Saturday, October 28, 2017

Torah, Haftarah and Brit Chadasha #3 ​Lech Lecha: “Go Out” 5778/2017

RaYBaSH’s Annual Torah Thoughts
Parashah #3: Lech Lecha: “Go Out”
B’reshit (Genesis): 12:1-17:27
By: Yehudah ben Shomeyr

ADONAI speaks to Abram, commanding him to "Go from your land, from your birthplace and from your father's house, to the land which I will show you." There, ADONAI says, he will be made into a great nation. Abram and his wife Sarai, along with Abraham’s nephew Lot, journey to the Land of Canaan, where Abram builds an altar and continues to spread the message of the One True God.
A famine forces Abram to depart for Egypt, where his gorgeous wife, the beautiful Sarai, is taken to Pharaoh's palace; Abram for fear of death simply to obtain Sarai, fibs, he presents themselves as brother and sister. A mysterious plague prevents the Pharaoh from touching her and convinces him to return her to Abram, even after Pharaoh discovered they are not brother and sister, but man and wife, he still compensates Abram with gold, silver and cattle.
Back in Canaan, Lot separates from Abram and settles in the evil city of Sodom, where he is taken captive when the mighty armies of Chedorlaomer and his three kingly allies conquer the five cities of the Sodom Valley. Avram sets out with a small band from his household to rescue Lot, defeats the four kings, and is blessed by Malki-Zedek (Melchizedek) the king of Salem (Jerusalem).
ADONAI seals the Covenant between the Parts with Abram, in which the exile and persecution of the Israel is foretold and the Holy Promised Land is bequeathed to them as their eternal heritage.
Childless ten years after they arrival in the Canaan, Sarai tells Abram to marry her maidservant Hagar. Hagar conceives and then acts as if she is better than her mistress Sarai, and then flees when Sarai becomes jealous and treats her harshly; an angel from ADONAI compels her to return and tells her that her son Ishmael will become a great nation. Ishmael is born in the 86th year of Avram's life.
Then, thirteen years later, ADONAI changes Abram's name to Abraham ("father of multitudes") and Sarai's to Sarah ("princess"), by simply adding and “H” to their name, the Hebrew letter “Hey,” symbolizing life, and promises that a son will be born to them. They are to call this child Isaac, meaning, “will laugh,” and from him will come the great nation Israel with which ADONAI will establish His special eternal covenant. Avraham is then commanded to circumcise himself and his descendents and his household as a "sign of the covenant between Me and you.”
There are many issues we could address in this commentary; however, I will mainly deal with the CHARACTER of Our Father Abraham.
This is where it all begins for the three major religions of the world; Judaism, Christianity and Islam. This is where we claim our origins begin. Judaism claims to stem from Abraham’s son through Sarah which was Yitzchak (Isaac), Christians claims to “spiritually” to come from Yitzchak, and Muslims claims to come from (spiritually and physically) Abraham’s son through Hagar which is Ishmael. Therefore, Abraham is the Father of us all. Hence, he is called, Avraham Avinu (Abraham our Father) and the “Father of our Faith”. We are all related through Abraham. The rest of the world is related through Noach and his three sons, Hamm, Shem, and Yefet (Japheth).
Just as with Yeshua the Messiah, so with Avraham Avinu (Abraham our Father), we know little about his childhood.  We encounter him as an adult in Genesis 12 when God tells him to “get out of Dodge.” However, in the book of Jasher, the Midrash, and Legends of the Bible the inside scoop of Abraham is revealed. Allow me to Summarize.

When Abraham was born Nimrod ruled the know world, as we learned in last weeks Torah Portion Nimrod is a type of Hellel/Lucifer, Anti-Messiah, and also Herod and Pharaoh. And Abraham on the other hand resembles Moshe (Moses) and Yeshua the Messiah. The night Abraham was born a great star shown in the East, (sound familiar?) and Nimrod’s wise men, after attending the celebration of Abraham’s birth, went and divined this matter and reported to Nimrod that this child was a threat to His rule. So Nimrod compensated monetarily Terah, Abraham’s father, for his son Abraham. He purchased him (or so he thought) and dashed him upon the ground and killed him. Here we see Nimrod resembles Herod, for during the time of Yeshua he ordered all baby boys 2 years and under be killed, and just as Pharaoh attempted rid all of captive Israel of their male baby population. Terah wisely replaced Abraham with a servant’s baby who was born during the same week. Nimrod killed the servant’s child unknowingly instead. Thinking Abraham was dead Nimrod quickly forgotten about the whole ordeal. Terah hid Abraham and His mother in a cave and provided for their food monthly. It was here were Abraham, by observing nature concluded that one god created and controls everything. It is here that ADONAI (YHWH) reveals Himself to Abraham as the one true God.

Later, we see that Terah was an idol maker, and one day Terah put Abraham in charge of the shop while he stepped out. Abraham then smashed all the idols but one who was the biggest and he put an axe in the idols hand. Terah came back and had a fit! Abraham blamed this on the jealously of the big idol, and that the idol did it. Of course Terah didn’t buy this for one second and called Abraham a liar. Abraham replied to his father, “Then why do you sell and worship these idols who have no power, nor can see, speak, hear, move or think.”

On another occasion Nimrod wanted everyone to worship him and other idols, and Abraham refused because he knew that there was only one God, YHWH. For this crime Abraham was cast into a fiery furnace and survived.

Muslims have a similar legend; they say that the flames were turned to water, and that the wood turned to fish. They have a pool with fish that they claim to the spot of this event. There is also a legend that if one eats a fish from this pool that they will go blind. There are supposed documented reports of this very thing happening.

Abraham as well, is a person whom we should all wish to aspire to be like. Just as a young child who wishes to be like his Dad. He is most well known for Faith, and Hospitality. He is also in essence the Father of Evangelism.

And so the backdrop is set and we pick up the story of Abraham in B’reshit (Genesis) 12:1.

  Gen.12:1-3 Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:  And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. (KJV)

Well, if any of these legends were true, taking an honest look he hadn’t a thing to loose. I know you have heard that Abram gave up and left all to follow and obey ADONAI. But taking everything into account this may have been the call he was waiting for. Think about it. And I can relate to this. He was a stranger among his own kinsmen. Can you just hear the people?
“Who ever heard of a monotheist?! Boy that Abram sure is a piece of work! His parents must be mortified to have such a rebellious and unusual son. Did you hear what he did to his father’s business!? And rebelling against King Nimrod, why, he’s nothing but a troublemaker! If he wasn’t getting out of here one of us may have had to lock him away or kill him.”
So contrary to how we may have been taught, Abram leaving Haran may not have been much of a sacrifice. There was nothing left for him in the place of his birth. Even though it may not have taken much sacrifice, it indeed took Faith. No game plan, no maps, just start walking, and expect an unseen God to lead the way. Now that’s faith! But some people may call this stupidity. Yes, I’ll have to admit that having faith sometimes requires you to be crazy like a fox! Sometimes faith may cause you to question your own sanity. But almost always faith makes you look fanatical in the eyes of the world around you. And at this point you have come too far to turn back now, and besides you really have nothing to turn back to.
He was a man of FAITH, and a man of ACTION and OBEDIENCE, for Faith without works (action and obedience) is dead! (Jms. 2:20).

“Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee:” (KJV)

According to the Chassidic Masters “From your land” refers to your will. Because eretz (land) etymologically is related to the word ratzon (will).
Birthplace alludes to the ties of emotions, feelings etc.
And the Chassidic Masters say that “Father’s House” refers to ones intellect, logic and rational, for the Kabbalah often uses the word father to symbolize this.

Gen 12:2-3 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:  And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. (KJV)

Here is the famous verse that relates to how the world will be blessed by Abraham. How? Because through him comes the Torah (Moshe) and the Messiah, (the son of David) and hence the door one must go through to have sustainable and personal relationship with the one true God of Israel.
V.3 particularly caught my attention this past year. I penned my thoughts in a blog a few years back:

“Today at work I have been heavily thinking about the promise ADONAI gave to Avraham Avinu (Father Abraham).  He said in B’reshit (Genesis) “I will bless those who bless you, and curse those who curse you…”

Why have I been meditating on this verse so heavily today?  Well, because of an anti-Semite who is in charge of the department that I work in.
This lady speaks rude to me constantly. Demands, instead of asks.  She has spoken ill of me behind my back, according to at least two witnesses. She has been caught in many lies formulated to get her way, or to intimidate people, especially me.  She purposely gives me “grunt” jobs.  She is constantly nagging and harassing me over petty stuff, and even personal stuff which is none of her business. 
I went to the supervisor above her and he assured me my job is secure.  He knows me and has assured me that:  
·       I am a good worker who is on times,
·       meets his quota,
·       Is never rude or disrespectful to a superior,
·       causes no trouble. 
He said he knows I do my best to get along with her.  He knows the problem is her and not me.  He simply told me to do my job and let what she says go in one ear and out the other and that he would talk with her.
So I did exactly as he said.  I tried so hard to be as the Tzadik (the Righteous) Mordechai who was respectful, kept his peace, yet never sucked up to Wicked Haman.  As with Haman, this just ticked her off more.  And today, as the Scriptures puts it, “DUNG” hit the fan.  She accused me in an after work meeting of being rude and disrespectful to her. I stood my ground and defended myself. After the incident I immediately went to the supervisor above her and told him everything. He then told me I wouldn’t have to worry about her anymore, that I would be moved to a different department. HURRAY!!!
But I have been in constant prayer that I would not hate or harbor ill feelings toward this woman, instead that I would pity and pray for her. BECAUSE…
“I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse those who curse you.”  It was today that I noticed that ever since I have been working in that department, and ever since she has been treating me the way she has, she has had one illness after another.  She has had to miss work and go to the doctor various times for various reasons. She has had numerous health problems.  She even has had some work site accidents resulting in minor injury. I do not want to rejoice in this fact because ADONAI said that if you do, He will turn on you for rejoicing at an enemy’s downfall.  So I am praying as Job did for her healing and deliverance.”

I truly believe ADONAI will protect His own. Just think of all the nations and wars that have recently plagued the Jewish people in modern history, let alone Biblical history. The defeat of the Nazi’s, the Six Day war, the Yom Kippur war, and on and on we can see that ADONAI defends and protects Israel against impossible odds, even when they may not be in complete obedience.
Part of having faith is to believe in miracles, and even if a miracle doesn’t come, being resolute and living right even if it means impending death.
Faith is being Faithful; Full of Faith. What are we to be Faithful to? ADONAI, yes, but that’s nice and vague. Are there any expectations ADONAI has of us? ADONAI laid out His expectations of us in the Torah, and if we are being faithful to follow the Torah, we are being Faithful to Him. Just as when we keep our marriage vows, we are deemed being faithful to our spouse, the Torah in Judaism is indeed looked upon as a marriage contract, and if we are faithful to the covenant, we are being faithful to ADONAI, for isn’t He our Husband?

Gen. 12:10-13 And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered every where, before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, even as the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt, as thou comest unto Zoar.  Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan; and Lot journeyed east: and they separated themselves the one from the other.  Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom.  But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly. (KJV)

Abram’s and Lot’s herdsmen were getting into arguments over the land and who was to graze their animals where. Here we see that Abram was being Self-less, another righteous trait of our Forefather which we should aspire towards. He gave his nephew first dibs on the land, so naturally, he chose the most prime of real estate. Unfortunately, the prime of iniquity also was in this direction and caught Lot’s eye.
So we see other traits of our Forefather are SELFLESSNESS and HUMILITY, giving preference to his nephew. As elder he had more than a right to take first choice.
It is well established that Sodom and Gomorrah is know for its homosexuality and sins of a sexual nature. However, their sin was deeper than just carnal indulgences and therefore wasn’t the only reason for it’s destruction by ADONAI.
According to Legends of the Bible Sodom was such a wicked city without care or compassion for the human plight that the poor and travelers were forbidden by law to be given food or shelter or to be shown any kindness or compassion. You could be executed for giving food or shelter to anyone not a native of the city. As a result the poor and the traveler would have to sleep out in the city square and be subject to theft, rape, beatings, and murder.
It is said that one of Lot’s daughters born to him shortly after his rescue by his Uncle Abram and his men, gave pity to a poor fellow by giving him food and was therefore burned alive on a pyre for breaking the law.
Another account tells of a rich mans daughter giving food and water to a stranger and was therefore drenched in honey and was stung to death by various insects and her heart rending cries was ignored by the people but not God. This was the last straw for which God resolved to destroy Sodom.
I need not to remind the readers of the horrid account in Genesis 19 where the men of the city wanted to have homosexual relations with the Angels who where sent to get Lot and his family out of Sodom. And it is even sickening to think that Lot was willing to offer his daughters to these perverted and wicked men. However, here we see the Middle Eastern culture and mindset, that one was to protect guests with their lives and at all costs.

Gen. 13:18 Then Abram removed his tent, and came and dwelt in the plain of Mamre, which is in Hebron, and built there an altar unto the LORD. (KJV)

I would like to mention briefly a trait that will be touched upon greater in the Parashot (Torah Portion) to come, and that is one of HOSPITALITY.
Abraham is well known in the Jewish and Muslim world for his hospitality and therefore his descendants are to be hospitable as well. And you though Southern Hospitality was great. Well, you haven’t experienced hospitality until you have experienced it Middle Eastern style. They literally go out of their way sparing no expense to honor you as a guest. They slaughtered their fatted calf, even if it meant that they later on would have to do without. You are pampered, treated like royalty. Your feet would be washed, the best food, drink, and dinner ware would be put out for you, and at the end of the evening you would have an undying faithful friend who would give his life for you if need be. But, on the flip side you certainly don’t want a Middle Easterner to be your enemy as you will see in Gen. 14.
Jewish Legend and Traditions states that Abraham had the habit of opening all four corners of his tent to be able to see strangers coming from any direction so he could prepare entertain them. He would sit under the trees of Mamre waiting for passersby’s to entertain. We see a Scriptural example of this when he entertained the 3 strangers, 3 days after his circumcision, which is the most painful day of the whole ordeal (Gen. 18). While he would entertain strangers, he would in the process tell them of the One true God and thus he was also a MISSIONARY of sorts. 

Said Reish Lakish: Read not "and he called (vayikra)" but "and he made others call (vayakrei)." This is to teach us that Abraham caused G-d's name to be spoken in the mouths of all passerby. How so? After they ate and drank [in his home], they made to bless him. Said he to them: "Have you eaten of mine? Your food has been provided by the G-d of the world! Thank, praise and bless He who spoke the world into being!" –- Talmud, Sotah 10a

When Abraham's guests wished to bless him for his generosity, he would say to them: Has the food you have eaten been provided by myself? You should thank, praise and bless He who spoke the world into being! If they refused Abraham would demand payment for the food they had eaten. How much do I owe you? they would ask. A jug of wine is one furlin, Abraham would say; a pound of meat, one furlin; a loaf of bread, one furlin. When the guest would protest these exorbitant prices, Abraham would counter: Who supplies you with wine in the middle of the desert? Who supplies you with meat in the desert? Who supplies you with bread in the desert? When the guest would realize the predicament he was in he would relent and proclaim: Blessed be the G-d of the world, from whose providence we have eaten. -- Midrash Rabbah; Tosofot Shantz on Sotah 10

In Chapter 14 we see Lot and his family have been caught in the middle of this war of local rulers and end up being captives in this tug-of-war.

Gen.14:12-17 And they took Lot, Abram's brother's son, who dwelt in Sodom, and his goods, and departed. And there came one that had escaped, and told Abram the Hebrew; for he dwelt in the plain of Mamre the Amorite, brother of Eshcol, and brother of Aner: and these were confederate with Abram. And when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his trained servants, born in his own house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued them unto Dan. And he divided himself against them, he and his servants, by night, and smote them, and pursued them unto Hobah, which is on the left hand of Damascus. And he brought back all the goods, and also brought again his brother Lot, and his goods, and the women also, and the people. And the king of Sodom went out to meet him after his return from the slaughter of Chedorlaomer, and of the kings that were with him, at the valley of Shaveh, which is the king's dale.

Here we find another trait of Abraham: BRAVERY. Wow! Abraham finds out that his nephew and his family had been taken captive in this war. He, not thinking twice, musters 318 men from his household determined to free Lot and his family. 318 men going up against 9 kingdoms! Again, just like faith, there is a fine line between bravery and stupidity. But Avraham Avinu had faith, and he had bravery. As an Uncle, he felt it his responsibility and obligation to watch after and protect his kin. Lot was more like a brother to Abraham than a nephew.
Abraham must have been quite a military strategist, the Word tells us he recovered everything of Lot and his household and didn’t even loose one of his men, and he recovered every bit of Lot’s possessions.  
You see with matters of faith; emotions and logic play little to no role in it. Emotions and logic often lend themselves to unbelief and opposes faith.
Remember the man who had the demon possessed son?

Mark 9:20-24 And they brought him unto him: and when he saw him, straightway the spirit tare him; and he fell on the ground, and wallowed foaming.  And he asked his father, How long is it ago since this came unto him? And he said, Of a child.  And ofttimes it hath cast him into the fire, and into the waters, to destroy him: but if thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us.  Yeshua  said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.  And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief. (KJV)

ADONAI knows I myself have prayed the prayer of this man on many occasions.
Faith without works is dead (Jms. 2:20). Without faith it is impossible to please God (Heb.11:6).  

 Gen. 14:18-20 And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God.  And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth:  And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all. (KJV)

Many feel this is what the Christian world terms a, “Christophany,” which is a physical manifestation of Yeshua the Messiah in pre-incarnate form.
This very well may be true, but the text seems to indicate that Melchizedek was a real person. His name means, “King of Righteousness,” and he was king over Salem, what is now known as Jerusalem, meaning, “City of Peace.” He could have been a relative of Shem, who according to Jewish tradition, Shem was appointed the family priest after Noah and his sons departed from the ark.
Seeing as some believe, according the passages in Hebrews, that Yeshua will do away with the Levitical priesthood because he is a priest after the order of Melchizedek. I would like to tackle this issue briefly as I quote from my book, “Get Back to the First Century”:

Salvation and Sacrifice

“In the Messianic and Christian arena’s the issue of Salvation and Levitical animal Sacrifice has caused charged heated debates and cause congregational and denominational splits.  How were the “Old Testament Saints” saved?  Will there be animal sacrifice during the Third Temple when Messiah reigns, and if so, why?  Wouldn’t animal sacrifices slap Yeshua and his sacrificial atoning work on the cross in the face?  Many like questions, circle, submerge and emerge continuously. As a Netzari Jew, let me put this weary animal to rest.  If you don’t like the answer, take it up with HaShem and His Word.  If it blows down your little theological house of cards, then maybe you should question the materials you have used, or the foundation it has been founded upon; ADONAI’s Word, or tradition and doctrines of men?

Let me first tackle the issue of salvation.  It is the misconception of many that the “Old Testament Saints” were saved by works, keeping the Torah (law) in combination with the Levitical animal sacrifices, and “New Testament Saints” are saved by “Grace” and Yeshua’s death on the cross.   How fair is that!?  Christians say there is only one way of salvation. This view would contradict that.  This is purely a Christian false doctrine; nothing could be further from the truth.

Then how were the Believers before the death and resurrection of Yeshua, saved!? 

I believe the saints in the Tanak were saved the same way as the saints in the Renewed Covenant.  The difference is perspective.  Those in the Tanak looked forward to, and believed in the Messiah and His atoning work that was coming.  The Renewed Covenant saints (us) look back and believe in the Messiah and His atoning work that already came, and is coming again!  The sacrifices of the Tabernacle and Temple era, before Yahshua came, never atoned for or removed sin.  In the Renewed Covenant, Hebrews 10:4 states “It is NOT possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.” The sacrifices just rolled the  sin back like a credit card debt until Messiah came to pay the debt in full, atoning for them all past, present, and future (Isa.53:6; IPt.2:24; IJn.2:2; Heb.1:3; 5-10).   I believe that Yeshua worked within the framework of Torah, and the sacrificial system set up therein. 

Then what is the purpose of the animal sacrifices? 

  1. It was to be a physical object lesson that pointed to the coming Messiah and what He would do.  It acted as a credit card that covered, did not take away, and rolled back the sin debt until someone, Messiah, could come along and pay it.  In the time of the Third Temple the sacrifices will be a reminder of the Messiah who came and what He did (Is. 56, 66; Zech. 14:16-21).  The sacrifices that took place before Yeshua came, only pointed to the Messiah which was to come. The sacrifices that will take place after Yeshua, and that will take place in the Millennial Reign, point back to Messiah’s atoning work.
  2. It provided and will provide food, materials and income for the Priests and their families (Leviticus 5-10).”

In other words the Melchizedekian priesthood does not do away with the Levitical priesthood, it is simply a higher and older order of priesthood. The passage above lets us know this. For in Hebrews it says that Levi, the priestly tribe whom all Israel is required to give a tithe to, gave tithe to Melchizedek through Abraham, because Levi wasn’t yet born and was still in his father’s loins (Heb.7). In the Millennial reign both priesthoods will work side by side and hand in hand.

Ishmael’s Akeidah

Everyday in prayer, once a year in our Torah Portion and every Yom Teruah (Feast of Trumpets/Rosh HaShannah) we read of the Akeidah. Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice Isaac upon God’s command, and we know Isaac was spared from becoming a burnt offering, because of the Ram that was caught by it’s horns in the bushes and Abraham ended up offering the Ram instead of his son. All of this because Isaac is the Promised One, and the Covenant made by God with Abraham was destined to be carried on through Isaac and his descendants. However, we know of Abraham’s first born through Hagar named Ishmael. If one reads the Torah carefully, you will see Ishmael too was loved by God, regardless of what is descendants may have become today and all the promises given to Isaac, save the Covenant, was given to Ishmael:

Gen. 17:17-21 Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, Shall a child be born unto him that is an hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear? And Abraham said unto God, O that Ishmael might live before thee! And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant and with his seed after him. And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee: Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation. But my covenant will I establish with Isaac, which Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the next year.

We see that:
·       Ishmael’s Akeidah happened before Isaacs.
·       Instead of Abraham it was Hagar, though Abraham too was grieved.
·       Instead of a burnt offering, it was death by thirst.
·       Instead of a Ram as salvation, it was the water well.
·       Tradition says Isaac went to study with Shem after the Akeidah, we see Ishmael becomes and Archer
·       Isaac marries shortly after the Akeidah, as does Ishmael.
·       Isaac was in his 30’s and Ishmael was in his teens.

 Gen. 21:10-21 Wherefore she said unto Abraham, Cast out this bondwoman and her son: for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac. And the thing was very grievous in Abraham's sight because of his son. And God said unto Abraham, Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad, and because of thy bondwoman; in all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall thy seed be called. And also of the son of the bondwoman will I make a nation, because he is thy seed. And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and took bread, and a bottle of water, and gave it unto Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, and the child, and sent her away: and she departed, and wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba. And the water was spent in the bottle, and she cast the child under one of the shrubs. And she went, and sat her down over against him a good way off, as it were a bow shot: for she said, Let me not see the death of the child. And she sat over against him, and lift up her voice, and wept. And God heard the voice of the lad; and the angel of God called to Hagar out of heaven, and said unto her, What aileth thee, Hagar? fear not; for God hath heard the voice of the lad where he is. Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him in thine hand; for I will make him a great nation. And God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water; and she went, and filled the bottle with water, and gave the lad drink. And God was with the lad; and he grew, and dwelt in the wilderness, and became an archer. And he dwelt in the wilderness of Paran: and his mother took him a wife out of the land of Egypt.

According to the Book of Jasher, Abraham went into the wilderness to visit Ishmael several times and Ishmael still loved and followed after the ways of Abraham and his God and took his counsel. We see in the Torah that Isaac and Ishmael reconcile at the death of their Father.

Gen 25:8-10 Then Abraham gave up the ghost, and died in a good old age, an old man, and full of years; and was gathered to his people. And his sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah, in the field of Ephron the son of Zohar the Hittite, which is before Mamre; The field which Abraham purchased of the sons of Heth: there was Abraham buried, and Sarah his wife.

Ishmael is thought and is claimed to be the Muslim people. Ishmael is our cousin, Oh to God that we may bring him back to the God and faith of Avraham Avinu! So be it LORD! So be it! Ameyn!

Gen.17:18 And Abraham said unto God, O that Ishmael might live before thee! (KJV)

Here we see Abraham also embodies the trait of LOVE. He loved Isaac as much as he loved Ishmael, and even though Isaac was to be the one ADONAI chooses to carry on with the covenant, we see here Abraham was still concerned about the welfare and future of his other son Ishmael. As a result God gives Ishmael a similar blessing that He gave to Isaac.

Gen.17:20 And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee: Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation. (KJV)

What a man, what a father, what an example! What a type of Messiah! What traits to strive for!
Abraham was a man of:
·       FAITH
·       ACTION
·       HUMILITY
·       BRAVERY and
·       LOVE
What kind of man (person) are you? And these are only a few of many traits of Avraham Avinu, you can find more if you look as you read the Torah Portions to come.
Shalom and Shavuah Tov,
-Yehudah ben Shomeyr

RaYBaSH’s Haftarah Hashings
Parashah #3 Lekh-Lekha “Go Out”
Isa. 40:27-41:16
By: Rabbi Yehudah ben Shomeyr

Gen.12:1-3 Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee:  And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. (KJV)

Many of us were sitting disgruntled, dissatisfied and unfulfilled in our cushy Sunday pews, heard the same call as did Abram.
We knew there was something more, we desired that “more” and when we heard the call from God to leave the Babylonian “Churchianity” full of “Sheeple,” we gladly obliged.
And now we are like Abram, we are:

Hebrews 11:8-10  By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.

And at times we may feel that:

Isa. 40:27b “My way is hid from the LORD, and my judgment is passed over from my God.”


Isa.40:28-31 Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.


Isa. 41:1a Keep silence before me, O islands; and let the people renew their strength:

Remember ADONAI said that…

Isa. 41:4b I the LORD, the first, and with the last; I am he.

He has called us out of Ur, out of Babylon, out of the Paganism rife with in Modern Day Christianity where…

Isa. 41:6-7 They helped every one his neighbour; and every one said to his brother, Be of good courage. So the carpenter encouraged the goldsmith, and he that smootheth with the hammer him that smote the anvil, saying, It is ready for the sodering: and he fastened it with nails, that it should not be moved.

Remember that ADONAI said of us…

Isa. 41:8-16 But thou, Israel, art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend. Thou whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and called thee from the chief men thereof, and said unto thee, Thou art my servant; I have chosen thee, and not cast thee away. Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. Behold, all they that were incensed against thee shall be ashamed and confounded: they shall be as nothing; and they that strive with thee shall perish. Thou shalt seek them, and shalt not find them, even them that contended with thee: they that war against thee shall be as nothing, and as a thing of nought. For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee. Fear not, thou worm Jacob, and ye men of Israel; I will help thee, saith the LORD, and thy redeemer, the Holy One of Israel. Behold, I will make thee a new sharp threshing instrument having teeth: thou shalt thresh the mountains, and beat them small, and shalt make the hills as chaff. Thou shalt fan them, and the wind shall carry them away, and the whirlwind shall scatter them: and thou shalt rejoice in the LORD, and shalt glory in the Holy One of Israel.

Remember Remnant, we are not alone; we are just treading a path that has become over grown. It was forged before us by Abraham and Moses.

Even now HE deemed you to be an Abaraham or a Moses in this generation.

So be encouraged and rise up, because:

Isa.40:28-31 Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

Shabbat Shalom and Shavuah Tov,
- Yehudah ben Shomeyr

RaYBaSH’s Brit Chadasha Connections
Parasha #3 Lekh-Lekha “Go out”
Acts 7:1-8, Heb. 11:8-10, Matt. 5:10-12
By: Yehudah ben Shomeyr

Acts 7:1-8 Then said the high priest, Are these things so? And he said, Men, brethren, and fathers, hearken; The God of glory appeared unto our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Charran, And said unto him, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and come into the land which I shall shew thee. Then came he out of the land of the Chaldaeans, and dwelt in Charran: and from thence, when his father was dead, he removed him into this land, wherein ye now dwell. And he gave him none inheritance in it, no, not so much as to set his foot on: yet he promised that he would give it to him for a possession, and to his seed after him, when as yet he had no child. And God spake on this wise, That his seed should sojourn in a strange land; and that they should bring them into bondage, and entreat them evil four hundred years. And the nation to whom they shall be in bondage will I judge, said God: and after that shall they come forth, and serve me in this place. And he gave him the covenant of circumcision: and so Abraham begat Isaac, and circumcised him the eighth day; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat the twelve patriarchs.


This sums up this weeks Torah Portion nicely.

Hebrews 11:8-10  By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.

Sums up nicely the theme.

As I have mentioned in the Torah and Haftarah Portion, that I believe many of us are the Abraham’s of our day, called out of a religion that has severed itself from the Olive Tree and has attached itself to the Unproductive Fig Tree that Yeshua cursed.

God has called many of us out of modern day Christianity which has strayed far from its 1st century Nazarene Jewish roots, and God has called us to find our way back and to pave the way for others.

It takes Faith, it calls us to channel our stiff necked-ness, our bull headed-ness, in a positive direction. It calls us to shed our egos and to be blessed regardless.

Matt. 5:10-12 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

Let us not give up, let us cling to our God and to one another of like mind and realize that

Gal. 6:9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

Shabbat Shalom and Shavuah Tov!
- Yehudah ben Shomeyr