Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Heroines of Chanukah

Heroines of Chanukah
Rabbi Yehudah ben Shomeyr

Most people know about the Maccabeean victory over the Greco-Syrians and the miracle of the oil and the Menorah in the Temple. We all seem to know about the Heroes of Chanukah; but many people do not know about the Heroines of Chanukah found in the four books of the Maccabees and the Apocryphal book of Judith. The story of two women named Hannah and one named Judith. Ironically Judith is the feminine name for Judah, which is the name of the Hero of Chanukah “Judah Maccabee” AKA: the Hammer!

Let us begin with the first Hannah whom we shall call Hannah the Mother. Antiochus Epiphanies attempted to force this woman to renounce her Jewish faith and her G-d by enduring being an eye witness of each of her seven sons being tortured and killed. Each dying a brutally painful death with the utmost dignity and bravery, refusing to renounce their faith in Judaism and the G-d of Israel. The account of martyrdom rivals that of the modern day Foxes book of martyrs and such fortitude in the face of certain death gave the Jewish people the strength to fight and die as martyrs if necessary during the tyranny of the evil Antiochus Epiphanies.

The second Hannah, whom we will call, Hannah the Bride, was a woman of shock and awe. She was to marry Elazar, which was Judah Maccabees brother and wore nothing but her birthday suit to the wedding; obviously offending and shocking everyone! The shocked and blushing Jewish community said, “What are you doing!?” Hannah replied, “I’m making a point! If your shocked and offended to see me naked, you should be shocked even more by Antiochus’ and his antics to decimate our people! Do I embarrass you by my nudity? You should be more embarrassed by Antiochus’ attempt to strip our people bare of their faith and traditions!” Hannah’s point was made and taken and it inspired Israel to take up arms against Antiochus and his army. As a result they won their first encounter and engagement against the Greco-Syrians.

Judith on the other hand was a widow. A gorgeous widow! Like the Hadassah (Esther) of her day. One day she and her handmaid went to Holophernes, Antiochus’ general who cut off the city of Bethulia’s water supply and acted like they defected to the Greco-Syrians side stating that they believed G-d was going to give Israel over into their hands because of Israel’s gross sin and disobedience against the Torah. Her good looks and smooth talk won Holophernes over and she and her handmaid was permitted to stay in the Greco-Syrian camp and to come and go as please in order to pray and to obtain kosher food for themselves.

Holophernes was smitten with Judith’s beauty and impressed by her wisdom that he invited her to his tent for dinner. This was Judith’s chance to make her move. She fed Holophernes salty cheese which made him thirsty and so Judith got Holophernes drunk on wine until he passed out. Once she knew he was out like a light she cut off his head with his own sword and carried it out in the bag that she normally carried her kosher food in so as not to raise suspicions. By the time the Greco-Syrian army discovered the body of their headless general Judith and her handmaid was presenting the head of General Holophernes to the elders of Bethulia. The Greco-Syrian army retreated and Bethulia was saved. Judith’s bravery and cunning renewed the fighting spirit of the Jewish People to continue their conflict against the evil Antiochus Epiphanies.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Why Can't I See the Rabbi!?

Why Can’t I see the Rabbi!?
Rabbi Yehudah ben Shomeyr

For those coming out of Christianity into Judaism are often disappointedly shocked to find that the Rabbi is not as accessible as their Christian pastor was and many unnecessarily take offense to this. They sometimes falsely get the impression that the Rabbi is better than or to good to meet personally with some people. However this is by far not the case. One must understand that the culture and the structure of the chain of command in Eastern Judaism is different than in Western Christianity.

In Judaism, even in Yeshua’s day a Rabbi was surrounded by various rank of Talmidim (Disciples). He had his right hand man, his Head Talmid and then an Inner Circle of three to five Talmidim who acted as a Christian Deacon suppose to, and ministered and taught when and where the Rabbi always couldn’t. Then there were a countless number of Talmidim who simply sat under the Rabbi and his Inner Circle of Talmidim and learned.

A Rabbi, whether the head of a Synagogue, Yeshiva, Congregation, Organization, or Rabbinic Dynasty has many familial, religious and ministerial obligations and his time must be well budgeted and structured.  And even some Rabbi’s have part time jobs that demand a certain part of their time as well. The Rabbi not some Gandhi type Guru of fellow available selflessly 24-7 for just anyone at anytime. He is accountable to G-d regarding the wise use of his time. His main responsibility is to teach the people. Counseling of the people is secondary to this main responsibility of teaching. If a Rabbi is able to teach properly the less counseling he will have to do. It is the whole principle of the “teach a man to fish” proverb. His physical, mental and spiritual health is important in order to maintain such a ministry. G-d comes first then his family, talmidim and then followers and the populace at large. His Head Talmid and Inner Circle of Talmidim act as a filter for the Rabbi when people come seeking an audience with him and the well trained Talmidim can actually handle many of the requests and meet many needs of the people (as is the Christian Deacon suppose to do) thus freeing up the Rabbi to accomplish his daily responsibilities, duties and tasks. And whatever the Talmidim are unable to handle it is then scheduled to be addressed by the Rabbi. We see a form of this in the account in the Brit Chadasha of the Man with the demon possessed son.  We see his talmidim first try to take care of the situation before allowing the need to be brought to Yeshua (Mark 9:14-29).

We also see this well intending Rabbinic filter structure of the Talmidim to Rabbi occur when the children swarmed Yeshua and He corrected His Talmidim and told them that it was okay that the children be around him (Mark 10:13-16).

With these different leadership structures one can easily see why Christian pastors seem to burn out and have such a high turn over rate in Churches as apposed to Rabbis in Judaism who stay in leadership over a sect or congregation for years on end and some a lifetime.

So if the Rabbi cannot see you, do not be offended and trust that if his well trained talmidim are unable to help you with your issue or need that at that point you will be given an audience with the Rabbi at an appropriate time to share your need.

It is a tried and true system that has served the Jewish community well for thousands of years. You never try to fix that which is not broken.

Ponderings of the Pentateuch #9 Nov. 27, 2010

RaYBaSH’s Ponderings of the Pentateuch
Parashah #9 Veyeshev “And He Settled”
Gen. 37:1-40:23
Amos 2:6-3:8
Rev. 2-3

Gen. 37:3 Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colours.

Jasher 41:6 And when Joseph saw the strength of his brethren, and their greatness, he praised them and extolled them, but he ranked himself greater than them, and extolled himself above them; and Jacob, his father, also loved him more than any of his sons, for he was a son of his old age, and through his love toward him, he made him a coat of many colors.

This verse has been translated a myriad of different ways from a coat of many colors to, to a long sleeved tunic, to a wide stripped coat, to a coat of various patterns. The Hebrew word “pas” does imply all these things. “Ketonet passim” in Hebrew, the word “passim” can be translated as “colorful” (Radak, Septuagint), “embroidered” (Ibn Ezra; Bachya; Nachmanides on Ex. 28:2), “stripped” (Ibn Jahacb, Radak Sherashim), or “illustrated” (Targum Yonathon). It can also denote a longgarment coming down to the “palms” on the hand (RasWaam, Ibn Ezra, Baaley Tesafoth, Midrash Rabbah) and the feet (LekachTov). Alternately the word denotes the material out of which the coat was made, which was fine wool (Rashi) or silk (Ibn Janach). Hence, Ketonet Passim, may be translated “A full sleeved robe,” “a coat reaching to the feet,” “a coat of many colors,” “an ornamented tunic,” “a silk robe,” or a “fine woolen cloak.”

“Jacob gave Joseph a coat of many colors, so light and delicate that it could be crushed and concealed in the closed palm of one hand.” – Legends of the Bible, Louis Ginzberg 

Regardless of how it looked it was unique and covered him from neck, to palm to toe. The implication of such a gift did show favoritism but also gave the impression that Jacob was going to make Joseph, the youngest next to Benjamin, the family Patriarch after Jacob passed away. None of this whether factual or implied, set well with his brothers as they worked their fingers to the bone as Joseph (according to Jewish Tradition) lived a posh life of study in the tents. It’s the same thing that happens in a class when a teacher picks a brownnoser and a tattle tale as teachers pet; the rest of the kids resent this individual, turn on them and makes his/her life miserable. 

In Gen 37:4-8 it appears the coat may have bad some sort of an anointing on it that sparked some prophetic dreams which confirmed the brothers assumption and fears of him receiving the birthright and greater portion of inheritance.
In Elementary school one learns the colors of the rainbow by the mnemonic name, “Roy G. Biv.” Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet; 7 colors. Now we can write volumes on the Hebraic and Biblical significance of the number 7, but I wish to focus more on the seven colors and how it relates to other groupings of seven.

Black is the presence of all colors and white is the absence of all color. Colors are “echad”, one in plurality.

Red in Hebrew is Adom representing the Adamic Covenant and symbolizes life by the color of blood and death the shedding of that color. 

Orange in Hebrew is Katom and represents the Edenic Covenant and symbolizes the setting sun and thus expulsion for the Garden, the end of the era of paradise.

Yellow is Tzahov in Hebrew and represents the Noahtic Covenant and symbolizes sickness (jaundice) and hence the Flood which cleansed that sickness.

Green is Yarok in Hebrew and represents the Abrahamic Covenant and symbolizes new life, like that of green plants.

Blue is Techelit in Hebrew and represents the Mosaic Covenant and symbolizes water, sky and Torah because blue is said to be the color of the throne room of YHWH from whence Torah came. 

Indigo is Kachol in Hebrew and represents the Davidic Covenant and symbolizes the transition from Judges to Kings, because Indigo is the color between blue and violet; a transitory type color.

Violet is Segol in Hebrew and it represents the Messianic or Renewed Covenant and is the color of royalty. 

In Isaiah 11:2 you have seven Spirits of YHWH.
1.     YHWH – Gives and takes life
2.     Wisdom – YHWH was wise in expelling Adam and Eve
3.     Understanding – YHWH understood the Flood was the only way
4.     Counsel – YHWH gives Abraham counsel regarding dealing with his sons and the nations
5.     Might – YHWH revealed His might to Moses on Mt. Sinai
6.     Knowledge – YHWH gave David knowledge of the Messianic Kingdom
7.     Fear of YHWH – Fear and reverence of G-d as King.

The seven colors also create a wordless book:

·        Red – Yeshua’s Blood
·        Orange – Fire of the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit)
·        Yellow – Angelic protection for heaven, from whence they come is of gold
·        Green – Ones spiritual growth in Torah and Messiah
·        Blue – The Mikvah (Baptism)
·        Indigo – Preparation and consecration
·        Violet – In Him we are a Royal Priesthood

There are seven synagogues recorded in Revelation 2-3
I will lay out the pro’s (+) and con’s (-) of each one of them.

1.     Ephesus: + Labor, patience, endurance         - Forsaken First Love
2.     Smyrna: + Endure tribulations                       - N/A
3.     Pergamum: + Resilient, steadfast                   - Tolerate false doctrine, immorality
4.     Thyatira: + Persevered in the Torah               - Tolerate false doctrine, immorality
5.     Sardis: + Purity kept Mitzvot                        - They were dead hypocrites
6.     Philadelphia: + Patient and kept Torah           - N/A
7.     Laodicea: + N/A                                          - Lukewarm; poor, blind and naked

And I don’t think it is a coincidence that seven shows up all through the next Torah Portion.

Amos 3:3 Can two walk together, except they be agreed?
This Haftarah Portion ties up out Torah Portion very nicely with a bow, a multicolored bow as we see the unity and meaning of the colors and how they relate to many things throughout YHWH word study which could easily birth volumes!

Shabbat Shalom and Shavuah Tov!
-- Rabbi Yehudah

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Saturday, November 20, 2010

Is the Nazarite Vow for Today?

Is the Nazarite Vow for Today?
By Rabbi Yehudah ben Shomeyr

I have seen Christians and Messianic/Nazarene Jews/Israelites take on a Nazarite vow upon themselves in order to dedicate their time and resources fully to G-d, to get closer to Him or to see a prayer answered. But can we really do this? Can the Nazarite Vow still be preformed today?

It is said and understood in Christian circles that Samson (Judges 13) and John the Baptist (Luke 1:15) were thought to be lifetime Nazarites, but Jewish scholars believe Samuel was also (I Sam. 1:11) all because their mothers did not drink and this was taken to mean that the child would be born a Nazarite for life. The Torah forbids Kohenim (Levitical Priests) to have long hair. This is to be understood as the High Priests, not necessary the Levites who served in the Temple. Samuel was and “adopted” Levite and thus was not a High Priest and John never served in the Temple for it was run by the corrupt Sadducees and it is believed he live with the Essence/Qumran community. So their long hair was never a problem. 

Rav Sha’ul took a Nazarite Vow to prove he was a Torah Observant Pharisaical Nazarene Rabbi and that he still taught obligation to the Torah by G-d’s people whether Jew or Gentile.

Acts 21:17-26 And when we were come to Jerusalem, the brethren received us gladly. And the day following Paul went in with us unto James; and all the elders were present. And when he had saluted them, he declared particularly what things God had wrought among the Gentiles by his ministry. And when they heard it, they glorified the Lord, and said unto him, Thou seest, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are which believe; and they are all zealous of the law: And they are informed of thee, that thou teachest all the Jews which are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise their children, neither to walk after the customs. What is it therefore? the multitude must needs come together: for they will hear that thou art come. Do therefore this that we say to thee: We have four men which have a vow on them; Them take, and purify thyself with them, and be at charges with them, that they may shave their heads: and all may know that those things, whereof they were informed concerning thee, are nothing; but that thou thyself also walkest orderly, and keepest the law. As touching the Gentiles which believe, we have written and concluded that they observe no such thing, save only that they keep themselves from things offered to idols, and from blood, and from strangled, and from fornication. Then Paul took the men, and the next day purifying himself with them entered into the temple, to signify the accomplishment of the days of purification, until that an offering should be offered for every one of them.
Here Rav Sha’ul was accused of teaching Gentiles and Jews that they didn’t have to keep the Torah, which was a total lie. So to solve the problem the Elder’s suggested an act on Rav Sha’ul’s part that would prove to the people his allegiance to the Torah, which was to take on a Nazarite vow (which is apart of the “Old Testament” Law) along with other believers and to have Rav Sha’ul fit the bill for the other believers in regards to the sacrifices.

This meant he took on a Nazarite vow, and when the vow was completed he went to the Temple to offer the prescribed sacrifice! Why would Rav Sha’ul do this if he thought the Torah, the Temple and the Sacrifices were done away with, or if he actually was teaching others to forsake the Torah!?

Either Rav Sha’ul was a Torah Observant Jew till the end or right here is proving himself to be a two faced liar, playing what ever crowd he was with at the moment.

I say that the Scriptures are evident and clear that Rav Sha’ul never abandoned Judaism, the Torah, nor did he assimilate into the Roman culture at that time, nor did he convert to “Christianity”.

Yeshua before His execution took a Nazarite Vow at His last Pesach Seder.

 Matthew 26:29 But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom.

According to the Talmud, it accepts abbreviated statements that are used in and leads one to believe this person is taking a Nazarite Vow upon themselves.
“One of the most basic requirements of nedarim – becoming obligated by making a vow – is that the person have clear intent; he must express himself in a clear manner. This is true not only for nedarim in general, but for nezirut as well. Nevertheless, as our Mishnah makes clear, there is no set formula for taking on nezirut. Substitutes (referred to by the Mishnah as kinuyei nezirut) or abbreviated formulations (referred to by the Gemara as yadot nezirut) also create a full obligation.” –, Narir 2a-b
Here is what the Torah says in regards to one who wishes to take upon themselves the Nazarite vow.
 Numbers 6:1-21 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When either man or woman shall separate themselves to vow a vow of a Nazarite, to separate themselves unto the LORD: He shall separate himself from wine and strong drink, and shall drink no vinegar of wine, or vinegar of strong drink, neither shall he drink any liquor of grapes, nor eat moist grapes, or dried. All the days of his separation shall he eat nothing that is made of the vine tree, from the kernels even to the husk. All the days of the vow of his separation there shall no razor come upon his head: until the days be fulfilled, in the which he separateth himself unto the LORD, he shall be holy, and shall let the locks of the hair of his head grow. All the days that he separateth himself unto the LORD he shall come at no dead body. He shall not make himself unclean for his father, or for his mother, for his brother, or for his sister, when they die: because the consecration of his God is upon his head. All the days of his separation he is holy unto the LORD. And if any man die very suddenly by him, and he hath defiled the head of his consecration; then he shall shave his head in the day of his cleansing, on the seventh day shall he shave it. And on the eighth day he shall bring two turtles, or two young pigeons, to the priest, to the door of the tabernacle of the congregation: And the priest shall offer the one for a sin offering, and the other for a burnt offering, and make an atonement for him, for that he sinned by the dead, and shall hallow his head that same day. And he shall consecrate unto the LORD the days of his separation, and shall bring a lamb of the first year for a trespass offering: but the days that were before shall be lost, because his separation was defiled. And this is the law of the Nazarite, when the days of his separation are fulfilled: he shall be brought unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation: And he shall offer his offering unto the LORD, one he lamb of the first year without blemish for a burnt offering, and one ewe lamb of the first year without blemish for a sin offering, and one ram without blemish for peace offerings, And a basket of unleavened bread, cakes of fine flour mingled with oil, and wafers of unleavened bread anointed with oil, and their meat offering, and their drink offerings. And the priest shall bring them before the LORD, and shall offer his sin offering, and his burnt offering: And he shall offer the ram for a sacrifice of peace offerings unto the LORD, with the basket of unleavened bread: the priest shall offer also his meat offering, and his drink offering. And the Nazarite shall shave the head of his separation at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and shall take the hair of the head of his separation, and put it in the fire which is under the sacrifice of the peace offerings. And the priest shall take the sodden shoulder of the ram, and one unleavened cake out of the basket, and one unleavened wafer, and shall put them upon the hands of the Nazarite, after the hair of his separation is shaven: And the priest shall wave them for a wave offering before the LORD: this is holy for the priest, with the wave breast and heave shoulder: and after that the Nazarite may drink wine. This is the law of the Nazarite who hath vowed, and of his offering unto the LORD for his separation, beside that that his hand shall get: according to the vow which he vowed, so he must do after the law of his separation.
It is understood that if one were to take on a Nazarite vow and one was not a Nazarite from birth one would be a Nazarite for up to 30 days unless specifically vowed by the Nazarite to be one for a longer period of time. Like Yeshua said, “until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom.”
“Without specifying the amount of time remains a nazir for 30 days (in the language of the Mishnah "stam nezirut sheloshim yom"). This law appears in the Mishnah on our page with no explanation.

The Gemara demands a source for this rule. Rav Matana suggests that the source is a gematria - that it is based on the numerical value of the letters of the word yihiyeh. Gematria assigns a numeric value to each of the Hebrew letters. The first ten letters (alef through yod) are valued at 1-10. The next nine letters (kaf through kuf) are valued at 20-100. The final three letters (resh through taf) are the numbers 200, 300 and 400.

The Torah teaches (Bamidbar 6:5) that someone who accepts nezirut "will be holy" - kadosh yihiyeh. Taking the value of the letters
  • yod - ten
  • heh - five
  • yod - ten
  • heh - five
we arrive at a total of 30.

In his commentary to the Mishnah, the Rambam argues that Rav Matana does not really suggest that the gematria is the source for this halakhah, but rather that there was a long-standing tradition - a halakhah le-Moshe mi-Sinai - that standard nezirut lasts for 30 days. Rav Matana points to the gematria as a reference point, but not as a true source.

Our Gemara also quotes bar Pada who says that the root word nazir appears 29 times in the Torah. In truth, this is not a source for the rule that appears in the Mishnah, as it seems to offer a position that argues with the Mishnah's ruling.

The Talmud Yerushalmi brings these two opinions (although the authors of these opinions have different names) and adds a number of others:
  1. The Torah teaches that the nazir is to keep the rules ad melot ha-yamim - until the days are over. The yamim of the nazir are compared to the yerah yamim of an eshet yefat to'ar (see Devarim 21:13) - 30 days.
  2. The Torah teaches that the nazir is to keep the rules ad melot ha-yamim - until the days are over. We can only talk about "completion" of days in the context of a month, which, in the Jewish calendar, is sometime "lacking" (29 days) and sometimes "full" (30 days).” –  Nazir 5a-b
Technically, one cannot be a Nazarite in the truest sense of the word since there is no Temple standing in Jerusalem for one to complete their vow with sacrifices. But see no problem for one to be accountable to a Rabbi and undertake a form of the Nazarite vow to accomplish a specific purpose while at the same time looking forward to the time when Nazarite Vows can be taken in the fullest meaning of the vow when Messiah returns.
I think a Nazarite Vow is a very noble thing not to be taken lightly and offers an unforgettable spiritual experience that will teach one many valuable things. It is like fasting in that you don’t flaunt or publicize it.
I suggest if one decides to undertake a Nazarite vow in the modern day to keep the vow by abstaining from touching dead things whether people or even a roach, to not consume grapes in any form and to not cut, trim or shave ones head as it states in the Torah (Num.6:1-8), this includes not just the hair on ones head but the beard also. Head in the Hebrew culture meant from the crown of the head to the bottom of ones neck.
Since there is no Temple or working Levitical Priesthood and for now, until Messiah returns, our homes and Synagogues take place of the Temple and it if forbidden to sacrifice anything, even hair unless it is on the altar on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, Israel; I suggest when ones vow is complete one invite the overseeing Rabbi and his family to your house and to treat them to a home cooked meal and have a hair cutting ceremony and give the hair to the Rabbi as a keepsake. If the vow was for a period of time to where the hair could grow considerably long, I suggest one get in contact with a group like “Locks of Love” and donate your hair to make wigs for bald children who are victims of cancer.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Judaism and Human Sacrifice

Judaism and Human Sacrifice
Rabbi Yehudah ben Shomeyr

Lev. 18:21 (NIV) Do not give any of your children to be sacrificed to Molek, for you must not profane the name of your God. I am the LORD.

Deut. 18:10a (NIV) Let no one be found among you who sacrifices their son or daughter in the fire.

The Torah is clear regarding the prohibition against human sacrifice which is still prevalent in many pagan and tribal religions world wide including the extreme expression of underground Satanism. Therefore the sacrificial death of Yeshua (Jesus) on the Roman execution stake (cross) is problematic for many people including Jews, regardless of the analogy of Him being the Pascal (Passover) Lamb. They see Yeshua’s death as a human sacrifice which to them is a clear violation of Torah and thus concludes that he cannot be the Jewish Messiah.

The first thing that must be pointed out is that publicly Yeshua was executed by agreeance of people under Roman rule and law and not as a human sacrifice unto the G-d of Israel. Even though in Rome’s ancient past they sacrificed unto pagan Roman deities, which the cross was once a symbol thought to be associated with the Roman god Mithra, Yeshua was executed by a secular irreligious Roman government and upon the demand of the peoples under their rule and not by any pagan priest to a pagan god(s).

Unbeknownst to many Gentiles and suppressed or even ignored and denied by Jews, is the ancient Jewish concept regarding the death of the righteous atoning for the sins of the people.

Orthodox Jewish Historian and Rabbi, Berel Wein in his book “The Triumph of Survival: The Story of the Jews in the Modern Era 1650-1990” said,

“It was an old Jewish tradition that the death of the righteous and innocent served as an expiation for the sins of the nation or the world… Jews nurtured this classic idea of death as an atonement, and this attitude towards their own tragedies was their constant companion throughout their turbulent exile… unreasoning slaughter was somewhat relieved by the fact that the innocent did not die in vain and that the betterment of Israel and humankind somehow was advanced by their “stretching their neck to be slaughtered.””

Before you think this Orthodox Rabbi was a radical or touched in the head, let me show you that this concept was common in Rabbinic literature.

Yeven Metzulah tells us that since the destruction of the Temple, the righteous were “seized by death for the iniquities of their generation.”

Zohar 2:212a “As long as Israel dwelt in the Holy Land, the rituals and the sacrifices they preformed [in the Temple] removed all those diseases from the world; now Messiah removes them from the children of the world.”

The Babylonian Talmud Mo’ed Qatan 28a connects the death of Miriam (Moses’ sister) to the prior chapter regarding the red heifer and states that the death of the righteous has atoning power. Rashi and Siftey Hakhamim agree that just as the red heifer, though not a real sacrifice atones, so does the death of the righteous.

The Talmud also points out the connection of the power of the priestly garments in the process of atonement and Aaron’s death and its power to atone because he was righteous. Rabbinic literature even sites the death of Nadab and Abihu due to their well intended disobedience of offering strange fire had atoning quality.

The Talmud states in many places that the death of the righteous atones (Shabbat 32a, 33b, Leviticus Rabbah 20:12, Yoma 2:1, Pesikta deRav Kahana 26:16, Exodus Rabbah, Terumah 35:4, b. Sotah 14a, b. Berakhot 32a, Mekhilta 2a, m.Negaim 2:1)

In the Tanak we see in II Samuel 21 that David killed some of Sha’ul’s act of killing the Gibeonites and after that G-d answered prayer on behalf of the Land.

Modern Judaism downplays the righteous death of Messiah and the Messianic Redemptive overtones of Isaiah 53 despite the Zohar connecting Isaiah 53 to one man, a redeeming Messiah (Zohar pt. III, fol. 218a, Amsterdam edition).

Other Rabbinic citation connects a man, the Messiah and His death to atonement as found in the Midrash Asseret Memrot. Jewish Apocryphal literature also speaks of the Jewish tradition of the death of the righteous atoning for the people (4th Maccabees 6:28-29, 13:12, 16:20, 17:22).

The famous Akeidah (Binding of Isaac) in Judaism is seen as having atoning power and this has obviously been connected to Yeshua and his death by Christians, Messianic and Natsari Jews is seen as having atoning power ( 4th Maccabees 13:12, 16:20, Tanhuma, Vayyera, sec. 18, Sifra 1o2c, b.Ta’anit 16a, Mekhilta d’Rashbi, p.4, Tanh. Vayerra, sec. 23).

In like manner the Passover and its blood atonement of the Passover Lamb from the death angel also has been connected to Yeshua’s death by Christians, Messianics and Natsari Jews.

Although we see Messiah’s atoning death typified in every offering on the Brazen Altar of Sacrifice, we know He was sacrificed on Passover; but why Passover instead of Yom Kippur? Why Passover and not Sukkot when the Sacrifice were made with 70 Bulls on behalf of the 70 Nations? Also, why a human sacrifice, seeing as YHWH abhors such a sacrifice?

The simple answer is that Yom Kippur is only for the National Atonement of Israel, the descendants of the 12 sons of Jacob and the 70 Bulls sacrificed at Sukkot is only for the Nations, whereas Passover, all the world is included because not only Israel received their deliverance and freedom, but so did the 70 Nations, for they, in the guise of the “mixed multitude” that left with and Israel received the Torah with them at Mount Sinai. This typifies our outer physical and spiritual freedom to worship YHWH, but Messiah’s Passover Sacrifice gives us our inner spiritual freedom from the effects of the Fall of Mankind from sin which all plays a role in the ultimate redemption and restoration of all things.

So the death of Messiah Yeshua is not a human sacrifice in violation against Torah but the acceptable atoning death of a righteous man on behalf of the people which is a clear common concept in Judaism and Rabbinic literature. We even see this in the Brit Chadasha (New Testament):

John 11:49-53 And one of them, [named] Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all,  Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not.  And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation;  And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad.  Then from that day forth they took counsel together for to put him to death.

John 18:12-14 Then the band and the captain and officers of the Jews took Jesus, and bound him, And led him away to Annas first; for he was father in law to Caiaphas, which was the high priest that same year. Now Caiaphas was he, which gave counsel to the Jews that it was expedient that one man should die for the people.

Yeshua could atone for the world once and for all because…

Yeshua Ha Moshiach of the Branch is the prophesied Messiah of Israel.  That He was FULLY YHWH to be able to redeem us from our sins, and FULLY man to have the right to redeem us from our sins, to be our Kinsmen Redeemer (Ruth, Jer.17:5-7, Jn.1).  Yeshua is the perfect, holy, sinless Messiah, the figurative Son of YHWH, who is the Word that became flesh dwelt among us (Jn.1:14) who came to dwell in a mortal body that never saw corruption (Ps.14:10), a pure deity manifest in the flesh.   He was not an incarnation, which would denote that 100% of YHWH came in the flesh.  Yeshua was FULLY YHWH in the flesh, but not 100% YHWH.  YHWH is so infinite that He is everywhere and fills everything, so it would be impossible for ALL of YHWH to be limited to a mortal body.  In the words of Dr. Friedman, “If we were to go to the Mediterranean Sea and fill a glass with sea water, we can say that all the water in the glass is truly sea water.  However we cannot call the glass, “The Mediterranean Sea.”  There is much more to the Mediterranean Sea than the glass.  Yet nonetheless, the water in that glass is truly Mediterranean Sea water through and through.”  I believe that Yeshua is the Kohen Ha Gadol (High priest) who became the ultimate, once and for all atoning sacrifice Himself, for all mankind (Heb.4:14-5:10; 6:19-8:2).  I believe salvation is only available through Him.  I believe Yeshua came first as Messiah ben Yosef (Joseph) the Suffering Servant, and will be returning as Messiah ben David the Kingly Messiah.  I believe that these two pictures of the Messiah, given in Scripture are one and the same.