – the plural form of shabbat.  The Feast of weeks (Shavu’ot) is a count of 7 sabbaths (shabbaton).  Unfortunately, within our culture the wording of our english bibles make it difficult for us to see these things.  During the first 40 days of the Omer, the Master appeared to many teaching and and proving his resurrection. It wasn’t about the fortieth day.  It WAS day 40.  They knew. They were counting.
Then the Master leaves – but He says stick around, something neat is going to happen.  If you were living at that time, if you were zealous for Hashem and His ways, if you had saw Him on the shore of the Yarden that day during the 40 days of repentance, if you had saw him declare his Messiahship on Yom Kippur, if you had walked with him for three cycles of the torah parashat while he revealed the truth buried within, if you saw him enter the Holy City on the day your people selected their Pesach, if you had heard the crowds shout their affirmation that HE WAS their King while he rode upon a donkey like Moshe and Avraham, if you had heard him being tested in the house that was built for Him and found to be without fault, if you had taken the cup of wine from Him on the last Pesach Seder; if you saw him nailed to a cross on the day you and your brothers celebrated the first day of Chag Matzot (unleavened bread), if you heard that He had risen from the dead on the first day of the Omer, and if it was only 10 days until Shavu’ot –  and you heard Him say, “something is waiting happen”, what would you be thinking. Would you have your eyes fixed on the next mo’ed (feast) – Shavu’ot?
I pray that you first 40 days have afforded you the opportunity to reflect on where you were, and where Hashem is taking you.  Each year I’m taken by the whole process of Bikurim – first fruits.  The focus is NOT the day our master died.  The focus is NOT the day our master rose from the dead.  The focus is NOT the day ascended.  The focus is HIM and His RETURN.  The days of the Omer give us 49 days to prepare our hearts, refine ourselves.  We’ve had our own Exodus, now we are on the way to the mountain to meet the Holy One, blessed is He.
40 days our Master walked with them – then silence.  He was gone.  They only need to remain faithful and obedient.  If they didn’t keep counting, they’d miss it.  If they had missed one day – what would have been the ramifications?
The coming of the Mashiach, is a thing of certainty.  He said it, and it will come to pass.  We only need remain faithful and obedient.
Only 9 days left.  Don’t miss it.
Shabbat Shalom!
In His Dust,
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What you missed…

We had lots of neat discussion tonight.  The best Erev Shavu’ot I’ve had.  We did a review of the Torah portions, a brief Hebrew overview and read Ruth.  There were a few things I searched down as a result of our discussion on the Megillat Ruth.    I’ve listed some them below with what I was able to search out this evening/morning:

Q1 What’s the deal with the “uncovering the feet” in chapter 3?

For this phrase there is a good deal of crazy ideas.  In my opinion, much of them can be disregarded because the end up making Ruth (and Naomi) a woman of not deserving the praise Boaz bestows upon her in chapter 2.  Moreover, Boaz does not interpret Ruth’s action as anything other than something to be praised, for when he discovers her and hears her request he responds with “May you be blessed of the LORD, my daughter.  You have shown your last kindness to be better than the first by not going after young men, whether poor or rich.” (v10)  From this, I take the actions of Ruth (by instructions from Naomi) to be as a request for Boaz to marry her.  She was requesting Boaz to marry her and be her kinsman redeemer.

Q2. Was Oved the son of Boaz, or Elimelech?

Deut. 25:5   If brothers live together and one of them dies without having a son, the dead man’s wife must not remarry someone outside the family. Instead, her late husband’s brother must go to her, marry her, and perform the duty of a brother-in-law. 6 Then the first son she bears will continue the name of the dead brother, thus preventing his name from being blotted out of Israel.

So, I take this to mean that the first born son of a “kinsman redeemer” marriage bears the name of the widow’s first husband.  Subsequent sons would be the kinsman’s sons.  So, Oved carried Elimelech’s name.  This seems borne out in the text in 4:16-17 which indicates the son had been born to Naomi.
How then can Oved be considered the son of Boaz by Matthew in his account of Yeshua’s genealogy?  The best answer I could find was that Boaz only fathered one son – Oved.  In this case Oved would inherit both Boaz’s and Elimelech’s property.  This seems in line with Jewish sources ( which suggest Boaz was 80 years old when he married Ruth, and died the day after his wedding…most unfortunate.  So Oved would inherit both Elimelech and Boaz’s inheritance.

Q3. We mentioned earlier in the evening the תּוֹלְדוֹת (toldot) or generations.  It is also interesting to note that this word is used in Ruth 4:18

Ruth 4:18-22   Now these are the generations of Perez: Perez fathered Hezron,  Hezron fathered Ram, Ram fathered Amminadab,  Amminadab fathered Nahshon, Nahshon fathered Salmon,  Salmon fathered Boaz, Boaz fathered Obed,  Obed fathered Jesse, and Jesse fathered David.

What is peculiar is the way it is spelt – תּוֹלְדוֹת.  This form is first found in Genesis 2:4, describing the ‘generations’ of the heavens and earth.  However, after the fall of man, the spelling is changed to exclude the final vav: תּוֹלדֹת.  It seems that the ו is missing until Ruth joins herself to Israel and has a son, the grandfather of King David.  The Midrash Rabbah Exodus 30:3 suggest this shows that the offspring of Ruth  -the Messiah – will undue the curse of mortality invoked by Adam’s sin.

It was a great time tonight.  Thanks to all who participated.

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The company you keep

It is finished. The last has been counted. Whether you count by stones, magnets, olive pits or wheat – there is no more to count, the jar has been “fully filled”.  In accounting terms, we might say that the ledger is complete, the accounts have been settled.

Rom. 11:25   For I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be conceited: A partial hardening has happened to Israel until the full number [πληρωμα] of  the Gentiles has come in.

The greek word pleroma [πληρωμα] translated here as full number has the connotation that something has been filled.  In other words, a the number of Gentiles who will be grafted into Israel is predetermined; when that number is reached all Israel will be saved (verse 26).  The Gospel of Matthew relates the gathering of the people of Hashem to a harvest (Matt. 13 and 21).

For 49 days, during the barely harvest in Eretz Y’srael, we’ve faithfully counted the Omer each night from the “morrow after the sabbath” of Pesach. My family counted by putting a barley stalk in a vase for each day of the omer. The vase sits in the middle of our main room. (Not one guest has asked why we are storing barley in our kitchen – hopefully you have been challenged more.)  Why do we count up?  It would seem more logical to count down to Shavuot – “how many days left of the omer?” seems more natural.  But no, we counted “Today is BLANK days of the omer” – as if we are tallying the days.  And why do we count at all, after all we know when Shavuot will fall – the 6th of Sivan.  Could it relate to the gathering of G-d’s people prophesied in the scriptures?  G-d has already determined who shall be saved (Rom 8:29), but it does not diminish the fact that we must be gathered to Him.  So we count the number of days of the Omer, just has the Holy One of Israel is numbering those who have drawn close to Him – gathered, harvested if you will.

The date or occurrence of Shavuot is tied to the day of first fruits which happens during the week if unleavened bread through the feast of first fruits. First fruits is connected by the Sabbath to Pesach. So, Pesach leads to Shavuot. Pesach represents our redemption form “slavery to sin” (Egypt) and Shavuot is when we receive Hashem’s ketubah – marriage covenant (the Torah).  It would have been enough if Hashem had just saved us, but we are incredibly blessed that he wishes to count us as brothers of Messiah (Gal 4) and not without hope, but rather a inheritance.

Messiah was hung on a cross, died, and rose on the third day he appeared to a good number of people. On the 40th day of the omer, our master ascended into heaven. It is interesting to note where the disciples go following the ascension.  Where would you go? Would you be at the mall? Or maybe you would be trying out for AAA hockey…maybe at work?  Home sleeping? Or would you be where the disciples of our master made a point of being? They were exactly where the Leviticus 23 and Deut 14 say you should be 50 days after the first fruits of unleavened bread.  They were at the temple worshiping G-d through prayer, just as He had instructed them to.

Just as their Messiah had done.

Just as Israel was doing.

Why would we be anywhere else? Right, I know, there is no temple today etc. etc. – but should we not still be found among Israel (Rom 11, Isa 56)?  Sadly, we too often see the events of Acts 2 being twisted as something demonstrating the obsolescent nature of Hashem’s Law. Instead we should be understanding it as a wonderful fulfillment of His word, emphasizing the fact these instructions are still good for our instruction.

2Tim 3:16 Every scripture is inspired by God and useful for teaching, for reproof,for correction, and for training in righteousness,  17 that the person dedicated to God may be capable and equipped for every good work.


It is my hope that you have a wonderful Shavuot, may you be counted among Israel as was Ruth the Moabitess.

Ruth 1:16… wherever you go, I will go. Wherever you live, I will live. Your people will become my people, and your God will become my God.

John 4:22 You people worship what you do not know. We worship what we know, because salvation is from the Jews.

Chag  Shavu’ot Sameach!!



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Enter Sivan

It is 45 days of the Omer, and the Rosh Chodesh Sivan – the first day of Sivan, the third month of G-d’s calendar. The nights have been dark as the light of the moon was diminished. Some have been able to see it now. Yet before long its light will grow stronger so all may see it.
The sages teach that the sun represents G-d and the moon represents His people Israel. The moon has no light or glory of its own. It can only reflect the glory of the sun. So too Israel, in and of itself, is not mighty, beautiful or in anyway worthy of its blessings. Yet, she was chosen to reflect G-d’s light, His truth, His will to the Gentiles – the nations.
Our Messiah was the ultimate Jew, the reason for Abraham’s selection, the focal point of history. He perfectly displayed and taught the Father’s way, truth and life. Yet, not all have confessed, not all have bowed, not all believe.
Each Rosh Chodesh I am struck by the parallels. The most significant being, what would seem like, a long period of darkness which is being threatened by the Light. For so long believers have despised G-d’s chosen people, but there seems like there is an awakening in the body of Messiah, that the Jewish people are G-d’s people. It is Israel whom G-d demands that we be grafted to (Romans 9-11). The realization that the beautiful and sweet Torah has not been annulled, but in contrast stands firm forever.
The first sliver of the moon can be seen now, and perhaps you are the first light of truth in the darkness around you.

Rosh Chodesh is a wonderful marker in time. An opportunity to return our focus upon our incredible G-d and His Mashiach.
Don’t forget to included the Rosh Chodesh blessings during your morning prayers…it only comes once a month!


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Something to count on

A short while ago those still awake in my family marked the 41st day of the omer. It marked the end of one of the most pivotal events in the work of my Messiah:

Acts 1:1-3, I wrote the former account, Theophilus, about all that Jesus began to do and teach until the day he was taken up to heaven, after he had given orders by the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen. To the same apostles also, after his suffering, he presented himself alive with many convincing proofs. He was seen by them over a forty-day period and spoke about matters concerning the kingdom of God.
Acts 1:9-11 After he had said this, while they were watching, he was lifted up and a cloud hid him from their sight. As they were still staring into the sky while he was going, suddenly two men in white clothing stood near them and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand here looking up into the sky? This same Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven will come back in the same way you saw him go into heaven.”

Often our discussion of our Saviour’s work, we will focus on the death, burial and resurrection. These aspects of his work are important and are not to be diminished. Yet equally important is his ascension. Our Messiah is on the right hand of G-d, interceding on our behalf. The picture of Him seated shows that His work was successful and complete.
Moreover, we are promised that He will indeed return the same way He left.
So, we are are at 41 on our way to 50 days. I will be taking these remaining days to ready myself. In less than 10 days we will celebrate the giving of the Torah (the way a redeemed community lives) and the Spirit (whose dwelling presence enables us to be obedient). I encourage you to do the same.



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Why don’t the Jews believe in Jesus


Ok – I understand that the title of this post – Why don’t the Jews believe in Jesus – is a generalization.  It is understood that there are a good many of Jews that do believe.  We recognize the forefathers of our faith were Jewish, and by and large from the sect of the Pharisees.  However, in the interest of debate, the position espoused by was presented as a tool to sharpen our response to those Jewish and non-Jewish alike who question the validity in a faith in Messiah Yeshua.


There were 4 statements posed and discussed:


▪Jesus did not fulfill the messianic prophecies.


▪Jesus did not embody the personal qualifications of the Messiah.


▪Biblical verses “referring” to Jesus are mistranslations.


▪Jewish belief is based on national revelation.




One of the concepts that seemed most applicable to all the statements is to realize that, by and large, the church’s representation of our Messiah has been less than stellar over the last 2000 years.  However, this is a topic we are discussing on the 2nd and 4th monthly Sabbaths, so I won’t belabour it here.  When approaching the positions above, it is important to identify the presuppositions contained therein.


The first argument (Jesus did not fulfill the messianic prophecies) rooted in the assumption that all the messianic prophecies must fulfilled in the initial advent of the messiah.  We demonstrated that there are prophetic statements indicating the messiah will suffer (Isaiah 53, Daniel 9:24-27 and others) but others making it clear that He will reign as king (2 Samuel 7:1ff).  Those proclaiming Yeshua as the Messiah, believe he came 2000 years ago as the suffering Messiah, but will come one day soon as a conquering King.  If the dual nature of the Messiah can be agreed upon, then the debate is really one of whether a single Messiah coming twice has any less merit than an understanding that two different messiahs fulfill these two roles.


Points 2 and 3 are really a result of a misunderstanding of who Yeshua is as presented by the gospels.  A better understanding of what the biblical (and cultural) view is of the virgin birth (Mat 1 and Luke 3) and that Yeshua was indeed submissive to the Torah (Mat 5:17-19), and in fact his followers taught a zealousness for torah (1 John 5:3) could be used to generate a quality discussion with the questioner.


I think it was a great discussion and found it stretching to approach these points of view from a different angle…I hope you did too.


Next week we look at a defence of why a goy would ever want to walk out the Torah.  See you Tuesday!


…for Yeshua (salvation) is from the Jews… Yeshua of Nazareth John 4:22

Why the Jews don’t believe – presentation



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V’shamroo [Amidah tune]


Hey all.  Here is the tune for the Sabbath Shacharit service when for the “Holiness of the Day”.  The english is:

And the Children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to make the Sabbath an eternal covenant for their generations.  Between Me and the Children of Israel it is a sign forever that in six days HASHEM made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed.

Transliteration of the Hebrew:

v’sham-roo b’nei yis-ra-el et ha-sha-bat, la-a-sot et ha-sha-bat l’do-ro-tam b’reet o-lam. b’nee u-vein b’nei yis-ra-el ot hee l’o-lam, kee shei-shet ya-meem a-sah Adonai et Ha-Sh-ma-yim v’et ha-a-retz, u-va-yom hash-vee-ee sha-bat va-yee-na-fash

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