Sunday, January 30, 2011

Ponderings of the Pentateuch #19 Feb. 5, 2011

RaYBaSH’s Ponderings of the Pentateuch
Parashah # 19: Terumah “Contributions/Heave Offering”
Shemot/Exodus 25:1-27:19
By: Rabbi Yehudah ben Shomeyr

Exodus 25:1-9 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring me an offering: of every man that giveth it willingly with his heart ye shall take my offering. And this is the offering which ye shall take of them; gold, and silver, and brass, And blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen, and goats' hair, And rams' skins dyed red, and badgers' skins, and shittim wood, Oil for the light, spices for anointing oil, and for sweet incense, Onyx stones, and stones to be set in the ephod, and in the breastplate. And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them. According to all that I shew thee, after the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it. 

Have you ever noticed that Moses didn’t come down from the mountain crying alligator tears like a TV Evangelist, telling people that G-d commanded him to build a Tabernacle and telling the people that they better give or G-d will strike him down and refuse to bless him? There was no theaters, threats, guilt trips or sales pressure.

Instead we see G-d gave Moses a vision, Moses relayed this vision to the people, the people caught the vision and thus the people wanted to give.

Notice also that Moses didn’t claim the vision for himself or claim the Tabernacle building fund as his ministry; instead we see it was G-d’s vision and the people’ ministry.

Notice how the Tabernacle didn’t come descending down on a golden beam of heavenly light with a myriad of angels singing. Instead we see G-d saying, “LET THEM” and “THEY SHALL MAKE” in regards to the Tabernacle. In other words, the burden lay with the people if G-d’s vision of a Tabernacle was to ever come to fruition. G-d commands, we do. If the Tabernacle never got built it would not be G-d’s fault or Moses’ fault, but the fault of the people. G-d gave the vision, Moses relayed the vision, the people brought the vision to pass.

When Moses came down from Mount Sinai he didn’t spend hours preaching on “tithes” or the “laws of sowing and reaping.” And he didn’t ask for a “faith pledge” or for them to “plant a seed into the ministry.” Moses didn’t ask for money in any denomination. Instead we see G-d allowed the motivation of the peoples heart to see a need, recognize that they alone could fill that need with what they had available to them.

Notice the goods donated were not just what could be seen or used as money (gold, silver, bronze) but also other common and domestic materials and goods (wool, colored thread, mirrors, etc.). This shows us that giving to G-d or His various ministries and ministers is not confined to monetary wealth, but we can also rightly give our time, talents and other materials resources.

Why were the people so eager to give? Because they desperately wanted the Divine Presence to dwell among them, and they knew only they could make it happen by giving materials that can be used to please and bring the Presence of G-d down.

If people see and know and are convinced that the vision or ministry G-d gave you will be a vehicle to bring His Presence to the people, you will not have to beg or solicit for funds. All you will have to do is share your vision ad people will want to give. They will want to directly be apart of setting the stage for His Presence to come and dwell amidst the people.

It will be like a King who visits the common people and say in passing, “It’s a bit chilly out here tonight,” to which virtually everyone will offer, “Please take my jacket Sire!” The people will be honored to have their gifts be used by the King.

If you find your having to beg or solicit funds, you might need question, is your ministry your vision or G-d’s.

If ministries would allow the people to give as Moses did you may find you will have a good problem on your hands and may have to actually tell the people to stop giving as Moses did!

Exodus 36:3-6 And they received of Moses all the offering, which the children of Israel had brought for the work of the service of the sanctuary, to make it withal. And they brought yet unto him free offerings every morning. And all the wise men, that wrought all the work of the sanctuary, came every man from his work which they made; And they spake unto Moses, saying, The people bring much more than enough for the service of the work, which the LORD commanded to make. And Moses gave commandment, and they caused it to be proclaimed throughout the camp, saying, Let neither man nor woman make any more work for the offering of the sanctuary. So the people were restrained from bringing.

However, sometimes, like Solomon, due to the people having been taken advantage of by crooked kings and priests, you have to recruit people in order to get the job done, and once it is compete and they see His Presence come down and will see you were right all along. And when the next vision comes along it will be easier for people to catch the vision and give.

Rav Sha’ul shows us that we can be an example unto others who may be reluctant to give to a vision or ministry. Again, Rav Sha’ul, like Moses leaves it up to the people on what to give and how much. The only requirement is one must give voluntarily and cheerfully.

II Cor. 9:6-7 But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.

To many times TV Evangelists and ministers try to do the Holy Spirits job and compelling the people to give and it turns into a guilt ridden, arm twisting mafia style treat for insurance. We are only to present the need and the opportunity to give. Leave the “sales pitch” up to the Ruach HaKodesh.

So here is the Vision and here is the Need:

Shabbat Shalom and Shavuah Tov!
-- Rabbi Yehudah

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Zacchaeus, the Epitome of Repentance

Zacchaeus, the Epitome of Repentance
Rabbi Yehudah ben Shomeyr

Exodus 22:1 If a man shall steal an ox, or a sheep, and kill it, or sell it; he shall restore five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep.
 Most of us who grew up in church and went to Sunday School know about Zacchaeus and as the well know song goes, “A wee little man was he. HE climbed up in a sycamore tree for the Lord he wanted to see. And as the Savior passed that way He looked up in the tree, and He said, “Zacchaeus! You come down! For I’m going to your house today!”

Zacchaeus in the Greek and Zakkai is the Hebew and it means, “Pure.” He was seen as anything but pure by his fellow Jews because he was employed by the Roman government who ruthlessly occupied Israel and beyond by their military. Zakkai was hired as a chief tax collector for the Roman Empire and thus was viewed as a traitor to Israel and the Jewish people and was seen and treated as an impure, unclean leper. Often his Roman title, “publican” was often thrown in the same sentence mentioning other classes of people considered to be of a sully or shady character, such as “prostitute” and “sinner.” The people hated Roman employed Jewish tax collectors because they were seen as crooks and thieves, stealing their own peoples livelihood. Zacchaeus was seen as someone who’d sell his own mother to a slave trader or pimp to make a pretty penny. He apparently became rich by taking advantage of his authority and exploiting the people. If they hated him and called him  traitor he’d milk them for all they were worth. His actions may also have been compensation for his short stature which we call today the Napoleon Complex.

Zacchaeus lived and worked in Jericho. History and Archeology tells us there were three Jericho’s, the Jericho of the Tanak (O.T.) is usually associated with the mound of Tell es-Sultan, approximately two kilometers or over one mile from the village called er-Riha. Er-Riha is now the modern day Jericho which lies close to 27 kilometers of 17 miles northeast of Jerusalem. The Jericho mentioned here in Luke 19 is associated with the mounds of Tulul Abu el-Alayiq which is about two kilometers or barely over a mile west of the modern day Jericho.

According to the narrative in the Besorah (Gospel) of Luke, Yeshua was scheduled to pass that way in route to Jerusalem and Zakkai, who, like Darth Vader, must still had some “purity” in him as he was attracted by the accounts he heard regarding this Rabbi who was reported to be a “friend of publicans and sinners (Luke 7:34)” and had to at least see him. Zakkai, being the opposite of King Saul and likely being a head and shoulder shorter than most everyone else, his only chance to see this Rabbi was to go ahead on the route He’d be taking on His way to Jerusalem and climb a sycamore fig tree and get a bird’s eye view of this man. I find it very interesting that a sycamore tree is specifically mentioned. Why not just say “a tree”? I think it was Luke’s way of hinting to his readers just how utterly sinful and hated this man was, that he had such an evil reputation. Because Zacchaeus being in a species of fig called a sycamore, gives us a picture of the devil himself who is seen in Genesis popping his head out of a fig tree in the form of a serpent to tempt Eve. You may wonder where the Genesis account labels the Tree of Knowledge a fig tree. It doesn’t, but it is well known in Judaism and Luke being a Jewish convert would know that the tree of Life is associated with an almond tree and the tree of Knowledge is associated with the fig tree. Because the fig tree was the only plant willing to give up its leaves to cover Adam and Eve after they sinned. I find it equally as intriguing that later in Luke chapter 13 verses 6-9 Yeshua teaches a parable about a fig tree and in Matthew 21:18-22 He curses a fig tree.

So we have this curious Zakkai, up in a fig tree because his short stature, so as to see Messiah when He came by, but also to stay out of arms reach because if he was out in public without his Roma Centurion escorts, the people may mob and kill him.

Anyway, we have Zakkai up in this sycamore fig tree and either by Yeshua’s divine nature He was able to perceive Zakkai up there in the tree, just as He knew power went out from Him when by faith the woman with the issue of blood touched the tzitzit (fringe/hem) of his robe, or He just felt someone watching Him like all of us mortals sense from time to time. Regardless, Yeshua knew Zakkai was up there and He invited Himself to his house which one; gave Zakkai the courage to come down without fear of the crowd lynching him and two; Yeshua was extending the hand of friendship to Zakkai. Not just, “Hi, How are you? Nice to make your acquaintance.” But n intimate hand of friendship that said, “I know all about you Zakkai.” Because were not talking a business man style power lunch. We are talking an intimate dinner date in Zakkai’s home. To be invited to a persons home and sharing a meal meant hospitality, fellowship and friendship. We may in our society  think it is rude and impositious to invite ourselves over to someone’s house, but it was considered a great honor to entertain a Rabbi, it carried with it a certain sense of clout and credibility for the host. Which Zakkai needed more than most other people. How could one turn that down? Again, like Luke Skywalker telling his father Darth Vader, “I still sense good in you.” Yeshua was saying to Zacchaeus, “You know, you’re not as bad as you or others think you are. Down deep you’re actually a pretty good guy.” Maybe through the rough Napoleon-esque exterior, Zakkai was yearning for someone to see that good Jewish boy he may have been before Rome took over. His actions cried out for some one to still see good in him. He wanted some one to see that he wasn’t a monster or a traitor.

Yeshua’s words joyfully shocked and excited Zakkai, like he couldn’t believe it, like your favorite movie star telling you they were going to stop by your house for coffee and cake. It would be like the President of the United States or the Queen of England inviting themselves over to a sanitation workers house. Yeshua was publicly affirming that Zakkai was still a Jew and that he was not unclean or an untouchable.  The self righteous religious folk  were all up in arms over the situation, “How could He even associate or ben seen with such a turn coat!?” They may have even talked amongst themselves that associating with such a Jew made Yeshua unclean too. Guilty by association. Even though being unclean is not a sin, being unclean did prevent one from worshiping at the Temple until they take a mikvah (immerse ritually in water) and wait until evening, the start in Judaism of a new day.

Zakkai was so touched by Yeshua’s love and acceptance and his utter lack of self righteous airs that other Rabbi’s had, that he repented. He didn’t just say, “I’m sorry, forgive me.” I mean he TRULY repented in the Jewish definition of the word, which is teshuvah, meaning to go down one path, stop and do a 180 and go back in the opposite direction, the direction one started from; returning to the point of origin. But Zakkai actively proceeded to right the wrongs, to correct the errors of his ways. To “tikkun,” to fix what he broke, not only that, but to do so with interest! Zakkai being a Jew knew just how much to compensate according to the Torah which is four fold. Zakkai did this at the risk of his job and quite possibly his life!

Luke 19:8 And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord: Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold.
Exodus 22:1 If a man shall steal an ox, or a sheep, and kill it, or sell it; he shall restore five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep.

This is TRUE repentance, not words or alligator tears, but actions which speak louder than words or tears. It is the proof and fruit of the genuineness of ones repentance. The charity he spoke of, giving to the poor which is called “tzedakah” is a well known Jewish practice in connection with repentance. Zakkai did what the “rich young ruler” of just a chapter before could not do (Luke 18:18-25). It’s almost as if Yeshua prophesied of Zakkai’s repentance and the disapproval of the crowds a chapter prior also.

Luke 18:1-14 And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint; Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary. And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me. And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith. And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth? And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

With Zacchaeus’ conversion and vow, Yeshua confirmed the genuineness of his repentance and reconfirmed his status as a Jew in good standing, calling him a “Son of Abraham,” alluding to the great hospitality Zakkai showed Yeshua in his home.

Zakkai lost his way on the road of life, forgot who he was and where he came from and Yeshua met him as a lost traveler on that road and showed him the way back home. Yeshua was able to rescue Zacchaeus from himself.

An interesting Christian tradition tells us that Zacchaeus’ surname was Matthias and according to Clemet of Alexandria in his book Stromata, he is the one who replaced Judas Iscariot after his suicide and Yeshua’s ascension (Acts 1:18-26).

So this brings to mind Ecclesiastical con men who rip off believers for money or are caught in a sin and publicly apologize and cry a river, but do they really repent? Do they really try to make things right as Zacchaeus did? Again, the proof is in the pudding, actions speak louder than words. I’d like to see the day a fallen TV Evangelist gives back what he stole four fold.  

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Salvation of Israel

The Salvation of Israel
Rabbi Yehudah ben Shomeyr

Romans 11:26a And so all Israel shall be saved

This is an often one of the most misquoted, mis-taught and misunderstood statements that Rav Sha’ul every penned or uttered. From such uneducated and ignorant statements like that the church is the new Israel and they will be saved, to even Jews who hate and willing reject Yeshua the Messiah will be saved; because they are Abraham’s seed they have a, get out of jail free card, so to speak; with all kinds of variations in between. So what does this verse really mean? To determine this we must first begin with finding out who Israel is.

Let me tell you who the Israel is not. It is not the modern day Christian church.

Israel is Jacob and all the sons’ descended from him who are biologically connected to him.

Gen 32:28 And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.

So then what and who is the “Church?”

“Church” is a mistranslation in the Scriptures.  It is an Anglo-Saxton word “kirke” or “kirch” which by definition means, “a pagan place of worship.”
That word is also said to have come from the pagan deity “Circe”.   

The word translated Church in the Scriptures comes from the Hebrew word “K’hal” and the Greek word “Ekklesia,” which both mean, “a called out assembly or congregation.” 

Therefore, the “church” did not start in the book of Acts at Shavu’ot (Pentecost), but B’ney Yisrael (The Children of Israel) was called the “church” at Mount Sinai, after the Exodus, when the Torah (Law) was given. It is no coincidence that Shavuot is the commemoration of that very event.

Acts 7:38 This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and [with] our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us:

So Israel and the Church are one and the same. Christianity does not replace Israel.

Romans 11:1-2 I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew.

Christianity must make themselves apart of Israel by accepting what Israel accepted when they were first called the church. They accepted Torah.

But isn’t the Torah only for the Jews?

Exodus 12:38 And a mixed multitude went up also with them; and flocks, and herds, even very much cattle.

Exodus 19:8 And all the people answered together, and said, All that the LORD hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the LORD.

The mixed multitude made up of the 70 nations of the world accept Torah along with Israel. The 70 nations accept Torah on behalf of all Gentiles.

Yeshua came to back up the Torah and adherence to it, not to change or do away with it.

Matt. 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.

What about those who are “Spiritual Jews”? Is there such a thing? If so, what does it mean?

Romans 2:28 For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither [is that] circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:

The term “Jew” comes from the name Judah, which means “Praiser of YHWH” and this is the name given to the people of Judah and Levi, the Kingdom or the House of Judah who returned from Babylonian exile. How does one “Praise YHWH?” Not by singing praise and worship songs and lifting up the hands. One praises YHWH by the life they live, by living in obedience to the Torah, the Laws and Instructions of YHWH Himself. You praise YHWH with your life, not necessarily your tongue. You live according to the Torah and your tongue will follow suet.

Seeing as there was no official return of the rest of the 10 tribes from Assyrian captivity we still recognize the descendants of the Babylonian captivity as Jews. Romans 2:28 does not mean that just because you believe in the G-d of Israel that you are a spiritual son of Israel and thus a “Spiritual Jew” or “Spiritual Israel.” Anyone can believe in the G-d of Israel, but it does not make one a spiritual son of Israel.

Jam 2:19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

You cannot have the spiritual without the physical, just as you cannot have a shadow without a body. All Rav Sha’ul was saying to the converts in Rome in this verse is that simply snipping off the foreskin of ones penis doesn’t make him a true Jew. A Jew is a Jew in his heart before he ever becomes one outwardly. We practice and express faith from the inside out not the outside in. This was the grave error many Pharisees, who were biological descendants of Israel, made. They kept the Torah on the outside, but not always on the inside.  Circumcision of the heart takes place long before the circumcision of the foreskin.

Rom 2:29 But he [is] a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision [is that] of the heart, in the spirit, [and] not in the letter; whose praise [is] not of men, but of God.

So we have determined that Israel is the literal, physical, biological descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob/Israel, or those who have officially converted to Judaism via circumcision.

Now that we have established who Israel is, we can now find out what it means that all of Israel will be saved.

In Romans chapter eleven Rav Sha’ul is speaking of a mass spiritual blindness of Israel, in that they couldn’t see Yeshua was and is Messiah ben David the King who first had to come as Messiah ben Joseph the Suffering Servant, in order for redemptive prophecy to be fulfilled and Gentiles come to the truth and keep Torah so well to the point it makes the blinded Jewish mass jealous. Yet in spite of the mass blindness there was and is a remnant of Israel who believes, understands and see clearly and they and the Gentiles will eventually help open the eyes of the blinded portion of mass Israel to the means of their salvation in Messiah Yeshua who they initially and vehemently rejected. Like an Olive Tree some indigenous branches have been broken off through unbelief and blindness and have been laid aside so that Gentiles, Wild Olive branches could be grafted it, which is a mystery for this is contrary to the natural world’s way of things. Being grafted is a literal act with spiritual ramifications. You can graft a physical limb to a tree. So what does this mean spiritually? It is referring to a Gentile converting to Judaism, being grafted in through conversion which for the male would be circumcision, a cutting, just as a physical branch has to be cut to be grafted in, so too if one wants to be grafted into Israel he must convert. The wild olive branch (referring to gentiles and the lost tribes) grafts and thus conforms to the Domesticated Olive Tree (Jewish Israel). The wild Olive Branches does not conform the Domesticated Olive Tree. This does not mean that one who chooses not to convert can't keep Torah or be close to G-d, it just means they choose not to physically and literally be come a Jew (Abrahamic Covenant), a part of Israel. It must be noted that on a spiritual level through Messiah's blood we are spiritually apart of Israel in keeping the covenant of Torah although not that of Abraham. Once the Gentiles that would come comes, then the Indigenous Branches that will, that have been laid aside will be then grafted back into The Tree and thus…

all Israel shall be saved… (Romans 11:26a)

Just as we would say, “The whole world was at war during World War I and II.” We understand that this is not as literal statement, but that the majority of the world, the main continents and countries were at war with one another. This statement obviously does not mean that there was no place on earth that didn’t have bullets and bombs flying by. So too with the verse in Romans 11:26; all, in the Greek can mean, “as many as” implying a majority, but not a literal “all.” So not every biological descendant of the Patriarch Israel will accept Messiah Yeshua and follow Him in the Torah, and they will share the same fate as Gentiles who reject Messiah and Torah.

Matt. 3:1-13 In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. And the same John had his raiment of camel's hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey. Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan, And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins. But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance. but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire. Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him.

Yochannon (John) alludes to the fact that being a biological descendant of Abraham isn’t enough. He even hints about the broke off branches we read about in Romans 11. Yochannon emphasizes belief and practice of Torah from the heart and faith in the Messiah that was to come is required for salvation.

Restoration of sight from spiritual blindness in regards to the Jewish People is occurring right now, for more Jews are coming to Messiah Yeshua like never before and many of the lost tribes, also descendants of Israel are waking up to their true identity, but some will not fully believe until Messiah returns.

Zech. 12:10 And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for [his] only [son], and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for [his] firstborn.

Some, even then will refuse to believe.

Luke 16:31  And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses (Torah) and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead (alluding to Yeshua’s future resurrection). – italics mine

Matt. 28:16-17 Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them. And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted.

Our job is not to ram Messiah Yeshua down the throats of non-believing Jews, but to simply, in bold humility walk the Torah in zealous love as Messiah taught us to, to provoke the blinded Jews to jealously, to cause them to investigate for themselves and see the truth and to be there when they come and ask us about the hope we have in Messiah Yeshua the Living manifestation of the written Torah.

I Peter 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and [be] ready always to [give] an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Tu B’Shevat: New Year of Trees

Tu B’Shevat: New Year of Trees
Rabbi Yehudah ben Shomeyr

When you come to the land and you plant any tree, you shall treat its fruit as forbidden; for three years it will be forbidden and not eaten. In the fourth year, all of its fruit shall be sanctified to praise the L-RD. In the fifth year, you may eat its fruit. -Leviticus 19:23-25

There are four new years... the first of Shevat is the new year for trees according to the ruling of Beit Shammai; Beit Hillel, however, places it on the fifteenth of that month. -Mishnah Rosh Hashanah 1:1

The 15th of the Hebraic month of Shavat is like the Jewish Arbor day, or the Jewish Earth Day. It is considered the New Year for Trees.  It is common in warmer climates to plant trees on this day, especially in someone’s honor. If the climate was still too cold money would be collected to by trees to plant later in the spring.

“Most Jewish sources consider 15 Shevat as the New Year both for designating fruits as orlah (that is, forbidden to eat, because they have grown during the first three years after a tree's planting) and for separating fruits for tithing. (Some sources, however, consider 1 Tishrei to be the new year for orlah and 15 Shevat for tithing.) This date was selected "because most of the winter rains are over" (Rosh Hashanah 14a), the sap has begun to rise, and the fruit has started to ripen. Fruits that have just begun to ripen--from the blossoming stage up to one third of full growth--are attributed to the previous year, whereas fruits that are more mature on 15 Shevat apply to the upcoming year. As with vegetables and grains, fruits that budded during one "fiscal year" could not be used as tithes on those that budded in another year.” -- How Many New Years? By Michele Alperin

There is a Midrashic legend about what occurs in the month of Shevat.

“In the month of Shevat, G-d throws down three burning coals to warm the earth. On the seventh of Shevat the first coal falls, to warm the air. On the fourteenth of the month the second falls, to warm the water in the trees. On that day Arabs say: “Today water has entered the trees.” On the twenty-third of Shevat, the tird coal is thrown, to warm the soil.” – Hai Gaon

Jill Hammer in her book “The Jewish Book of Days A Companion for All Seasons says:

“Fire within water, the elements of this season, is the heat inside trees, a heat that will bring flowers and fruit to the world.”

Other customs on Tu B’Shevat is:

“…to eat a new fruit on this day, or to eat from the Seven Species (shivat haminim) described in the Bible as being abundant in the land of Israel. The Shivat Haminim are: wheat, barley, grapes (vines), figs, pomegranates, olives and dates (honey) (Deut. 8:8). You can make a nice vegetarian pilaf from the shivat haminim: a bed of cooked bulgar wheat or wheat berries and barley, topped with figs, dates, raisins (grapes), and pomegranate seeds, served with a dressing of olive oil, balsamic vinegar (grapes) and pomegranate juice.” --

The Great Kabbalist Isaac Luria brought about a custom similar to Passover that is still observed my many in the Orthodox and Chassidic communities. One drinks four cups of wine on Tu B’Shevat. White wine, white mingled with red, red wine mixed with white and the fourth cup is simply red wine. These four cups represent four fruits and the four worlds mentioned in the Kabbalah. Fruit with rinds, symbolizes the earth and body, thus the world of Assyiyah. Then you have fruit with pits, representing emotion pointing to the world of Yetzirah. Next you have fruit that is whole edible, skin and all referring to the mind and thus the world of Beriyah. Finally there is fragrant fruit representing the world of Atzilut. There have even been a type of seder and Haggadah made for this holiday!

Friday, January 14, 2011


Rabbi Yehudah ben Shomeyr

In Judaism, there is what is called the Six Remembrances and it deals with passages in the Torah that is commands to remember something or an event. One of which is:

- "Remember what Amalek did to you as you left Egypt. He met you on the way, struck down the weak ones lagging behind you while you were tired and exhausted and he did not fear Elohim. When it will be that when the Almighty will allow you to rest from all the enemies that surround you, in the land that YHWH your Elohim gives to you as an inheritance to bequeath - wipe out the memory of Amalek from under the Heavens. Do not forget" (Deuteronomy 25:17-19).
It is the 3rd out of the Six Remembrances, the Six Remembrances is not necessarily in order of priority in regards to importance.

The Nelson’s Illustrated Dictionary of the Bible says that Amalek means, “warlike,” some say it means, “dweller in the valley” others seem to believe it means, “kinglike people.” The Arabic rendering of the words seems to suggest that the people of Amalek were unusually tall. If so, they could have been related somehow to the Nephilim (Gen. 6).

“According to the Book of Genesis and 1 Chronicles, Amalek was the son of Eliphaz and the grandson of Esau (Gen. 36:12; 1 Chr. 1:36); the chief of an Edomite tribe (Gen. 36:16). His mother was a Horite, a tribe whose territory the descendants of Esau had seized.
According to the genealogy in Gen. 36:12; 1 Chr. 1:36. Amalek is a son of Esau's son Eliphaz and of the concubine Timna, a Horite and sister of Lotan. Gen. 36:16 refers to him as the "chief of Amalek" thus his name can be understood to be a title derived from that of the clan or territory over which he ruled. Indeed an extra-Biblical tradition recorded by Nachmanides relates that the Amalekites were not descended from the grandson of Esau but from a man named Amalek after whom this grandson was later named. Such an eponymous ancestor of the Amalekites is also mentioned in Old Arabian poetry.”

In the Torah we read:
Ex. 17:14-16 And the LORD said unto Moses, Write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua: for I will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven. And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it YHWHnissi: For he said, Because YHWH hath sworn that YHWH will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.

“Amalek’s name must be completely eradicated. Otherwise, according to the oarth of the LORD, the kes-YAH (abbreviation for throne of the Holy One) shall not be shalem (whole).” – Walk Exodus! J.E. Feinberg
Ex. 17:14-16 and Deuteronomy 25:17-19 call for a complete eradication of Amalek; men, women, children, their culture, their “things” even their very memory. It’s as if YHWH wants Israel to wipe them out in such a way that there is no archeological evidence left in the future to suggest they even existed!

This oath mentioned above is so serious that King Saul was dethroned for his failing to annihilate the cattle and king of Amalek (I Sam. 15:14-28)!

If they indeed where tainted, genetically linked to the demonic human hybrid of the Nephilim (Giants – Fallen Ones) of Genesis chapter six then as those eradicated in the flood of Noah’s time, it is understandable why they must be destroyed, to preserve the pure human line so the Messiah could come. After all, they were not mentioned in the seven nations of Canaan Israel was divinely charged to destroy. But what if they were just rebellious anti-nomian and anti-Semetic humans?

What of this loving and just G-d of Israel commanding whole peoples to be utterly destroyed?

Deut. 7:1-2 When the LORD thy God shall bring thee into the land whither thou goest to possess it, and hath cast out many nations before thee, the Hittites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than thou; And when the LORD thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them:

A question that has plagued believer and non-believer alike for eons. In Deuteronomy chapter seven G-d tells Israel to utterly wipe out certain people groups. So does this mean G-d promotes genocide or ethnic cleansing?

Verse one tells
Israel to totally destroy the Canaanite culture.

Why!? Doesn't this sound genocidal and a lot like ethnic cleansing? So why?! Because they were the consort of nations of the
Babel conspiracy headed up by Nimrod of Cush which he being the cousin of Canaan (Gen. 10:6-10a).

Collectively this litany of peoples made up what is referred to as the Canaanite Nations.

It is speculated and believed by most that these people were all related and somehow attached to the linage of
Hamm. Therefore they all stuck close together and had much in common between them in regards to language, religion and culture. The dastardly thing that made them so dangerous is their ambition to storm the heavens (Gen. 11:4-6).

In other words they wanted to be as gods, a tempting desire in us even before the fall (Gen. 3:5-6a).

Almost as if satan was trying to live vicariously through fallen man (Is.

Well, we all know how that turned out for the Canaanite Nations, they too were cast down (Gen. 11:7-9).

So their whole cultural disposition was fleshly, hedonistic, selfish and lustful of power and greedy for material things; all on the far end of the spectrum of Divine Holiness. The human race all being one at one time means everyone knew G-d and His Holy standards and expectations for man to live right before Him and the Canaanite Nations knew better and lived totally contrary, regardless. They knowingly and willingly disobeyed and rebelled against G-d and became fully and irreparably unrepentant, much like Lucifer and as a result had the potential to poison and corrupt and infect all mankind with their anti-Theocratic ways. G-d could not allow this to happen. Just as He lovingly kicked Adam and Eve out of the garden to keep them from eating of the tree of life after they had eaten of the tree of knowledge and therefore risk living in eternal sin, eternally separated from the Creator, so too G-d allowed unrepentant
Canaan to be destroyed by Israel.

Even if these nations deemed to be destroyed lost the knowledge of the One True G-d they carried away from Babel and eventually perverted or suppressed, Rav Sha’ul says they are still without excuse.

Romans 1:20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, [even] his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

There is a spiritual version of the drug L.S.D.

1:15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

L.S.D = Lust, Sin, Death

There is absolutely no redeeming cultural quality about the Canaanites that was worth preserving.

You know when you do things you know is wrong or will push your mother buttons and your mother said, "I've had enough!" Then you got a spanking or were sent to your room. Well, with mothers, so with G-d there is an imaginary container like a rain gauge and it's called, "Wrath" and once it is filled with willfully unrepentant and unremorseful sin, G-d has had enough and no one can say it's not fair or the people did not know better or were not warned. Just as we know our mother’s expectations and she gives us several warnings before she declares that she has had enough, so too with G-d, from the beginnings people know His expectations (Torah) and through prophets and events ample warning and time to repent before G-d's Divine Wrath gauge is brimming to the top and about to overflow.

With the flood in Noah’s day, He gave people hundreds of years to repent and so too with many of the prophets, he gave pagan peoples more than enough time to repent and see the error of their ways, generations of time. So no one can say G-d is hasty and not fair. He is more than generous.

Nineveh of Jonah’s day was an example of a pagan people whom G-d gave plenty of time to repent and they did! Even through a reluctant prejudice messenger. 

So this is not divinely sanctioned genocide or ethnic cleansing, it's simply a G-d who has had enough and a wicked people who crossed the point of no return. Even an Infinite G-d has His limits and lines drawn in the sand no one should cross.

Through Scripture doesn't specifically say but, because I know what Scripture says about Holy YHWH's character, I can say with confidence certainly that these Canaanite Nations were not blindsided, but were given ample warning and time to repent.

YHWH will set the stage for these Canaanite Nations to fall and be destroyed and if
Israel would be obedient from not relating to them in anyway (v.2-3). YHWH will use the scourge of Judgment and destruction upon these nations.

The verse used the word "charam" translated destroy and actually means exterminate. "What about the women and children!?" "How can G-d allow innocent women and children and even animals be killed!?" G-d isn't the one and
Israel isn't the one doing the exterminating of the innocent. Then who is it!? The Canaanite Nations who knew better and yet continued to rebel without blushing or batting and eyelash and corrupted their children to be and do the same. Similarly to a drug addict who O.D.'s, it's not the heroines fault, it's not the drug pushers fault, it's not the addictions fault. It's the addicts fault. "What!? The addict can't help it!?" HE may be a slave to the addiction, but nothing is stopping him from seeking help for his addiction. And so nothing was stopping the Canaanite Nations from repenting. Continuing with their satanic and hedonistic religion and culture, they may not have wanted to admit their rebellious end. They may have actually have fooled themselves into believing they could overthrow G-d when in reality, like satan in denial, they knew their eventual end and the end of their women and children with them. The Canaanites themselves were alone are responsible for their own extermination and that of their own women and children.

Deut. 7:3 Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son.

II Cor.
6:14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?

Intermarriage with out the Gentile spouse converting leads to Israelite assimilation into the pagan Gentile culture and the spiritual and genetic
Israel will face slow extinction. Verse four confirms this.

This is sadly what happened to King Solomon when he married the myriad of gentile and pagan wives.

V.4 Unrepentant, smug and haughty Canaanite Nations were like a highly contagious fatal disease; a cancer that had to be cut out lest it irreparably infects the whole body. It is kill or be killed.

V.5 Like most diseases it can be transmitted through air or by touch and lest exotic remnants of such cultures remain like the forbidden fruit that is pleasing to the eye the temptation to get sucked in is too great and such artifacts and remnants of the culture needs to be destroyed as well. There is a mystic draw and allure to discover learn and try to revive a dead culture and religion. It is a case of curiosity killing the cat. It is a matter of the danger being guilty by association. It is like radioactivity, it corrupts and poisons objects around it and infects anyone who comes in contact with it.

Spiritually speaking seducing spirits attach themselves to physical and usually ritual objects and can influence the possessor of such items and produce even poltergeist type activity. The spirit realm is nothing to mess with or take lightly.

Above all else, bottom line G-d said destroy it. Why? Because He said so and Father knows best. This verse should bring to mind the consequence of disobedience with the story of Akin and the lost campaign against Ai.

If verses 1-5 of Deuteronomy 7 is summed up by the question "Why?!" The verses 6-16 of that same chapter is the answer because....

V.6 We are holy, chosen and special:

- Holy; meaning selected and set apart for a specific purpose and use and meaning.
Chosen; meaning to be selected to be tried and made distinguished.
- Special; meaning to be G-d's own private and prized possession.

This does not mean we are supreme or better than. This has absolutely nothing to do with racial supremacy. Because to be chosen, we (
Israel), had to chose and so we did at Mount Sinai.

To say the Torah is only for the Jews is ridiculous. When the Torah was given, yes, it was given to B'ney Yisrael, but remember, there was the mixed multitude that went out with them during the Exodus. (Exodus 12:38) The mixed multitude was there when the Torah was given. And they, like
Israel, agreed to obey and live by the Torah.

It is in my opinion (and some Sages will agree with me) that in the mixed multitude there was a representative from all the seventy nations of the world at that time. For everyone present, even the mixed multitude, said "Yes, we will obey!" (Ex. 19:8), Even BEFORE they heard all that was expected of them! Levi, who wasn't born yet, gave tithe to Melchizedek through Avraham (Heb. 7:1-5), so in like manner mankind agreed to obey the Torah through those ancestors who were at Sinai when the Torah was given. G-d does not have one rule book and or expectations for the Jews and another for the Gentiles. That is not what the Torah says (Exo.
12:49, Lev. 24:22, Num. 15:16. Acts 15:19-21).

We are Holy, Chosen and Special because we ourselves chose YHWH and Torah. We are Holy, Chosen and Special and used of G-d for His Honor and Glory.

V.7 G-d is on the side of the underdog, so HE and not man would get the glory and credit.

1 Cor. 1:27-29 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, [yea], and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence.

V.8 G-d chose (
Israel) also because HE keeps all His promises and His end of the bargain even when we don't. HE is faithful even when we are not. Before the Mosaic covenant there was the Adamic, Noahtic and Abrahamic Covenant and He has kept them all even when we drop the ball.

V.9-16 Just as because He keeps His covenant even when the party He engages in such a covenant doesn't, does not mean we don't have to reap the repercussions of our breech of Covenantal contract. Deut. 27-28 is all about Covenantal stipulations.

Obedience = Blessing and Life

Disobedience = Curses and Death

Simple as that.

Bottom line is that G-d is Holy, Good and Just and if He condemns a people group to extinction, you know that there is a Holy, Good and Just reason and purpose behind it. Divine Genocide doesn't sit right with us because again you have the Infinite and Omniscient Holy G-d trying to be understood and comprehended by finite, fallen man.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Why We Don’t Say “Yahshua”

Why We Don’t Say “Yahshua”
Rabbi Yehudah ben Shomeyr

There is a huge push within Messianic and Natsari circles to pronounce the Name of the Messiah as “Yahshua” or Yahoshua” or a variation of it, instead of “Yeshua.” Even I, early on in my walk had got caught up in it that nonsense.

People doctor up the Name of Messiah using faulty Hebraic grammar in order to back up the verse:

John 5:43 I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.

And Hebraically we know the first syllable of YHWH’s Name is “Yah” and thus some feel we have to say “YAHshua” or a variation of it for it to be correct and back up that verse.

Look HIS Name (YHWH) is in HIS Name (Yeshua) by definition, nor by literal pronunciation. Yeshua means “Yah’s Salvation” or “Yah Saves.”

Most people don't have a clue at how English grammar and structure has jaded their view and study of the Hebrew, how based their logic is on English culture, and not Hebrew thinking. There is nothing in Hebrew linguistics that would lead you to conclude that the proper way to say the Messiah’s Name is “YAHshua” or a variation thereof.

I will not try to reinvent the wheel but quote from an excellent article regarding thus subject by Yoseph Viel of

“The logic is that because the short form of "YHWH" is "YaH", then “YHWH” must be “YaH” + something with “WH” or "YaH-H-H", and we need to figure out what vowels go where I have put hyphens.  Actually, “YaH” is not the only short form of the Divine Name. “YeH” is another and so is “Yo”, though “Yo” is usually written “יו”, but the pronunciation of the Divine Name used on Yom Kippur starts with “Yo” even though there's no VAV after the YUD. This is why the short form of Yoseph is Yose', which isn't much shorter than Yoseph.  It's because "Yo" is a short form for the Divine Name.  Of course in English, "Joe" is used because the "J" is not part of the Divine Name and essentially an ENGLISH abbreviation, not a Hebrew one.  But we never use "Yo" in Hebrew.

And most of these people do not realize that if English speakers were accustommed to shortening “Joseph” to “Jeph” instead of “Joe” and “Marcus” to “Mus” instead of “Marc”, they would be assuming that a known use of “YaH” implies that “YHWH” is “Y-H-WaH” with the first two vowels yet to be figured out. They do not realize how much English based logic is going into their assumptions.    HEBREW DOES NOT WORK LIKE ENGLISH and short forms are not based on using the first syllable from the long form of the word!!!!  Those who insist that YHWH must start with YAH are refusing to recognize the fact that Hebrew does not work like English and are forcing their English ideas into a Hebrew problem.

But in Hebrew , when a short form is used, it doesn't necessarily retain the original vowels from the original form at all.  We call the TOrah + NEviim (Prophets) + Ketuvim (Writings) the TaNaK, not the ToNeK.  One cannot look at the short form of a name and draw any conclusions whatsoever about the vowels for the long form is because Hebrew just doesn't work like English, and those trying to fit "Yah" into everything are making the assumption that Hebrew works like English where the short forms are derived from the long forms by retaining the first consonant and first vowel, when Hebrew just doesn't work that way.  Apply the "Yah Error" logic to the word "Tanach" would have you calling the Torah the "Tarah" and saying "Naviim" instead, because "a" is used in that abbreviaiton too!!!!!

But also, if someone doesn't trust the Masoretic scribes to have written the vowels for one word correctly, why trust them for another?  Why trust their writing "Yah" if you don't trust the vowels they put to the entire name?  So this argument assumes as true what it is trying to disprove in order to disprove it!!!   It assumes the Masorets got it right when they wrote "Yah" but got it wrong when they wrote other vowels in for YHWH!!!!  That is inconsistently illogical.” -- The "Yah" & "Yehudah" errors & why the Name of "Jesus" is NOT "Yahshua" – Yoseph Veil –

In well, yet misguided intentions to exalt, promote and praise the Name of Messiah and YHWH others have inadvertently have taken His Name in vain by such pronunciations. 

“Understanding how to say the Divine Name is a Hebrew problem. It needs a Hebrew solution and Hebrew logic.  Any attempt to approach this issue through English logic could result in something worse that just failure. In some cases, the end result is a pronunciation that is blasphemous.  People should not try to rewrite the Divine Name or Yeshua's Name with "Yah" in it.  In the case of Yeshua's Name, it can lead to something blasphemous.
What's wrong with "YAHshua"?  First off, His Name is written as "ישוע" (Y'ShUA) or  "יהושע" (YeHoShUA), not "יהשוע" (YHShUA).  And "יה + שוע" (YaH + ShUA) is not something you would want to say.
  • "ישע" = YaShA is the verb "to save"
  • "ישעוה" = YeShUaH is the noun "Salvation" and it is a feminine word.  Yeshua's Name is derived from "YeShUaH" be dropping the final "H" (HEY) in order to make it masculine.
  • "שוע" = ShUA is the PUAL form of the verb "save" and means "cry for help" or "being saved".  The Pual form inverts who is saving and who is being saved, so it reverses things from the subject of the sentence being the one doing the saving to the subject being the one being saved.  "שוע" = ShUA is used in Job 30:24 where it says "...though they CRY OUT FOR HELP (SHUA) in his destruction" .
Now many armchair theologians have concluded that "shua" means the same thing as "yasha" , or to save, and that "Yahshua" means "Yah is salvation".  But that's false.  Shua means to be saved, or to cry out for salvation - just like it was used in Job 30:24!!!  So when one says "Yah" + SHUA, what he is saying is "Yah is crying for help".  Thus, by trying to reinvent the Saviors Name by inserting English logic into the mix, they have inverted the meaning of His Name so that it says something blasphemous.
Now with over 70 ways to say the Name of "YHWH", do some of them start with "Yah"?  Yes.  But they don't ALL start with "Yah" and we should not take what we know to be legitimate pronunciations that start with something else (Like "יְהֹוָה" or "יְהִוָה") and change the first syllable to "Yah" just because we've seen the short form of "YaH" (which is only one of SEVERAL short forms) used in some places.  Such a change could result in completely changing the meaning into something that should not be said.  Stick with pronunciations EXACTLY as you learned them from Hebrew sources, without trying to "improve" upon them.  What the English mind considers an "improvement" might result in something that is actually a deterioration, meaningless, or worst yet blasphemous if you don't understand Hebrew grammar well enough to understand what effect that change makes to the meaning.
The moral of this is several fold. 
  1. Don't apply English logic to a Hebrew problem.
  2. If you don't know Hebrew, don't argue with Hebrew speaking people over how to speak Hebrew.
  3. Don't use a pronunciation for a Hebrew word if you can't find it used in Hebrew writings.
  4. Often we never realize how much our culture is affecting our thinking.” –

-- The "Yah" & "Yehudah" errors & why the Name of "Jesus" is NOT "Yahshua" – Yoseph Veil –

Yeshua to Jesus

One of the big mysteries in Christianity and Messianic/Natsari Judaism is the alleged cover up of Yeshua the Messiah’s Hebrew Name. There are a lot of religious conspiracy theorists out there who claim this. I use to believe it too because of all the Anti-Semetic and Anti-Nomian garbage that has made its way into the English versions of the Brit Chadasha (New Testament). But I think I have finally figured it out.

We know that the Messiah’s Name, “Yeshua” is shortened form of the Hebrew, “Yehoshuah (Joshua)” but why in the Greek Septuagint they used “Joshua” but for the Greek New Testament they call, Yeshua/Joshua; Jesus!?

I am by no means fluent in Koine Greek or Hebrew, whether ancient or modern… Heck, I’m not the greatest of my mother tongue, English! But I have taken Koine Greek and Biblical Hebrew in College and I am increasing my knowledge and proficiency in the languages one day at a time and I think I discovered how they got Jesus out of Yeshua.

Since Yeshua means, “Yah’s Salvation.” I use to say, “Why not make the Greek name of Messiah, “Theo-Sotar” (which is Greek for “G-d’s Salvation”) to symbolize Yeshua’s Name in the Greek? But I believe I have discovered why the translators did what they did, and it wasn’t to hide the Hebrew Name of Messiah, nor was it to secretly link Messiah to Zeus as I have heard and read by many Messianic/Natsari believing circles. On the contrary, it was, I believe to distinguish Messiah’s Name from others.

My thoughts are confirmed by this author of this website:

“The reason that the interpreters made the mistake is because the Greek translation of Jesus and Joshua are exactly the same. The same translation is used in the Septuagint (for the name of Joshua) as in the Greek scriptures of the New Testament. I'm just guessing that somewhere along the line, someone thought that the Lord's name should be distinguishable from the other "Joshuas" in the Bible (because there are others). I'm just guessing on that one. I also guess that Anglo Saxons, fresh from defeat at the Crusades, were willing to give the Lord a more Englishly pleasing name than, Yeshua (I'm using the more modern name and the one recognized worldwide as our Lord's true name in Hebrew), which had (and has) a Middle Eastern sound to it.” --

In the Septuagint the translators transliterated the Hebrew name Yehoshuah to sound as close to the Hebrew as possible in the Greek and thus we get in the English; Joshua. Now so as not to confuse the Old Testament Joshua with the Messiah or any other Joshua for that matter the translators translated Yehoshuah into Greek. They took the Hebrew Yud and made it a Greek Iota. The Shin became a Sigma and the Vav became an Omicron-Upsilon and it is necessary for a final sigma to be placed at the end of the word to distinguish that the name is masculine. Greek grammar rules require that the Hebrew Ayin, the “ah” sound be dropped and BAMB! Yeshua becomes Jesus in the English.

“Dr. Daniel Botkin pinpoints the interchangeableness of the names Joshua and Jesus noting that Neh. 8:17 has Yeshua (Jesus) for Yehoshua (Joshua). Joshua’s name in Greek is (also) Yeasous and is seen in the Septuagint (Josh. 1:12; 2:11; 3:1; 4:4, etc.) which predates the Messiah’s birth by more than 200 years. Botkin also says that this too is proof that ‘Yesous has no connection to Zeus’ for the Jewish Sages who wrote the Septuagint would have been well aware of the pagan god by that name and wouldn’t have used those Greek letters to form Joshua’s name with it if they thought there was a connection to it or to ‘Hail Zeus!’ as some infer.”--

Now, I do not use the name Jesus Christ, I do not like it for what anti-Semites and anti-Nomians have made the name to come to symbolize. I use Messiah’s Hebrew Name, Yeshua Ha Moshiach. But even though this issue of Yeshua to Jesus has caused a lot of confusion in religious circles today I pray that a little knowledge of the languages involved we can see how Yeshua became Jesus.

Sacred Namer’s

Look, I’m all for finding and using the Sacred Name of YHWH, but there is so much to consider in such a venture; time, lost manuscripts, the inevitable evolution of a language, various dialects and accents, conflicting historical and grammatical sources and unanswered grammatical questions, the list goes on. These things and more cause me to be very trepidatious about backing anyone’s choice pronunciation of the Sacred Name of YHWH. I believe that only a handful of high elite Levites know the true Name as it has been passed down from generation to generation and I even question if they truly know it see as when it is passed on it is only spoken once and the degradation of such a pronunciation over the generations is likely because of what we learn from the child party game “telephone.” Each generational pronunciation is subject to slight corruption, like a bad carbon copy. I’m not sure that we will truly know the Name until Moshiach returns again and reveals it by speaking it Himself. However, I think we can come close with an educated approximation. Then again, we may actually have it and be oblivious to the obscure evidence. All I’m saying is you say, “Tamaytoe,” I say “Tahmahtoe.” I have my personal way of saying YHWH and reasons why I say it that particular way, but I’m not going to be hard nosed and push that on everyone else. I’m not on some crusade to make the sect I belong to say the Sacred Name a certain way.

Though I realize that English names, Jesus, G-d and L-RD, the etymology of which is questionable and is soiled and tainted with pagan roots; so as not to alienate nor ostracize Christians I am ministering too by refusing to speak these questionable versions of the Name, I will use them by also speaking the Names I use right after such as, Yeshua, Elohim and Yahuweh. Nor will I stop writing, G-d or L-RD and because I have tons of past articles and because I use the KJV in my posts only because it is public domain with no copyright laws attached to it, I will not waste time and go back and edit them to please a Sacred Namer social networks rules regarding their posts. This is why I left some networks. I have much more important things to do.

I have a degree in Missiology and Bible and I know how to outreach to other peoples and cultures. Just as my name is Judah in English and Yehudah in Hebrew, I know YHWH is known by a multitude of different variations and pronunciations. Growing up Christian, finding out I have a Jewish heritage and converting to Judaism I cannot deny that I have seen bonafide miracles and deliverances in the name of JESUS AND YESHUA! Jesus is just how some people know Him. YHWH and Moshiach are not stupid, when someone directs their prayers to Him in the Name of Messiah they happen to know, G-d looks at the heart and not how they pronounced His Name. He knows who they mean. Now don’t misunderstand me I AM NOT saying you can call YHWH; Zeus, Buddha or something ridiculous like that, but what ever name a culture has assigned to the Elohim of Israel, He knows and understands people when they pray to Him in that Name.

Some Sacred Namers can be just as bad as the Christians who say you have to speak in tongues or be baptized to be saved. Gee Wilikers! I fell sorry for Kunatu of the deep dark Amazon who sincerely calls out to the One True G-d of the Universe but doesn’t know the “True Name,” I guess he’s just damned and out of luck!

Look, I know the prophecies that the use of the True Name will be restored:

In reading many English translation of the Scriptures, such as the King James Version, one would think the Creators Name is The LORD GOD. When actuality they are tricks of the translators to cover up the real Name of the Divine. You see, when you see the word, “LORD,” in all capital letters it is referring to the Sacred Name of the Creator, rendered in the transliteration of Hebrew, as YHWH. This is because Hebrew has no vowels, today special marks indicate what sound to use in pronouncing a Hebrew word but still the true pronunciation has been covered up my Judaism at large today, so many people still don’t know how to correctly pronounce the Name of the Creator.

The word, “God,” is the Hebrew word, “Elohim.” If you see the phrase, “The LORD GOD,” in English it is really, “Adonai (meaning Lord or Master) YHWH” in Hebrew. The scary part is where the English word, “god” came from, which was a Canaanite deity called, “God,” phonetically pronounced, “Gawd.” Actually this is the correct pronunciation of one of the Twelve Tribes of Israel we call in English, “Gad.” Ironically when Roman Catholic Missionaries came to the British Isles to convert people there the Pope instructed the missionaries not to rock the boat but to use the name “God/Gawd” to refer to the Creator. As a result we call the Creator by the title “God” to this day. This is a classic move because the same thing happened in Arabia where Mohammed cleaned out the Kabbah of its Arab multiplicity of gods and left Allah, the Arabian Moon god and called him the Creator. This would be no different than me going into the Parthenon and ousting all the gods except Zeus and proclaim him as the Creator. 

The English word “Lord” (lower case) in Hebrew means lord or husband, but is related to a Canaanite deity called, “Ba’al,” in English we say Baal. So the English phrase, “Lord God” in Hebrew actually refers to pagan deities, “Ba’al Gawd!” Scary! And we toss this around all the time in ignorance without even thinking when we want to refer to the Divine Creator, the Elohim of Israel.

It has been a long standing taboo even from Yeshua’s time that Jews do not use or speak the Name YHWH for fear of taking it in vain, meaning making it common or to the extreme of actually profaning it. So they have adopted the Hebrew word, “Adonai,” which means Lord/Master. But if one reads the Scriptures it is no big secret that Elohim wants His Name known and spoken.

Exd 3:15 And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The LORD (YHWH) God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this [is] my name for ever, and this [is] my memorial unto all generations.

Exd 9:16 And in very deed for this [cause] have I raised thee up, for to shew [in] thee my power; and that my name may be declared throughout all the earth.

This is only barely scratching the surface of all the places in Scripture that Elohim desires His Name to be known and used in a proper way.

So how does one pronounce, “YHWH?” Well, without getting to deep into all the details we know we at least know the correct pronunciation for the first half of His Name which is Yah (Ps.68:4). But what about the rest?

 Exodus 6:3 And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of El Shaddi , but by my name Yahuweh was I not known to them.

The KJV has “Jehovah” which was a hideous butchering of the Name because there is no “J” sound in Hebrew, nor in ancient Hebrew was there a “V” sound. Only in Modern Hebrew do we have the “V” sound. So the best way (I believe) is to say the Sacred Name is: “Yahuweh,” but when one says it fast it tends to sound like, “Yahweh” This is similar to my Hebrew Name, “Yehudah,” spelled YHWDH (Yod-Hey-Waw/(Vav)-Dalet-Hey) Just take out the Dalet and you have Elohim’s sacred Name, “Yahuweh”

Remember when I talked about the words, “Lord” and “Baal”? Well check this out:

 Jer.23:27 Which think to cause my people to forget my name by their dreams which they tell every man to his neighbour, as their fathers have forgotten my name for Baal.

It was prophesied that this would happen, that people would end up calling Yahuwah, Baal!

Prepared to get wigged out further:

 Matt. 7:21-23 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord (Baal, Baal), shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name (a false name)? and in thy (false) name have cast out devils? and in thy (false) name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity (Torahlessness / without the Torah/Law).

Check out this prophecy found in the Apocryphal book of Baruch, which was Jeremiah’s scribe:

Baruch 2:30-35 For I know that they will not obey me, for they are a stiff-necked people. But in the land of their exile they will come to themselves, and they will know that I am the Lord their God. I will give them a heart that obeys and ears that hear; and they will praise me in the land of their exile, and will remember my name, and will turn from their stubbornness and their wicked deeds; for they will remember the ways of their fathers, who sinned before the Lord.  I will bring them again into the land which I swore to give to their fathers, to Abraham and to Isaac and to Jacob, and they will rule over it; and I will increase them, and they will not be diminished. I will make an everlasting covenant with them to be their God and they shall be my people; and I will never again remove my people Israel from the land which I have given them."

This seems to be a prophecy of the Restoration and use of the Sacred Name by believers in the Diaspora, in exile!

It’s great that we are attempting to restore the Sacred Name of YHWH by using whatever pronunciation that we are convinced of, but to fight each other about which way is correct with scant and unsure evidence that we do have is just flat out WRONG!

Just as I think many of us will be shocked who we will see in the World to Come, I think we will be just as surprised when Moshiach comes and reveals the Name once and for all. I wonder who will turn beat red and feel stupid and shameful? Many of those in the Sacred Name movement came out of Christianity and just trading one doctrinal horse to beat for another. This needs to stop or a unity that even the Sacred Namers desire will never be achieved.

Yehudah = Yehuwah?
Some people takes the name of the Patriarch and Tribal leader Yehudah (Judah) and see that the Name of the Divine is spelled the same minus the “D”, the Hebrew letter Dalet and so one uses their English Grammar and  Western Logic and concludes that YHWH’s Name must be “Yehuwah.”
“This is a horrible error that can lead to someone making a blasphemous mispronunciation of the Divine Name. There are many people out there that love G-d with all their heart, and would never dream of INTENTIONALLY saying something blasphemous about G-d, but they do not realize that what they are saying has a meaning in ancient Hebrew that is blasphemous.  “Ye-quw-wah” (substituting a "q" for a "h" here to avoid offense) is a pronunciation one would not want to use because what it means in Hebrew is "He Will Be the one who has become", as if to suggest that at one time he did not exist.  In fact, it almost implies that he will go BACK to not existing, if he presently exists, but used to, but will become something else.   Grammatically, it's built on the plual form, which changes the grammar of a verb to indicate that the action is done TO the subject of the sentence, rather than vice versa.  Yes - the same grammar form overlooked in the "Yaqshua" error (changing "h" to "q" here again to avoid offense).  As I said, many people out there use this pronunciation, and love G-d with all their heart.  They just don't know what they are saying…
Say "YHWH" one way and it means "He Who Is".  But a slight slip of the tongue away from that is another pronunciation that means "He Who Is Evil".  Say "YHWH" with another set of vowels and it means "He Who Causes To Be".  But even that can be a slight slip of the tongue away from "He Who Caused HIMSELF to Be".  This is why Judaism quit saying the Name.  They were afraid you'd mispronounce it in a blasphemous way.  But a lack of guidance also seems to cause people to make blasphemous mispronunciations.  Before you TRY to speak the Divine Name - LEARN HEBREW!  Get the accent down.  Learn the grammar. Otherwise, you just simply won't know when you are mispronouncing the Name.  You can't learn "just enough Hebrew" to say the Name correctly.  You English accent will seduce you into saying a pronunciation that is wrong.  The bad habits your English accent introduce can only be overcome by submerging yourself in the correct way to pronounce the entire language...
There's no grammatical connection between these two words.
·         YeHuDaH (יהודה) is built from the root HWD (הוד) by adding a "H" (ה) to the end and a "Y" (י) to the beginning.
·         YHWH (יהוה) is built from the root HWH (הוה) by adding a "Y" (י) to the beginning.
With no grammatical connection between them, why is there any reason to conclude that one word sets a precedent for anything about the other word?

Pual to Pial :   Some modern day Israelis may be a bit slow to recognize the Pual form because it has dropped out of use in modern day Israel. There are people who live in Israel and speak Hebrew fluently who might have to look this point of grammar up if they are not Biblical scholars simply because this form of grammar is not longer used in modern day Hebrew and has been replaced by a Pial form instead.”

-- The "Yah" & "Yehudah" errors & why the Name of "Jesus" is NOT "Yahshua" – Yoseph Veil –

Therefore in light of this information is just some of the reasons why Modern Day Non-Believing Judaism does not pronounce the Name of YHWH, as well as the various pronunciations have been buried in antiquity because only the Kohen HaGadol (High Priests) would say it only one a year in the Temple at Yom Kippur in the Holy of Holies. I do believe the Kohen in training for the third Temple know the various pronunciations of the ineffable, but they aren’t telling, even upon pains of death!