Thursday, June 28, 2018

The 12/70 Principle: 12 Tribes 12 Apostles 70 Elders 70 Disciples

The 12/70 Principle:

12 Tribes 12 Apostles 70 Elders 70 Disciples

A brief study regarding the amazing evangelistic, prophetic relationship and connections between the 12 Tribes of Israel and the 12 Apostles of Yeshua (Jesus) as well as the 70 Elders of Moses’ time and the 70 Disciples of Messiah Yeshua’s (Jesus Christ’s), and how it affects the peoples and the history of the world to this day and in the future to come!

The 12/70 Principle:
12 Tribes 12 Apostles 70 Elders 70 Disciples

The numbers 12 and 70 are very important and symbolic numbers in the Scriptures and within Judaism. 12 represent wholeness and completeness as with the 12 months that make up one year. 12 also represent government. 12 represents locality. 70 on the other hand also represent the wholeness of a cycle and government and 70 represents the world.

Let us delve into these numbers and like an onion, peel back their meanings layer by layer within the Scriptures and discover how these numbers have a profound meaning and impact on us in the here and now as well as in the tomorrow.

Ponderings of the Perkei Avot 6:10-11

RaYBaSH’s Ponderings of the Perkei Avot
Chapter 6:10-11
By: Yehudah ben Shomeyr

“God acquired five acquisitions in his world. These are: one acquisition is the Torah, one acquisition are the heavens and the earth, one acquisition is Abraham, one acquisition is the people of Israel, and one acquisition is the Holy Temple. The Torah, as it is written (Proverbs 8:22), "God acquired me as the beginning of His way, before His works of yore." The heavens and the earth, as it is written (Isaiah 66:1), "So says God: The heavens are My throne and the earth is My footstool; what house, then, can you build for Me, and where is My place of rest?"; and it says (Psalms 104:25), "How many are your works, O God, You have made them all with wisdom; the earth is filled with Your acquisitions." Abraham, as it is written (Genesis 14:19), "And he blessed him, and said: Blessed be Abram to God Most High, acquirer of heavens and earth." Israel, as it is written (Exodus 15:16), "Till Your nation, O God, shall pass, till this nation You have acquired shall pass"; and it says (Psalms 16:3), "To the holy who are upon earth, the noble ones, in whom is all My delight." The Holy Temple, as it is written (Exodus 15:17), "The base for Your dwelling that you, God, have achieved; the Sanctuary, O Lord, that Your hands have established"; and it says (Psalms 78:54), "And He brought them to His holy domain, this mount His right hand has acquired."”

“Everything that God created in His world, He did not create but for His glory. As is stated (Isaiah 43:7): "All that is called by My name and for My glory, I created it, formed it, also I made it." And it says (Exodus 15:1): "God shall reign forever and ever."”

John 1:1-5 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

Mark 2:27 And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:

Rev. 4:11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

Even we are made for His Glory, thus we find the meaning of life itself:

Ecc. 12:13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this [is] the whole [duty] of man.

-- Yehudah ben Shomeyr

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Ponderings of the Perkei Avot 6:9

RaYBaSH’s Ponderings of the Perkei Avot
Chapter 6:9
By: Yehudah ben Shomeyr

6:9a “Said Rabbi Yossei the son of Kisma: Once, I was traveling and I encountered a man. He greeted me and I returned his greetings. Said he to me: "Rabbi, where are you from?" Said I to him: "From a great city of sages and scholars, am I." Said he to me: "Rabbi, would you like to dwell with us in our place? I will give you a million dinars of gold, precious stones and pearls." Said I to him: "If you were to give me all the silver, gold, precious stones and pearls in the world, I would not dwell anywhere but in a place of Torah. Indeed, so is written in the book of psalms by David the king of Israel: `I prefer the Torah of Your mouth over thousands in gold and silver' (Psalms 118:72).”

Sometimes we find ourselves in a Torahless place. My family and I once had to spend years in Canada fulfilling the mitzvah of honoring ones parents, to help them out in the golden years of their lives. For my wife is their only child and they had no one else to care for them, to mow the yard in the summer, to gather wood in the fall and to shovel snow in the winter. Also, our only child is their only grandchild and so we wanted them to enjoy her while they were still living. There were no synagogues within a 3 hour radius and no other Jews to speak of. So we had to make our home a place of Torah. We had to keep Shabbat on our own; we had to keep the customs and traditions of Judaism alive for ourselves. Only with God’s mercy and help we did thus so. To make it a place of Torah, we had to live the Torah.

6:9b Furthermore, when a person passes from this world neither silver, nor gold, nor precious stones, nor pearls accompany him, only Torah and good deeds, as is stated (Proverbs 6:22): `When you go it will direct you, when you lie down it will watch over you, and when you awaken it shall be your speech.' `When you go it will direct you'---in this world; `when you lie down it will watch over you'---in the grave; `and when you awaken it shall be our speech'---in the World To Come. Also it says (Chaggai 2:8): `Mine is the silver and Mine is the gold, so says the Lord of Hosts.' "

 Numbers 31:1-2 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Avenge the children of Israel of the Midianites: afterward shalt thou be gathered unto thy people.

Jasher 87:9 And Moses finished commanding the children of Israel, and the Lord said to him, saying, Go up to the Mount Abarim (apparently another name for Nebo and Pisgah) and die there, and be gathered unto thy people as Aaron thy brother was gathered.

Deut. 34:1-8 And Moses went up from the plains of Moab unto the mountain of Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, that is over against Jericho. And the LORD shewed him all the land of Gilead, unto Dan, And all Naphtali, and the land of Ephraim, and Manasseh, and all the land of Judah, unto the utmost sea, And the south, and the plain of the valley of Jericho, the city of palm trees, unto Zoar. And the LORD said unto him, This is the land which I sware unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, saying, I will give it unto thy seed: I have caused thee to see it with thine eyes, but thou shalt not go over thither. So Moses the servant of the LORD died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the LORD. And he buried him in a valley in the land of Moab, over against Bethpeor: but no man knoweth of his sepulchre unto this day. And Moses was an hundred and twenty years old when he died: his eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated. And the children of Israel wept for Moses in the plains of Moab thirty days: so the days of weeping and mourning for Moses were ended.
Deut. 34:6 And he buried him in a valley in the land of Moab, over against Bethpeor: but no man knoweth of his sepulchre unto this day.

 Jude 1:9 Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.

Moshe like everyone else in this world will do one day, he died. But unlike some, his grave has never been found. It has never been robbed, desecrated or plundered.


6:9b Furthermore, when a person passes from this world neither silver, nor gold, nor precious stones, nor pearls accompany him, only Torah and good deeds, as is stated (Proverbs 6:22): `When you go it will direct you, when you lie down it will watch over you, and when you awaken it shall be your speech.' `When you go it will direct you'---in this world; `when you lie down it will watch over you'---in the grave; `and when you awaken it shall be our speech'---in the World To Come. Also it says (Chaggai 2:8): `Mine is the silver and Mine is the gold, so says the Lord of Hosts.' "

Just as Moshe guarded the Torah and spoke on Its behalf in this world, so the Torah will do so for Moshe in the World to Come. Ultimately we know the Torah in it’s full and complete form in Yeshua the Messiah.

Even before the Final resurrection the Living Torah defends Moshe.

Matthew 5:17-19 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

Moshe was humble (the least), he also was scrupulous to keep the least of the commandments. So Moshe will be called “Great” in the Kingdom of Heaven, the Olam Haba in Malchut Shamayim.

Will you, like Moshe, be guarded and escorted to the grave as well as the World to Come? It all depends if you Shomeyr Ha Torah (Guard the Torah) in this world.

-- Yehudah ben Shomeyr

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Ponderings of the Perkei Avot 6:8

RaYBaSH’s Ponderings of the Perkei Avot
Chapter 6:8
By: Yehudah ben Shomeyr

“Rabbi Shimon the son of Judah would say in the name of Rabbi Shimon the son of Yochai: Beauty, strength, wealth, honor, wisdom, sageness, old age and children are becoming to the righteous and becoming to the world. As is stated (Proverbs 16:31): "Old age is a crown of beauty, to be found in the ways of righteousness." And it says (ibid. 20:29): "The beauty of youths is their strength, and the glory of sages is their age." And it says (ibid., 17:6): "The crown of sages are their grandchildren, and the beauty of children their fathers." And it says (Isaiah 24:23): "And the moon shall be abashed and the sun shamed, for the Lord of hosts has reigned in Zion, and before his elders is glory."

Rabbi Shimon the son of Menasia would say: these seven qualities enumerated by the sages for the righteous were all realized in Rabbi [Judah HaNassi] and his sons.”
The pattern is that old men should teach young men and old women should teach women. Usually with age comes wisdom and experience and when one is teaching about religious life and life in general wisdom that comes with age and experience is indispensable.

Titus 2:1-8 But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine: That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience. The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed. Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded. In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.

-- Yehudah ben Shomeyr

Monday, June 25, 2018

Ponderings of the Perkei Avot Thoughts 6:7

RaYBaSH’s Ponderings of the Perkei Avot 
Chapter 6:7
By: Yehudah ben Shomeyr

“Great is Torah, for it gives life to its observers in this world, and in the World To Come. As is stated (Proverbs 4:22): "For they are life to he who finds them, and a healing to all his flesh." And it says (ibid. 3:8): "It shall be health to your navel, and marrow to your bones." And it says (3:18): "She is a tree of life for those who hold fast to her, and happy are those who support her." And it says (1:9): "For they shall be a garland of grace for your head, and necklaces about your neck." And it says (4:9): "She shall give to your head a garland of grace, a crown of glory she shall grant you." And it says (9:11): "With me, your days shall be increased, and years of life shall be added to you." And it says (3:16): "Long days in her right hand; in her left, wealth and honor." And it says (3:2): "For long days, years of life and peace, they shall add to you."”

Speaking of the Torah it says in: Deut. 32:47 For it [is] not a vain thing for you; because it [is] your life: and through this thing ye shall prolong [your] days in the land, whither ye go over Jordan to possess it.

II Thess. 2:3 “Let no man deceive you by any means: for except there come a falling away first, and that the man of sin revealed…”

I Jn.3:4  Defines what sin is. “Whoever commits sin transgresses also the law (Torah) for sin is the transgression of the law (Torah).”

Mt.7:21-23 “Not everyone that says, “Lord, Lord,” shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven.”

What is the will of the Father?  Torah!

V.22 Many will say to me in that day, “Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your Name? And in Your Name cast out demons?  And in Your Name done wonderful works?”  v.23 And then I will profess unto them, “I never knew (Hebrew: have been intimate with) you: depart from me you that work iniquity (Torahlessness).”

Iniquity is defined as, “Lawlessness” (Torahlessness) Greek: Anomia.  A= Anti, against or another.  Nomia= law. (Strong’s:  458)

The “Jesus” of Catholicism and Christianity is seen as a Leonardo Divinci painting, Hellenistic, Greco-Roman looking, toga wearing, long haired, fair skinned, blue eyed, British speaking, zombified, hippy guru, rebel, who came and did away with Torah, and started a strange new religion.  Like a bad, “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” make over, they have turned Yeshua into something He’s not.

It’s like calling Dr. Phil the Messiah yet painting him to look like Sigmund Freud, and Taking, and reading Dr. Phil’s book and yet not doing one thing he said to do, and on top of that interpret what he has said to say something entirely different from what he meant.

This is NOT my Messiah! This is NOT the Jews Messiah!  Hopefully it is not YOUR Messiah. This according to II Thess. 2:3-12, is a description of the anti-Messiah!  It is no wonder that the Jewish people will not accept this “Jesus” as the Messiah.  And rightly so, because He’s NOT!  The Jews look at the Tanak (“Old Testament”) and it tells what their Messiah is supposed to be like, and they see the “Jesus” portrayed in Catholicism and Christianity, and immediately dismiss him. Why?  Because the “Jesus” they see doesn’t line up with the Torah.              

Most Catholics and Christians today believe and claim that the Law has been abolished by the work of Christ on the cross.  However, this “Christ” Himself who died on that cross said this about the Law.

Matt. 5:17-20 “Think not that I am come to destroy the Law (Torah) or the Prophets: (Nevi’im) (Both are the Tanak or the “Old Testament”) I am not come to destroy but to fulfill.” The word fulfill in v.17 does NOT mean, to complete, as in to put an end to something.  It DOES mean to fill up, to bring and render its full and complete meaning, to perform.  In other words Yeshua came to show us the true meaning of the Torah so we could live it out as He did. V.18 For verily (Truly, Most assuredly) I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass…[Get up right now and look out side.  Is the sky still up there?  Is the earth still out there?]…not one jot…  (Jot is Yod in Hebrew, the smallest letter.  Looks like an apostrophe.) … or one tittle… (Tittle is the tiniest extension of the Hebrew letter Dalet, that differentiates it from another similar Hebrew letter, the Resh.  It can also refer to the decorative flare on any given Hebrew letter.)  …shall in NO wise pass from the Law (Torah) till ALL be fulfilled (preformed fully). V.19 Whosoever therefore shall break (Greek: to loose or destroy) one of the least commandments (according to the rabbinical sages of blessed memory, Deuteronomy 22:6 is the least of all commandments, concerning the disturbance of a birds nest.) And teaches men so… (“Ah, go ahead, it’s alright, we’re not under the Law anymore, but under grace.”) …he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall DO and TEACH; the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.  V.20 For I say unto you that except your righteousness … (Not the righteousness of Messiah bestowed upon a believer, but YOUR righteousness, meaning your works!)… shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees… (performing  all the commandments with ALL your heart and mean it!  Not only on the outside, but on the inside as well)… you will in no wise enter the kingdom of heaven. V.20 of Matthew 5 mentions righteousness and connects it with works.  Although we are not saved by works, but by faith in Messiah's sacrificial death in our place, we must prove, show, and back up our faith by our faith-full-ness to His Torah.  Speaking of Torah, Yeshua said in John 5:46-47, “For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me, (The Living Torah) for he wrote about Me.  But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words (Which is no different from the Written Torah)?”

John 14:15 “If you love Me, keep My commandments.”  Messiah and ADONAI are one (Jn.17) so Yeshua’s commandments are no different from ADONAI the Father’s.  So Yeshua didn’t teach anything new, He just taught Torah, and taught us how to live it correctly. 

James 1:22 “Be DOERS of the WORD (Torah) and not hearers only…” v25b “…a DOER of the work, this man will be blessed in his deed.” (Deut.27-28) James 2:17-18 “Even so FAITH, if it hath not WORKS is dead being alone. Yes, a man may say, “You have faith, I have works: show me your faith without works, and I will show you my faith BY my works.””

  Yeshua and all the apostles were Torah observant, and because Yeshua was Torah observant, I don’t have to ask myself, W.W.J.D.?  I simply D.W.Y.D.! (Do What Yeshua Did)

·       He was circumcised.  Lk. 12:21
·       He was dedicated and named at his circumcision. Lk. 2:22-24,39-40
·       He kept the feasts.  Lk. 2:4, 9:28-36 Jn. 10:22-23
·       He was Torah trained.  Lk. 2:46-52
·       He was “mikvahed”. (baptized) Mt. 3:13-17
·       He kept Sabbath.  Lk.4:14-21
·       He went to the Temple.  Lk. 19:47
·       He went to the Synagogue.  Lk. 4:16,44
·       He read and taught a portion of the annual Torah and prophetic reading cycle. (Parashat) Lk. 4:14-21
·       He most likely prayed the ancient set of Jewish prayers, prayed 3x’s a day, called the “Amidah” meaning, “To stand.”  He refers to this very prayer in Mark 11:25-26, “When you STAND to pray....”
·       He said the Shema the Jewish declaration of YHWH’s Oneness said every day by faithful Jews, from Duet. 6:4:  Mark 12:29,30.
·       He was a Rabbi.  Lk. 10:25-28, Jn. 20:16
·       He taught Torah.  Lk. 24:44-45
·       He wore tzitzit. (fringes)  Lk. 8:43-44, Jn. 19:23-24
·       He kept Torah.  Jn. 15:10
·       He taught us to live out Torah.  Mt. 5:17-20, Jn. 14:15, Lk. 5:14
·       He lived and died as a Jew.  Jn. 20:6-8, 19:40
·       He left as a Jew.  Lk. 24:50-51
·       He is returning as a Jew. Rev. 19:13,16
·       He will reign forever as the Jewish Messiah.  Rev.21:1-6, 22:3-5 

There were two schools of Jewish thought.  The school of Hillel, and the school of Shami.  Hillel was conservative.  Shami was ultra conservative.  Yeshua sided with Hillel and agreed with everything the Pharisees (which was from the school of Hillel) taught, except, on the issue of divorce, (Mt. 19:1-9) and the issue of tradition, oral torah, rabbinic law, which nullified the Torah. (Mk. 7:1-13)  Yeshua even kept traditions except when it conflicted with Torah itself (Lk. 2:52).  During the “Last Supper” Messiah held a Passover Seder for His Talmidim (disciples) and made the traditional blessings over the tirosh (non alcoholic grape juice) and matzah, (for everything even the wine was with out yeast or leaven) and followed the traditional order of the Passover Seder haggadah (the program and order of the Seder).

  All of the apostles were Torah observant; all His followers were Torah observant as well.  Let’s take a look. Acts 21:20 talks about how they were all ZEALOUS for the TORAH!

Jim Myers has this to say concerning the early Jewish believers in Messiah Yeshua, from his article, “Would Your Church Really Allow You To Be Like Jesus?” Found at:

“The book of Acts provides us with some very valuable information. Acts 21:17-25 records Paul's return to Jerusalem and his meeting with the leaders of the "church." Keep in mind that these were the men who had been personally taught by and lived with Jesus. Their words provide us with some very enlightening information. The translation given below is based on a cultural and historical methodology. Your translation most probably reflects the doctrines of the Roman church and therefore may differ.

"You see, brother, how many thousands of Jews have become faithful (observant). All of them are zealous for the Torah (Law). They have been informed that you have taught the Jews of the Diaspora to not keep the Torah, that they should not circumcise their children or live according to the Jewish religion.... Take these men and do the following... so that everybody will know that there is no truth in these reports about your teachings, but that you yourself are living an observant lifestyle and keeping the Torah."

A quick summary provides us with some very significant information. Is your church producing the same results?

(1) Jews became more faithful (observant) Jews because of the message.

(2) They became zealous for the Torah (Law).

(3) They kept the Laws of Moses (the Torah).

(4) They circumcised their children.

(5) They lived according to the traditions (Jewish religion).

Notice that Paul did as he was requested - he wasn't teaching the Jews to abandon their religion. Paul was "under the law" and lived an observant lifestyle. How then could he have been the author of a doctrine that advocated rejecting the law?

I don't mean to linger on this point forever, but are you really getting the importance of this message?

(1) The message of the apostles caused Jews to repent and become observant Jews who practiced Judaism faithfully.

(2) The apostles were causing Jews to become eager for the Torah and to pursue it with fervor. It is clear that they were not teaching them that "they were under grace and no longer under the law." This one point is in complete opposition to most fundamental teaching of every modern Christian doctrine.

(3) The Jewish members of the early church continued to circumcise their children. In other words, they continued to see themselves as participants in the Abrahamic Covenant, just as every practicing Jew does today. Their children were Jews, not members of some new mystical religion that replaced Judaism.

(4) The Jewish members of the early church continued to practice Judaism. They did not switch to a new religion.”

Further examples of the Torah observant lifestyle of the apostles:

Kefa (Peter) – prayed Mincha (afternoon) prayers and he kept kosher. (Acts 10)

Rav Sha’ul (Paul) – said “I am (not was) a Pharisee…”  He kept the traditions and customs of the Jewish people. (Acts 23:5-6, 28:17)
He made an offering after Yeshua’s death and resurrection. (Acts 21:17-26)

One day the temple will be rebuilt and sacrifices will resume.  During the millennial reign of Messiah everyone will keep the feasts.  (Is.66:22-24)  Yeshua said he didn’t come for the ones who were already keeping Torah.  He came for the ones who didn’t keep Torah. (Mt. 9:9-13, Mk. 2:13-17, Lk. 5:27-32) These are but a few examples:

Daniel 2:21 and 7:25 is giving a description of the Anti (against or another)-Messiah.

“He shall speak great words against the Most High (How? By speaking against His Words, His Torah!) and shall wear out the saints of the Most High and think to change TIMES (the Feast of the LORD) and LAWS (Torah)  (Forbidding Sabbath observance and Biblical Festivals, and enforcing Christianized pagan holidays, like Christmas and Easter just like the “Christian” Roman Emperor Constantine did! May his name and memory be erased!), and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of times.”

How many Catholics and Christians today are Torah observant?  How many keep all of the Feasts commanded by ADONAI in Leviticus 23?  Almost none!  Most Catholics and Christians keep Sunday, not Sabbath.  Most Catholics and Christians go by a Roman solar calendar, instead of the traditional Hebrew lunar one.  Most Catholics and Christians keep pagan rooted holidays (Christmas and Easter etc.) instead of the Feasts of the LORD.

The Anti-Messiah (Anti-Christ) is called the man of lawlessness or we could say, Torahlessness. (2 Thess. 2:3-12) Because of this, I believe many Catholics and Christians will be deceived. He’ll agree with the majority of Catholicism and Christianity and say that the Torah has been done away with. Remember, sin is anything against the Torah, (I Jn.3:4) God’s standards for holiness.

Matthew 24:24 tells that the Anti-Messiah (if it were possible will deceive the very elect!)  will not show up with horns, pitchfork, pointed tail, with 666 blazing across his forehead.  He couldn’t fool anyone like that.  No, he’ll look just like the “Jesus” of Catholicism and Christianity, working miracles, making peace everywhere, changing laws and holy day observances, making Temple worship to cease as if to say, “I am the Messiah.  You don’t have to sacrifice anymore, I’m here, I have fulfilled it all!” (Mt.24:15, Dan. 9:27; 12:11). All because Most Catholics and Christians believe today that most, if not all, the Torah was done away with in the death of Christ.  NO!  The penalty of death has been done away with, NOT the LAW itself! (Rm.7:7-13; 24-25)

Matthew 5:17-20 paints the TRUE picture of the Messiah, that non-believing Jews NEED and MUST see!  Are you “Taking ADONAI’s Name in vain” by living like the Catholic and Christian “Jesus”, contrary to His Word, Thus Soiling His Name ?  Or are you living like Yeshua, the Jewish, Torah observant Messiah?   Will you, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may SEE YOUR good WORKS, and glorify your Father in heaven (Mt.5:16).”

So, is “Jesus” the Anti-Christ?  Well, that depends on how YOU present Him.

-- Yehudah ben Shomeyr

Friday, June 22, 2018

Ponderings of the Perkei Avot Chapter 6:6

RaYBaSH’s Ponderings of the Perkei Avot
Chapter 6:6
By: Yehudah ben Shomeyr

“Torah is greater than the priesthood or sovereignty, for sovereignty is acquired with thirty virtues, the priesthood with twenty-four, and Torah is acquired with forty-eight qualities. These are: study, listening, verbalizing, comprehension of the heart, awe, fear, humility, joy, purity, serving the sages, companionship with one's contemporaries, debating with one's students, tranquility, study of the scriptures, study of the Mishnah, minimizing engagement in business, minimizing socialization, minimizing pleasure, minimizing sleep, minimizing talk, minimizing gaiety, slowness to anger, good heartedness, faith in the sages, acceptance of suffering, knowing one's place, satisfaction with one's lot, qualifying one's words, not taking credit for oneself, likableness, love of God, love of humanity, love of charity, love of justice, love of rebuke, fleeing from honor, lack of arrogance in learning, reluctance to hand down rulings, participating in the burden of one's fellow, judging him to the side of merit, correcting him, bringing him to a peaceful resolution [of his disputes], deliberation in study, asking and answering, listening and illuminating, learning in order to teach, learning in order to observe, wising one's teacher, exactness in conveying a teaching, and saying something in the name of its speaker. Thus we have learned: One who says something in the name of its speaker brings redemption to the world, as is stated (Esther 2:22), "And Esther told the king in the name of Mordechai."”

“You have heard it said, but I say unto you….” – Yeshua the Messiah

John 7:46 The officers answered, Never man spake like this man.

Yeshua our redeeming Messiah spoke on God’s behalf and no other, there for His words had Chiam (Life)!

John 12:49 For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.

John 10:10b …I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

-- Yehudah ben Shomeyr

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Ponderings of the Perkei Avot Chapter 6:5

RaYBaSH’s Ponderings of the Perkei Avot
Chapter 6:5
By: Yehudah ben Shomeyr

“Do not seek greatness for yourself, and do not lust for honor. More than you study, do. Desire not the table of kings, for your table is greater than theirs, and your crown is greater than theirs, and faithful is your Employer to pay you the rewards of your work.”

As the saying goes, “Absolute power corrupts absolutely.” And to go with this passage, “People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.” As well as, “Actions speak louder than words.

In other words we study in order to do. We study to practice what we learn.

Prov. 25:6-7 Put not forth thyself in the presence of the king, and stand not in the place of great [men]: For better [it is] that it be said unto thee, Come up hither; than that thou shouldest be put lower in the presence of the prince whom thine eyes have seen.

Yeshua our Messiah had this to say:

Matthew 20:1-16 For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard. And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard. And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace, And said unto them; Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went their way. Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise. And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle? They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive. So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, Call the labourers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first. And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny. But when the first came, they supposed that they should have received more; and they likewise received every man a penny. And when they had received it, they murmured against the goodman of the house, Saying, These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day. But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny? Take that thine is, and go thy way: I will give unto this last, even as unto thee. Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good? So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.

John 4:34-48 Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work. Say not ye, There are yet four months, and [then] cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together. And herein is that saying true, One soweth, and another reapeth. I sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labour: other men laboured, and ye are entered into their labours.

Matthew 9:37-38 Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly [is] plenteous, but the labourers [are] few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.

-- Yehudah ben Shomeyr

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Ponderings of the Perkei Avot Chapter 6:2

RaYBaSH’s Ponderings of the Perkei Avot
Chapter 6:2
By: Yehudah ben Shomeyr

I’d like to focus on a phrase in our selected passage that reads:

“…one who occupies himself with Torah.”

The word occupies is the Hebrew word “osek” and it is usually used in association with doing business.

The business of Torah is not like buying and selling, but it is our job to know the full worth and value of Torah and convince our fellow man to do the same. Just as a CEO of a Fortune 500 company must know his business backwards and forwards, we too need a daily set time to study and put into practice the rest of the time. This leads into another aspect of business which is always moving forward; if a business stays in one spot for to long on the corporate ladder there is a danger of stagnation which can lead to the death of a company. So it is with Torah, we need to practice it and learn how to apply it in any and every situation and time we find ourselves in. How do you think we as a people survived through out the centuries? Our ancestors weren’t stuck in a religious rut; they learned to adapt Torah to every situation and climate. Betterment and Spiritual Progress is the name of the game. I also think of our Messiah when he was at Bar Mitzvah age.

Luke 2:41-52 Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the passover. And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast. And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it. But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day's journey; and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance. And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him. And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions. And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers. And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing. And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business? And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them. And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.

Let’s hone in on verse 49:

And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?

Yeshua, even as a young man knew the importance of being “osek” with Torah.
Oh if our youth would “osek” themselves with Torah…. No! What’a  deluded hypocrite am I, not only our youth, but ALL of us. Think of a better community, a better world we would have if we all osek Torah!

-- Yehudah ben Shomeyr

Monday, June 18, 2018

Ponderings of the Perkei Avot Chapter 6:1-4

RaYBaSH’s Ponderings of the Perkei Avot
Chapter 6:1-4
By: Yehudah ben Shomeyr

1. The sages expounded in the language of the Mishnah (blessed is He who chose them and their learning):

Rabbi Meir would say: Whoever studies Torah for Torah's sake alone, merits many things; not only that, but [the creation of] the entire world is worthwhile for him alone. He is called friend, beloved, lover of G-d, lover of humanity, rejoicer of G-d, rejoicer of humanity. The Torah enclothes him with humility and awe; makes him fit to be righteous, pious, correct and faithful; distances him from sin and brings him close to merit. From him, people enjoy counsel and wisdom, understanding and power, as is stated (Proverbs 8:14): "Mine are counsel and wisdom, I am understanding, mine is power." The Torah grants him sovereignty, dominion, and jurisprudence. The Torah's secrets are revealed to him, and he becomes as an ever-increasing wellspring and as an unceasing river. He becomes modest, patient and forgiving of insults. The Torah uplifts him and makes him greater than all creations.

2. Said Rabbi Joshua the son of Levi: Every day, an echo resounds from Mount Horeb (Sinai) proclaiming and saying: "Woe is to the creatures who insult the Torah." For one who does not occupy himself in Torah is considered an outcast, as is stated (Proverbs 11:22), "A golden nose-ring in the snout of a swine, a beautiful woman bereft of reason." And it says (Exodus 32:16): "And the tablets are the work of G-d, and the writing is G-d's writing, engraved on the tablets"; read not "engraved" (charut) but "liberty" (chairut)---for there is no free individual, except for he who occupies himself with the study of Torah. And whoever occupies himself with the study of Torah is elevated, as is stated (Number 21:19), "And from the gift to Nahaliel, and from Nahaliel to The Heights."

3. One who learns from his fellow a single chapter, or a single law, or a single verse, or a single word, or even a single letter, he must treat him with respect. For so we find with David, king of Israel, who did not learn anything from Achitofel except for two things alone, yet he called him his "master," his "guide" and his "intimate," as is stated (Psalms 55:14), "And you are a man of my worth, my guide and intimate friend." Surely we can infer a fortiori: if David, king of Israel, who learned nothing from Achitofel except for two things alone, nevertheless referred to him as his master, guide and intimate, it certainly goes without saying that one who learns from his fellow a single chapter, a law, a verse, a saying, or even a single letter, is obligated to revere him. And there is no reverence but Torah, as is stated (Proverbs 3:35; 28:10), "The sages shall inherit honor" "and the integral shall inherit good"; and there is no good but Torah, as is stated (ibid. 4:2), "I have given you a good purchase; My Torah, do not forsake it."

4. Such is the way of Torah: Bread with salt you shall eat, water in small measure you shall drink, and upon the ground you shall sleep; live a life of deprivation and toil in Torah. If so you do, "fortunate are you, and good is to you" (Psalms 128:2): fortunate are you in this world, and it is good to you in the World To Come.

This is quite a chunk of Perkei Avot to bit off at once, but it’s not so bad because it is a unified theme. That of which is:

·       The Torah makes one fit for life itself.
·       There is freedom in the Torah.
·       K.I.S.S., No, not the Rock band! Keep It Simple Stupid!

V.1 Just as you do good things, because just doing them is a reward in and of itself. We study Torah, not for the sake of getting back pats or praise, but it is a reward in and of itself to simply just study Torah. Not to say that other rewards don’t come with Torah study. Just like when we find someone’s wallet or purse and return it, we don’t necessarily expect a reward, but it makes it extra nice when we do. Similar with Torah.

The saying goes, “Knowledge is Power” and the old G.I. Joe cartoons, “Knowing is half the Battle.” This perfectly describes Torah and how it sets us up for successful living.

Why was King David called a man after God’s own heart? Christian’s say because he pursued worship, because he was a singer, a psalmist and a dancer, but this is not fleshed out as the reason anywhere in the Torah. It is because God’s very heart, His will, is Torah and according to Psalm 19 and 119, David was madly in love with the very heart of God, the Torah! It was His life!

Wisdom is a synonym for Torah and Wisdom is in the feminine, so a love of Torah is like a love affair between a man and a woman.

Torah is like spiritual food. Think of it as a baby being born with the Torah attached to the foot by a string and on the cover it says, “Instruction Manual for Living”.

V.2 Elsewhere in the Perkei Avot it tells us to couple our Torah study with a worthy occupation so one will be too busy to sin. In other words a job gives us opportunity to put or Torah knowledge into practice. Unlike most Christian interpretations, Jews have NEVER felt, or seen Torah as a bondage, but a way of freedom, a way to live free from sin.

For those who refuse to listen to Torah it is considered a curse, what does this say of Christians who says Messiah did away with the Torah!? They are making a liar of Messiah for one, because He NEVER said or even hinted at (Matt. 5).

V.3 The way to get the most out of Torah study is to study with someone else, as they say, “Two heads are better than one” Your study partner doesn’t have to be a scholar either.

V.4 is all about moderation and keeping it simple. Living out the Torah isn’t and doesn’t have to be complicated.

-- Yehudah ben Shomeyr

Ponderings of the Perkei Avot Chapter 5:25-26

RaYBaSH’s Ponderings of the Perkei Avot
Chapter 5:25-26
By Yehudah ben Shomeyr

“Ben Bag Bag would say: Delve and delve into it, for all is in it; see with it; grow old and worn in it; do not budge from it, for there is nothing better.”

This is one of my favorite passages for the Perkei Avot and speaks for itself about the joy and merit of Torah study.

“Ben Hei Hei would say: According to the pain is the gain.”

Just like the saying of weightlifters today, “No pain, no gain.”

“He would also say: Five years is the age for the study of Scripture. Ten, for the study of Mishnah. Thirteen, for the obligation to observe the mitzvot. Fifteen, for the study of Talmud. Eighteen, for marriage. Twenty, to pursue [a livelihood]. Thirty, for strength, Forty, for understanding. Fifty, for counsel. Sixty, for sagacity. Seventy, for elderliness. Eighty, for power. Ninety, to stoop. A hundred-year-old is as one who has died and passed away and has been negated from the world.”

This is not gospel but a good standard to go by when raising a child in Torah. Now this is not to say to start them out at the age of five, but to start study at five. After the purification of mother and child after they are born one should read Scripture in the home and should allow the child to hear the Torah in synagogue, because it is like air, even though the child does not understand it he nonetheless benefits from it.

-- Yehudah ben Shomeyr

Friday, June 15, 2018

Ponderings of the Perkei Avot Chapter 5:23-24

RaYBaSH’s Ponderings of the Perkei Avot
Chapter 5:23-24
By Yehudah ben Shomeyr

“Judah the son of Teima would say: Be bold as a leopard, light as an eagle, fleeting as a deer and mighty as a lion to do the will of your Father in Heaven. He would also say: The brazen--to purgatory; the bashful--to paradise. May it be Your will, Lord our God and God of our fathers, that the Holy Temple be rebuilt speedily in our days; and grant us our portion in Your Torah.”

Judah here is advising us to take on animal traits and apply them to our spiritual life. Be bold as a leopard in your Torah Observance and Devotion to ADONAI, Be light as an a Eagle who can ride the wind with our fear in the midst of the storm, It’s okay too, and know when to retreat like a fleet footed deer, and perform each mitzvah with the strength of a lion.

Most of the time when the word brazen in mentioned in usually means cocky, arrogant, prideful and or unashamed at sinfulness. Is it any wonder the sacrificial Altar at the Temple and Tabernacle was called the Brazen (Brass) Altar? We are to be bashful when it comes to outright sin so we may keep far from it. These things will help hasten the coming of Moshiach and the rebuilding of the Temple.

-- Yehudah ben Shomeyr



Thursday, June 14, 2018

Ponderings of the Perkei Avot Chapter 5:22

RaYBaSH’s Ponderings of the Perkei Avot

Chapter 5:22

By Yehudah ben Shomeyr

“Whoever possesses the following three traits is of the disciples of our father Abraham; and whoever possesses the opposite three traits is of the disciples of the wicked Balaam. The disciples of our father Abraham have a good eye, a meek spirit and a humble soul. The disciples of the wicked Balaam have an evil eye, a haughty spirit and a gross soul. What is the difference between the disciples of our father Abraham and the disciples of the wicked Balaam? The disciples of our father Abraham benefit in this world and inherit the World To Come, and as is stated, "To bequeath to those who love Me there is, and their treasures I shall fill" (Proverbs 8:21). The disciples of the wicked Balaam inherit purgatory and descent into the pit of destruction, as is stated, "And You, God, shall cast them into the pit of destruction; bloody and deceitful men, they shall not attain half their days. And I shall trust in you" (ibid., 55:24).”

Why is this example given? Because Abraham is the Father and the Prophet of the Jewish people and Balaam is thought to be the father and prophet to the Gentile people.

But even Gentiles can become talmidim (disciples) of Abraham, even if you’re children of Balaam and the visa versa is true as well. Being a talmid (disciple) is a choice.

Yochannon (John), Messiah’s cousin said to the children of Abraham who acted like talmidim (disciples) of Balaam in Matt. 3:9 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.

-- Yehudah ben Shomeyr

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Ponderings Perkei Avot Chapter 5:20-21

RaYBaSH’s Ponderings Perkei Avot 
Chapter 5:20-21
By Yehudah ben Shomeyr

“Any dispute that is for the sake of Heaven is destined to endure; one that is not for the sake of Heaven is not destined to endure. Which is a dispute that is for the sake of Heaven? The dispute(s) between Hillel and Shamai. Which is a dispute that is not for the sake of Heaven? The dispute of Korach and all his company.”

Rav Sha’ul said in 1Cor. 10:31: “ Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”

Isa. 55:11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper [in the thing] whereto I sent it.

Korach wanted power, his dispute was not for the sake of heaven, it was for the sake of Korach.

“One who causes the community to be meritorious, no sin will come by his hand. One who causes the community to sin, is not given the opportunity to repent. Moses was meritorious and caused the community to be meritorious, so the community's merit is attributed to him; as is stated, "He did God's righteousness, and His laws with Israel" (Deuteronomy 33:21). Jeroboam the son of Nebat sinned and caused the community to sin, so the community's sin is attributed to him; as is stated, "For the sins of Jeroboam, which he sinned and caused Israel to sin" (I Kings 15:30).”

This is a classic example and principle that as goes the leadership, so goes the people. Every time a King perused Torah, the people did as well, when the King perused Idols, the people followed suite. You may not be a king, but you may be a spouse, parent, boss, or some kind of leader. People may even look up to you whom you wouldn’t have a clue that they did. This is why it’s so important to be a beacon of Light or Torah and Messiah. God forbid that someone falls on account of your example.

-- Yehudah ben Shomeyr