Afraid of the Dark?  Walk in the Light!

AFRAID OF THE DARK FFOZ Yeshua wanted to travel to Bethany, a suburb of Jerusalem, to visit His sick friend Lazarus. He knew that Lazarus was already dead. The disciples tried to dissuade Him from making the journey at all. They reminded Him how, just a short while ago (at the Festival of Chanukah), the religious leadership in Jerusalem tried to arrest him and threatened to stone him. The Master replied with a metaphor. He asked, “Are there not twelve hours in the day?” That is to say, are there not twelve hours of daylight? He referred to the Jewish legal practice of reckoning time. Regardless of what time of year or how many hours

How do you recognize a False Prophet

How to recognize amfalse prophet FFOZ The e-Disciple Wolf in Sheep's Clothing. How do you know if a sheep is really a sheep, and how can you tell if someone is a false prophet or teacher? Yeshua warned His disciples against false prophets. He said, “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves” (Matthew 7:15). The Torah addresses the problem of false prophets by establishing careful criteria for authentication. According to the Torah, a failed prediction disqualifies a would -be prophet: “If the thing does not come about or come true, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken” (Deuteronomy 18:22). He is a false pro

PARASHAT RE’EH

Saturday 31st August 2019 30th Av 5779 PARASHAT RE’EH by Herschel Deuteronomy 11:26-16:17; Isaiah 54:11-55:5; Mark 9:40-50 The next three Torah portions - Re'eh, Shoftim, and Ki Taitzei - contain the bulk of the commandments found in Deuteronomy. Up to now, Moses mentioned such fundamental commandments as the necessity to love and fear HaShem. There are also general exhortations against idolatry. Moshe also gave inspirational sermons stressing the people's duty toward God and their obligatio

Two Kinds of Followers

Two Kinds of Followers The eDisciple FFOZ Are you one of the crowd that flocks around Him to receive a miracle, a blessing, or a ticket to heaven? Or are you one of His disciples? Rabbi Yeshua did not seek large numbers. He sought disciples. The story says, “When Yeshua saw the crowds, He went up on the mountain; and after He sat down, His disciples came to Him” (Matthew 5:1). Why did He go up the mountain? The ministry of Yeshua drew large crowds almost from its outset. “Large crowds followed Him from Galilee and the Decapolis and Jerusalem and Judea and from beyond the Jordan” (Matthew 4:25). Multitudes of people sought him: The sick, the infirm, the trouble

Grief: What to do with it?

Grief: What to do with it? Eitan Shishkoff | Aug 20, 2019 | “And the children of Israel wept for Moses in the plains of Moab thirty days. So the days of weeping and mourning for Moses ended.” – (Deuteronomy 34:8) Mourners with shovels and hoes moved a massive amount of earth to cover Eliahu’s casket. Stately pines, standing as silent witnesses, surrounded the grave and the many who had come to honor a truly dedicated servant of the Lord. It struck me as a communal act. Something ancient. Something holy. A shared experience of grief, touching the vulnerability of every one of us. T here’s nothing like a funeral to tenderize the heart. I’m writing on the day after bidding “l’hit’

Anti-missionaries publish incendiary article against Messianic couple

Anti-missionaries publish incendiary article against Messianic couple Kehila News Israel Staff | Aug 18, 2019 | An Israeli website ran an incendiary article about a Messianic couple that has led to a complaint filed against them with the police and thousands of harassing phone calls by anti-missionary activists. The couple, who asked to remain anonymous since the harassment is ongoing even now, said the article contained outright lies. The article focused on a particular outreach offering free tours of biblical sites in order to connect Israelis to their faith. Arutz7 – an Orthodox news website – called the tours “a dangerous missionary ruse” and reported that the anti-missionary organizatio

Parashat Ekev

Saturday 24th August 2019 23rd Av 5779 Parashat Ekev by David Friedman, UMJC rabbi, Jerusalem Deuteronomy 7:12–11:25; Isaiah 49:14-51:3; Matt 16:13 - 20 So now Israel, what does Adonai your God ask from you, but to fear Adonai your God, to walk in His ways and to love Him, as well as to serve Adonai your God with all your mind and all your life; to watch over Adonai’s instructions and statutes that I am instructing you today, for your own good. (Deut 10:12–13, my translation) These two verses are the center piece and crown of Parashat Ekev. They are the summary sta

Why Two Versions of the Ten Commandments?

Why Two Versions of the Ten Commandments? Why Is Deuteronomy 5 Different From Exodus 20? By Yehuda Shurpin [endif]--Unlike the first four books of the Pentateuch, the Book of Deuteronomy is, for the most part, the Word of G‑d given in the language and style of Moses. Five weeks before his death, Moses assembled the people of Israel in Moab and gave them a parting speech, which formed the core of this book. One of the first things Moses did was reiterate the Ten Commandments, along with other tenets of Judaism. In a strange twist, there are some significant differences between the original text in Exodus1 and the repeat recorded in Deuteronomy.2 Some of the More Significant Differences Fourth

The Samson Syndrome: Can you be anointed in sin?

The Samson Syndrome: Can you be anointed in sin? by RON CANTOR AUGUST 11, 2019 Someone recently asked me if Romans 11:29, which teaches that God’s gift and call to Israel is “irrevocable”, can be applied to ministers who fall into sin. Are they still called? First of all, in context, yes, it is referring to Israel. Paul is making the case that God cannot reject Israel because “God’s gifts and His call are irrevocable.” (Romans 11:29) Israel is still called, despite her present rejection. However, I think it can be applied to a person. Paul is stating a principle and applying it to Israel. But the principle is true in other circumstances, as well. If someone rejects God, they can still have a

Parashat Va’etchanan

Saturday 17th August 2019 16th Av 5779 PARASHAT VA'ETCHANAN by Rabbi Jonathan Sacks Deut 3:23 – 7:11; Isaiah 40:1-26; Luke 3:2-15 Near the end of Va’etchanan is a statement with such far-reaching implications that it challenges the impression that has prevailed thus far in the Torah. This remark gives an entirely new complexion to the biblical image of the people Israel: “The Lord did not set His affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you are the fewest of all peoples” (Deut. 7:7). This is not what w

The Mass Shootings: Tisha B’Av in America

The Mass Shootings: Tisha B’Av in America Aug 5, 2019 | by Rabbi Benjamin Blech America needs a national day of introspection, reflection – and yes, repentance. Will the barbaric bloodbath murders in the United States never end? Nine people were killed and 27 were injured Sunday morning in a shooting in Dayton, Ohio, the latest such incident in a grim week of mass shootings across the nation. The attack came less than 24 hours after a man with an assault-style weapon killed 20 people in El Paso at a Walmart and a week after a gunman fired on a garlic festival in Gilroy, Calif., killing three people, including a 6-year-old boy, and wounding 12. The El Paso murders and the Dayton killings ar

United Nations: Hamas recruits children for terror activity

U.N. - Hamas Recruits Children for Terror Activity UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has issued a special report on "Children in Violent Conflict'" which strongly criticizes the use of children by terrorist organizations. Guterres notes in the document that one of the UN's biggest challenges in this regard is preventing the recruitment of minors for terrorist organizations. "Children who work for terrorist organizations are victims," ??Guterres said. "They are exposed to high-level violence and exploitation that influences them physically and mentally." The report detailed the various terrorist organizations which recruit children, including Hamas and Hezbollah. The report confirmed that

PARASHAT DEVARIM

Saturday 10th August 2019 9th Av 5779 PARASHAT DEVARIM TorahBytes Deuteronomy 1:1 – 3:22; Isaiah 1:1-27; Matt 24:1-22 And the LORD said to me, "Do not harass Moab or contend with them in battle, for I will not give you any of their land for a possession, because I have given Ar to the people of Lot for a possession." (D'varim/Deuteronomy 2:9) Throughout the years of my doing TorahBytes I have sought to demonstrate the ongoing relevancy of the Hebrew Scriptures as built on the foundation of the Books of Moses. At times I do that by n

Three kinds of Biblical wisdom

Biblical Wisdom Ex 31:1-6 1 Then the LORD said to Moses, 2 See, I have chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, 3 and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, ability and knowledge in all kinds of crafts — 4 to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, 5 to cut and set stones, to work in wood, and to engage in all kinds of craftsmanship. 6 Moreover, I have appointed Oholiab son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan, to help him. According to Exodus 31:3, Bezalel was endowed “with wisdom (skill), ability (intelligence) and knowledge.” In the original Hebrew, these are three distinct mental qualities. A man of wisdom In

Take 2 – Parashiyot Matot-Masai

Parashiyot Matot-Masei Rabbi Jonathan Sacks The Israelites were almost within sight of the Promised Land. They had successfully waged their first battles. They had just won a victory over the Midianites. There is a new tone to the narrative. We no longer hear the querulous complaints that had been the bass note of so much of the wilderness years. We know why. That undertone was the sound of the generation, born in slavery, that had left Egypt. By now, almost forty years have passed. The second generation, born in freedom and toughened by conditions in the desert, have a more purposeful feel about them. Battle-tried, they no longer doubt their ability, w

Parashiyot Matot/Masei

Saturday 3rd August 2019 2nd Av 5779 Parashiyot Matot-Masei FFOZ Mattot: Numbers 30:2-32:42; Jeremiah 1:1-2:3; John13:1-9; Mark 11: 12-23 Massei: Numbers 33:1–36:13; Jeremiah 2:4–28; 3:4; 4:1–2; John 20–21 Kill every woman who has known man intimately. But all the girls who have not known man intimately, spare for yourselves. (Numbers 31:17-18) The women were put to death for their role in leading Israel into idolatry. The boys were put to death to prevent them from growing into men who would seek vengeance. The virgin women of the Midianites were spared. In my opinion, the execution of those de

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