Author: Eric Carlson

Rabbi and Rebbitzen’s Corner October 2023

Rabbi and Rebbitzen’s Corner October 2023

By Eric Carlson in 10_2023-2 on September 20, 2023

Shalom and Chag Sameach (Happy Holidays)! 

    It’s hard to believe we’re almost done with the Fall Feasts, the High Holidays! We’ve begun celebrating Sukkot, our personal favorite Feast! We love fellowshipping in our Sukkah with friends and family for eight days in His presence! We love the prophetic significance of Sukkot as the Wedding Feast of the Bride and the Lamb! Sukkot is such a joyous occasion! Sukkot is referred to as Z’man Simchateinu in Hebrew, “The Season of our Rejoicing”. October is the tenth month of the year, named after the Latin word for eight “octo” because it was the eighth month in the ancient Roman calendar. 

    October 9th is Indigenous Peoples’ Day (occurs on the second Monday in October). Indigenous Peoples’ Day honors the histories, cultures, and perspectives of Indigenous peoples and their ancestors who lived on the land now known as North America. They existed in these areas for thousands of years before the first European explorers arrived. The birth of our nation is complexAmerica wasn’t discoveredThere were complex and advanced Indigenous societies here when the European explorer and colonists arrived here. There was great tension and physical violence as both groups fought for control of the land. Then another people group, African slaves, were brought here against their will!  

    As a nation we’ve not repented for and dealt with the sin of Native American persecution, and slaveryAs a nation we’ve made no attempt to bring about reconciliation, restoration, or restitution for the crime and sin of slavery, whose fruit is now being brought to light in our current turmoilWe are currently suffering under a “Gibeonite Curse” like King Saul (II Samuel 21) who broke the treaty with the Gibeonites and brought a curse upon the land of Israel that King David resolved. America has broken every treaty it negotiated with the First Nations people (over 500)! We’ve broken every treaty (Let that sink in)The answer won’t be found in Washington, D.C., or the United NationsHow do we walk in racial healing and restoration and bring an end to the Anti-semifinal, bigotry, racism, and oppression? Genuine, authentic relationship across the lines of division with great intentionality! By understanding each other’s cultures, backgrounds, and sufferings we engage each other with compassion and empathy to heal our wounds! As we pray for healing and righteous restoration, we ask you to consider visiting one or more of these cultural Museums: 

Rappahannock Tribal Museum

Rappahannock Tribal Center
5036 Indian Neck Road
Indian Neck, VA 23148

Historic Jamestowne Visitor Center and Museum

1368 Colonial Pkwy
Jamestown, VA 23081

Virginia Holocaust Museum

2000 E Cary St,
Richmond, VA 23223

Hampton University Museum and Archives

14 Frissell Ave
Hampton, VA 23669

     Founded in 1868, the Hampton University Museum is the nation’s oldest African American museum and one of the oldest museums in Virginia. With galleries dedicated to African American, African, Native American, Asian and Pacific art and artifacts.

     It’s only through prayer and action that we can make a difference! As the leaves start transitioning to their fall foliage and we prepare for the annual seasonal shift into winter we pray you find the time to visit one or all three of these museums this month as you have a safe, healthy, and blessed month!

Love and blessings,

Rabbi Eric and Rebbetzin Barb Carlson

Yom Teruah and the Ten Days of Awe

Yom Teruah and the Ten Days of Awe

By Eric Carlson in 09_2023-1, newsletter-post on September 1, 2023

Yom Teruah begins the Fall Feast Day Cycle! These are days set apart from the norm, days that belong to God! They are His designated times, Moedim, divine appointments!

Leviticus 23:23-25. ADONAI said to Moshe, 24″Tell the people of Isra’el, ‘In the seventh month, the first of the month is to be for you a day of complete rest for remembering, (Shabaton zichron: Shabaton: Sabbath observance, of weekly Sabbath, sabbatical year. Zichron: memorial, reminder, remembrance a day of writing, to recall.) a holy convocation (Mikraw: convocation, convoking, reading, a calling together, something called out, a public meeting, a rehearsal, sacred assembly) announced with blasts on the shofar. 25 Do not do any kind of ordinary work, and bring an offering made by fire to ADONAI.'”

The Sefer HaChaim, the Book of Life is opened on Yom Teruah and closes on Yom Kippur. Your name is in recorded in this book when your born:

Psalms 139:16. Your eyes could see me as an embryo, but in your book all my days were already written; my days had been shaped before any of them existed.

Your crimes are held against you if there is no redemption, no sacrifice, no blood. David prayed to God regarding the evil and wicked:

Psalms 69:28. Erase them from the book of life, let them not be written with the righteous

Accepting Yeshua as your sacrifice allows your name to remain in the book of life. As the prophet Jeremiah stated in Jeremiah 31:34 by accepting and receiving Messiah Yeshua, God knows your sins “No More”! Yeshua’s blood blots out your transgressions and sins so your name stays in the book.

Revelation 3:5. He who wins the victory will, like them, be dressed in white clothing; and I will not blot his name out of the Book of Life; in fact, I will acknowledge him individually before my Father and before his angels.

Yeshua returns on that final Shofar Trump (Yom Teruah) to judge the nations during the Ten Days of Awe, the time period between Yom Teruah and Yom Kippur:

Revelation 20:12. And I saw the dead, both great and small, standing in front of the throne. Books were opened; and another book was opened, the Book of Life; and the dead were judged from what was written in the books, according to what they had done.

Revelation 20:15. Anyone whose name was not found written in the Book of Life was hurled into the lake of fire.

These 10 days of Awe-Yamim Noraim-Awesome days or days of awe are centered on our own humility, soul searching, and repentance. A continued period of self-examination where we deal with how we have failed ourselves, failed other people, and failed God! It is a time of regret and remorse for the harm we have inflicted on others and within the Kingdom of God!

It is not a time of selfishness and concern for self, rather is it a crying out to Adonai, for the awakening of the soul, a stirring in oneself for the greater Kingdom of God! This is the final preparation for Yom Kippur, the Day of Purge.

While it is true that the Throne Room is always accessible to all individuals at any time, gates are still there! the enemy roams about the road to the palace waiting to strike the unwary. Everyday “Life” and all of its trappings continue to place obstacles before us on our journey into the throne room. During the Days of Awe, the “King” is in the field. He is here, present where we are, beckoning to us, calling out to us! The Ten Days of Awe press the urgency of the moment, we must reach for Him while He is here, when He is close and repent with the associated behavioral change and associated deeds (actions) that reflect a truly repentant heart! As Moshe shared in:

Deuteronomy 30:14. On the contrary, the word is very close to you – in your mouth, even in your heart; therefore, you can do it.

There are many things that infect and afflict us as believers that, in reality, are not attacks of the enemy but are self-induced, we ourselves are the source of the issue because of our own disobedience. Adonai will intervene in our life and bless us if we obey Him, as Yeshua stated:

Luke 6:46. “Why do you call me, `Lord! Lord!’ but not do what I say?

This rings true to every believer within the greater body! This is a heartfelt, soul-searching question that must be asked of every believer. Do your actions, behavior, and expression of worship completely reconcile to the word of Adonai! Why do “Believers” celebrate and participate in religious rituals and holidays that are not in the word? Because we don’t (for a myriad of reasons and excuses) do what He commands us to do.

Complacency is another plague affecting the greater body. Complacency kills initiative. To the detriment of the greater body, many believers strive for “normalcy”, the keystone of apathy.” They compare and judge themselves to others around them who are mostly secular so that they may “fit in”. This results in a false identity, a false narrative, and a skewed plumb line. The desire to be like everyone else gives one a sense of belonging and acceptance with the secular community which is the exact opposite of what God commands.

Sha’ul “Paul” rebuked the body at Corinth because they walked, “like mere men”. God does not want us “normal and complacent”. He doesn’t ask you to be accepted by the world. He wants us to imitate and be accepted by Yeshua; to talk, walk, and act like Him! This allows the Ruach HaKodesh, the Holy Spirit the freedom to release the fullness of God’s purpose and fullness into your life allowing God to define your daily priorities, and purposes. Yeshua didn’t come so that you could be normal and fit into society! Yeshua came and died that you may be different!

I Corinthians 3:3. For you are still worldly! Isn’t it obvious from all the jealousy and quarrelling among you that you are worldly and living by merely human standards?

For those who have their reality and lives rooted in the ways of the world, maturity in the Lord is impossible. Our identity and destiny must come from God, not worldly circumstances, worldly surroundings, worldly people, or worldly Governments. As a citizen of the Kingdom of God our focus and reality must be rooted in the Kingdom of God. We are to approach God where He will meet us! It requires T’shuvah, repentance. When true T’shuvah, true repentance (turning from that which is sinful and turning back to God!) occurs God will meet you, He responds with Shavet-sh’vut’cha (He returns your return).

T’shuvah requires initiative by every individual, not apathy or complacency. It takes initiative and action to admit something has made us distant from Him and to perform the action necessary to remove the obstacle and come into His presence. Its critical to do this in the 10 Days of Awe before Yom Kippur when the Sefer HaChaim, the Book of Life is closed.

It’s our own apathy, our own carnal passivity, our indifference that allows the powers of hell to increase their rule and influence the affairs of humanity which in turn causes marriage to be redefined, abortions to increase, divorce, the rise, toleration, and even acceptance of sexual immorality! Evil becomes unbridled. The only way to push back on the boundaries of evil and wickedness is on our knees before God, in repentant prayer, in agreement with God-not in conflict or disagreement with Him. Our very existence as His creation is to bring the reality of the kingdom of God here upon the earth!

It is not Adonai who hinders the healing of our land. It’s our apathy, our own unbelief, our own indifference, our own lack of trust that inhibits us from grasping and reaching our true potential that Yeshua offers us. Heaven, Adonai, Yeshua is waiting for us, His Body, the bride to act! He’s been shouting at us from the heavens for years now! In the words of the Great prophet Elijah:

I Kings 18:21. Eliyahu stepped forward before all the people and said, “How long are you going to jump back and forth between two positions? If ADONAI is God, follow him; but if it’s Ba’al, follow him!” The people answered him not a word.

Whom will you serve?

Acts 3:19. “Therefore, repent and turn to God, so that your sins may be erased;

May you have an intimate encounter with the Most-High God during these Feast Day Celebrations! May you stand before Adonai with clean hands and a pure heart!


Rabbi Eric S Carlson



By Eric Carlson in 09_2023-3, newsletter-post on September 1, 2023

Leviticus 23:40-43. On the first day you are to take choice fruit, palm fronds, thick branches and river-willows, and celebrate in the presence of ADONAI your God for seven days. 41 You are to observe it as a feast to ADONAI seven days in the year; it is a permanent regulation, generation after generation; keep it in the seventh month.

On Sukkot, we bind all the branches together – willows, palm branch, and myrtles (This is called the Esrog and Lulav). We hold this bundle in our right hand, and then lift them together with the Esrog. We then shake them all together, three times in each of the cardinal directions.

Holding these four in a tight bond represents the unity that is God’s goal for the His People. The bond represents the convergence of separate individuals into a unified people, a One New Humanity, with common vision, common goal, and common purpose of service to our King. While waving the Esrog and Lulav three times in each of the cardinal directions we recite the following blessing:

“Baruch ata Adonoy, Elo-heinu Melech ha’olam, asher kid’shanu bi’mitzvo-sav, vi’tzivanu al ni-tilas lulav.”

Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the Universe, who sanctified us with His mitzvot, and instructed us to raise up the Lulav.

When we celebrate the Moedim, the Feasts with others, we experience the power of communal worship with those who have the same zeal and heart for God! Sukkot is one of the three pilgrimage festivals that was commanded by God to be celebrated in Jerusalem when the Temple existed, or as scripture states, wherever the Lord chooses to have you celebrate it! Some erroneously believe this feast is only to be done by Jewish people in the land of Israel, however that does not reconcile to scripture:

Leviticus 23:42. You are to live in sukkot for seven days; every citizen of Isra’el is to live in a sukkah,

Once again, who is Israel?

Ephesians 2:19. So then, you are no longer foreigners and strangers. On the contrary, you are fellow-citizens with God’s people and members of God’s family.

Sukkot is a profound connection to our past, our present, and our prophetic messianic future. Sukkot represents the Millennial Reign, the Millennial Shabbat, the wedding feast. Sukkot is about the in gathering of the Nations. Sukkot is the prophetic rehearsal for the establishment of Adonai’s Kingdom here upon this earth! Zechariah 14 records Earth Shaking events that lead to the establishment of Jerusalem as the center of the world, the place in which Yeshua will reign as King upon this earth! The New Jerusalem with the Heavenly Temple descends from heaven. Adonai Himself is the Holy of Holies as Yeshua ascends His throne to rule in Jerusalem. After this great battle:

Zechariah 14:16-18. Finally, everyone remaining from all the nations that came to attack Yerushalayim will go up every year to worship the king, ADONAI-Tzva’ot, and to keep the festival of Sukkot. 17 If any of the families of the earth does not go up to Yerushalayim to worship the king, ADONAI-Tzva’ot, no rain will fall on them. 18 If the family of Egypt doesn’t go up, if they refuse to come, they will have no [annual] overflow [from the Nile]; moreover, there will be the plague with which ADONAI will strike the nations that don’t go up to keep the festival of Sukkot.

Everyone shall celebrate Sukkot when the Lion of Judah, Yeshua returns to establish His Kingship upon this earth, or they will suffer a plague! Yeshua will return for us, His bride, those whose names have not been blotted out and remain in the Sefer HaChaim, The Book of Life after Yom Kippur the day of purging! The book of life is the invite list for the wedding feast. Sukkot is the rehearsal for the Wedding feast:

Revelation 7:9. After this, I looked; and there before me was a huge crowd, too large for anyone to count, from every nation, tribe, people and language. They were standing in front of the throne and in front of the Lamb, dressed in white robes and holding palm branches in their hands;

To pursue an intimate relationship with God in Yeshua we must arise from our place of Comfort and enter in to meet the King who has risen from the throne to meet us on His Appointed Times. Everyone is invited to the wedding feast, but only those who have prepared and are in their wedding clothes will be allowed to remain in the invitation book. Many will respond to the invitation but only those who remain in the book will be able to attend, for many are called, but few are chosen.

Isaiah 4:3-6. Those left in Tziyon and remaining in Yerushalayim will be called holy, and everyone in Yerushalayim written down for life. 4 When Adonai washes away the filth of the women of Tziyon and cleanses Yerushalayim from the blood shed in it with a blast of searing judgment, 5 ADONAI will create over the whole site of Mount Tziyon and over those who assemble there a smoking cloud by day and a shining, flaming fire by night; for the Glory will be over everything like a hupah. 6 A sukkah will give shade by day from the heat; it will also provide refuge and cover from storm and rain.

The Prophet clearly makes the connection between the wedding feast (Chupah) and Sukkot. Sukkot gives us a glimpse into the World/Age to Come. It’s interesting that verse 6 states the Sukkah will give shade during the day and refuge and cover from the storm so unlike the legalistic Orthodox way of building Sukkahs without a protective roof. A biblical Sukkah protects one from the elements, its waterproof! Sukkot enjoins us through the span of time to all Israel, Past, Present, and Future through Yeshua. Adonai teaches us and guides us regarding the path we should take:

Isaiah 48:17-18. Thus says ADONAI, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Isra’el: “I am ADONAI, your God, who teaches you for your own good, who guides you on the path you should take. 18 If only you would heed my mitzvot! Then your peace would flow on like a river, and your righteousness like the waves of the sea.

We see a prophetic connection in our relationship between Adonai, Rivers, and Shalom. He teaches us for our own good, He guides us on the path we should take! If we choose to obey His commands, mitzvahs, and His word, our Shalom will flow on like a river. Shalom as we know is a complex word meaning lack of conflict, to be complete, whole, like a brick wall missing no bricks and having no cracks or holes. Shalom conveys something complex, with lots of pieces that are whole like a brick wall without cracks or missing bricks. The one new man from Ephesians 2:15 says by making Jew and Gentile one, Yeshua thus made Shalom! There is a direct connection between this prophetic passage, Sukkot, and Yeshua! The result is the invasion of the natural by the supernatural. We know that there is also a connection between Yeshua, living water, and Shalom:

John 7:1-2. After this, Yeshua traveled around in the Galil, intentionally avoiding Y’hudah because the Judeans were out to kill him. 2 But the festival of Sukkot in Y’hudah was near;

Yeshua was encouraged to go to Jerusalem to celebrate Sukkot, but He said not yet, His time hadn’t come until:

John 7:14-19. Not until the festival was half over did Yeshua go up to the Temple courts and begin to teach. 15 The Judeans were surprised: “How does this man know so much without having studied?” they asked. 16 So Yeshua gave them an answer: “My teaching is not my own, it comes from the One who sent me. 17 If anyone wants to do his will, he will know whether my teaching is from God or I speak on my own. 18 A person who speaks on his own is trying to win praise for himself; but a person who tries to win praise for the one who sent him is honest, there is nothing false about him. 19 Didn’t Moshe give you the Torah? Yet not one of you obeys the Torah! Why are you out to kill me?”

What’s happening here? Yeshua is teaching what we teach and establish here at Congregation Zion’s Sake. The Judeans weren’t obeying Torah! It’s not legalistic observances, its obedience to God’s word that establishes worship in Spirit and Truth! Yeshua revealed a supernatural mystery at Sukkot 2,000 years ago:

John 7:38. Whoever puts his trust in me, as the Scripture says, rivers of living water will flow from his inmost being!”

When we put our trust in Yeshua, immerse ourselves in Him, when Yeshua is manifest within us and we are in submission and obedience to Adonai rivers of living water will flow from our inmost being. May you be a source of living water and shalom this Sukkot!


Rabbi Eric S Carlson

Rabbi and Rebbitzen’s Corner September 2023

Rabbi and Rebbitzen’s Corner September 2023

By Eric Carlson in 09_2023-2, newsletter-post on September 1, 2023

Shalom Mishpocha,

Summer is passing by quickly! School is starting, hurricane season is in full swing, and though September is a transition month into fall time we still have 22 days of summer left until the Autumnal Equinox on September 23rd at 2:50 A.M. EDT-the first day of Fall. September’s name comes from the Latin word septem, meaning “seven.” This month had originally been the seventh month of the early Roman calendar.

Monday, September 4th is Labor Day. Labor Day is a Federal Holiday in the United States celebrated on the first Monday in September to honor and recognize the American labor movement and the works and contributions of laborers to the development and achievements of the United States. The three-day weekend it falls on is called Labor Day Weekend. Beginning in the late 19th century, as the trade union and labor movements grew, trade unionists proposed that a day be set aside to celebrate labor. “Labor Day” was promoted by the Central Labor Union and the Knights of Labor, which organized the first parade in New York City. In 1887, Oregon was the first state of the United States to make it an official public holiday. By the time it became an official Federal Holiday in 1894, thirty states in the U.S. officially celebrated Labor Day. As we do on all three-day weekends join with us as we pray there will be NO traffic fatalities in the Commonwealth of Virginia this Labor Day weekend!

Patriot’s Day is Monday, September 11th. By presidential proclamation, Patriot Day is observed in the United States on September 11, or 9/11, in memory of the thousands who lost their lives as a result of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks against the United States that involved four hijacked planes. The observance also honors those who came to aid in the aftermath. Each year on Patriot Day, the U.S. flag is flown at half-staff. Citizens are asked to observe a moment of silence at 8:46 a.m. EDT (when the first hijacked plane struck the World Trade Center in New York City)! We are encouraged to devote the day to serving our neighbors and communities.

We begin our Esrog and Lulav sales today, Friday September 1st, 2023. They are $45.00 a set and are purchased from Israel! NO ONLINE SALES! Sales are for a short time so please don’t wait. Esrog and Lulavs are a commanded part of our Sukkot Celebration:

Leviticus 23:40. On the first day you are to take choice fruit, palm fronds, thick branches and river-willows, and celebrate in the presence of ADONAI your God for seven days.

Friday, September 15th at sunset the High Holy Days begin with the start and celebration of Yom Teruah! The greeting for Yom Teruah is L’shanah Tovah “May your name remain” in the Sefer Chaim, the book of life. These are days set apart from the norm, days that belong to God! They are His designated times, Moedim, divine appointments! God promises us He will be off the throne to meet with us and be with us on His Moedim, His appointed times!

Leviticus 23:23-25. ADONAI said to Moshe, 24″Tell the people of Isra’el, ‘In the seventh month, the first of the month is to be for you a day of complete rest for remembering,
(Shabaton zichron: Shabaton: Sabbath observance, of weekly Sabbath, sabbatical year. Zichron: memorial, reminder, remembrance a day of writing, to recall.)
a holy convocation (Mikraw: convocation, convoking, reading, a calling together, something called out, a public meeting, a rehearsal, sacred assembly) announced with blasts on the shofar. 25 Do not do any kind of ordinary work, and bring an offering made by fire to ADONAI.'”

Yom Teru’ah is thus a rehearsal of the return of the King, announced with the sounding of the Shofar. “A day of blowing the Shofar” (Num. 29:1) is in Hebrew, called Yom Teru’ah. The day that we Remember the soon return of Messiah with the Shofar as recorded in Matthew 24:31.

We pray you have a safe Labor Day Weekend as we prepare to enter in and celebrate the Fall Feast Days, the High Holy Days!!

Love and Blessings,

Rabbi and Rebbitzen Carlson!

Danger of Pride

Danger of Pride

By Eric Carlson in 08_2023-1 on August 1, 2023

Pride is the most significant hindrance to unity and congregational growth that we and most other congregations suffer. Pride is the root cause of rebellion against God, Congregational Splits, self-righteousness, arrogance, and un-forgiveness.

Deuteronomy 8:11-18 “Be careful not to forget ADONAI your God by not obeying his mitzvot, rulings and regulations that I am giving you today. 12 Otherwise, after you have eaten and are satisfied, built fine houses and lived in them, 13 and increased your herds, flocks, silver, gold and everything else you own, 14 you will become proud-hearted. Forgetting ADONAI your God – who brought you out of the land of Egypt, where you lived as slaves; 15 who led you through the vast and fearsome desert, with its poisonous snakes, scorpions and waterless, thirsty ground; who brought water out of flint rock for you; 16 who fed you in the desert with man, unknown to your ancestors; all the while humbling and testing you in order to do you good in the end – 17 you will think to yourself, ‘My own power and the strength of my own hand have gotten me this wealth.’ 18 No, you are to remember ADONAI your God, because it is he who is giving you the power to get wealth, in order to confirm his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as is happening even today.

Pride is an issue that everyone else notices you have but you! A prideful heart lends us to think we do things ourselves and forget about or even worse remove God and His teachings from our Culture, Government, homes, and families. This is where we are at as individuals and as a Nation. We’ve forgotten who got us here and what we’ve been delivered from! Verse 19 is the end result of the Sin of Pride:

Deuteronomy 8:19. If you forget ADONAI your God, follow other gods and serve and worship them, I am warning you in advance today that you will certainly perish.

God hates pride, self-righteousness, and arrogance:

Proverbs 8:13. The fear of ADONAI is hatred of evil. I hate pride and arrogance, evil ways and duplicitous speech

Why does God hate this? For the very same reason He mentioned in Deuteronomy 8; pride is a hindrance in seeking Him, pride separates us from the presence of Adonai.

Psalm 10:4. Every scheme of the wicked in his arrogance [says], “There is no God, [so] it won’t be held against me.”

This arrogant and haughty pride is in opposition to the spirit of humility that God seeks. The “Humble” God blesses with salvation, the “Humble” will inherit the Kingdom of God! We are told to be humble, bearing with one another in love. The prideful are so blinded by their arrogance and pride that they believe they have no need of God. God warns us about this pride, His distaste of it and the consequences of Pride:

Proverbs 16:18-19. Pride goes before destruction, and arrogance before failure. 19 Better to be humble among the poor than share the spoil with the proud.

I do believe we are on the cusp of a Major, Sovereign move of God and because so, there is increased scrutiny in the Kingdom right now by Adonai! He’s cleaning His house! We’ve witnessed many moral failures in the greater body recently! Once a person falls, it’s never the same. Ezekiel l9 decrees that judgment begins in the House of the Lord. Many, Many mega church pastors, psalmists, and worship leaders have stepped down, succumbing to moral failures! We are also swarmed by false prophets.

I want to share a few lines from a well written article published January 20th 2021 by “Christianity Today” regarding the false prophecies:

Unfortunately, social media makes it next to impossible to control the national stage, and consumeristic North American Christians tend to gravitate toward what they’re inclined to hear (2 Tim. 4:3–4. I shared from last Shabbat, tickle the ear). It’s not the fault of true prophets and teachers if false ones often get higher view counts. Times when the prophetic voice is silent in the land are desperate times or even times of judgment (1 Sam. 3:1; Ps. 74:9; Isa. 29:10–12), but times when false prophecy dominates are worse (Jer. 37:19; Zech. 13:1–6).

This means that the law of supply and demand can affect religious media. When people do not want true prophecy, they will get what is false.

Jeremiah 5:31. The prophets prophesy lies, the cohanim obey the prophets, and my people love it that way. But what will you do at the end of it all?

If consumers of a particular political or other bent want to hear prophecies that support their desires, prophets who meet those felt needs will become most popular. Recent history suggests that some of them will maintain most of their audiences even when their prophecies fail.

Especially in difficult times, most prophets tell people what they want to hear (Jer. 6:14; 8:11; 14:13), making things all the harder for true prophets (15:10, 15–18; 20:7–18). But God reveals the burden of proof:

Jeremiah 28:8–9. The prophets who were here before me and before you prophesied in times past against many countries and against great kingdoms about war, disaster and plagues. 9 As for a prophet who prophesies peace – when the word of that prophet is fulfilled, it will be evident concerning that prophet that ADONAI indeed did send him.

At the other extreme from inflexible defenders of prophecies are those who are tempted to throw out prophecy altogether, neglecting the baby in that bath water.

The humblest prophets who were wrong have apologized. Even when we speak initially, we must remain humble and frame our opinions carefully where we lack certainty.

HaSatan was cast out of heaven because of Pride.

Isaiah 14:12-15. “How did you come to fall from the heavens, morning star, son of the dawn? How did you come to be cut to the ground, conqueror of nations? 13 You thought to yourself, ‘I will scale the heavens, I will raise my throne above God’s stars. I will sit on the Mount of Assembly far away in the north. 14 I will rise past the tops of the clouds, I will make myself like the Most High.’ 15 “Instead you are brought down to Sh’ol, to the uttermost depths of the pit.

With great arrogance and puffed-up pride HaSatan had the audacity to attempt to make himself equal to God the ruler of the universe. Like HaSatan, those who defiantly rebel against God and rise up against Him will face disaster and death. Yet this same defiant, rebellious, self-righteous pride is not only in the world but is in the body of believers! We see it in those who will not change from their old ways, in those who will not admit wrong doing, and those who will not forgive.

Why is pride so sinful? Because we as individuals receive all the praise glory and honor vice God. God explicitly states that He cannot abide in or leave unpunished those that are prideful because He demands to receive all of the Praise, Honor, and Glory He is due as these references state:

Psalms 101:5. If someone slanders another in secret, I will cut him off. Haughty eyes and proud hearts I cannot abide.

Proverbs 16:5. ADONAI detests all those with proud hearts; be assured that they will not go unpunished.

Isaiah 2:17. The pride of man will be bowed down, the arrogance of men will be humiliated, and when that day comes, ADONAI alone will be exalted.

Ezekiel 28:5. By your great skill in trading you have increased your wealth, and it is because of your wealth that you have become so proud.

Malachi 4:1. For the day is coming, burning like a furnace, when all the proud and evildoers will be stubble; the day that is coming will set them ablaze,” says ADONAI-Tzva’ot, “and leave them neither root nor branch

Rulers of Nations are brought down because of Pride, a grave warning to our own leaders today!

Daniel 5:20-21. But when he grew proud and his spirit became hard, he began treating people arrogantly, so he was deposed from his royal throne, and his glory was taken away from him. 21 He was driven from human society, his heart was made like that of an animal, he lived with the wild donkeys, he was fed with grass like an ox, and his body was drenched with dew from the sky; until he learned that the Most High God rules in the human kingdom and sets up over it whomever he pleases.

Pride must be dealt with in order to allow us to prepare as a body for revival and Yeshua’s return.

II Chronicle 7:14. then, if my people, who bear my name, will humble themselves, pray, seek my face and turn from their evil ways, I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin and heal their land.

To be humble is to have an absence of pride. Are you headed for a downfall through pride? Let’s review the manifestations of Pride and if one or more of these apply to you, repent, for your not humble:

  1. Pride makes us feel special and unique. This is not referring to the uniqueness of God creating us in His image. It’s the self-esteem which makes you feel more important than others in the Body of Messiah. Does this relate to you?

  1. Pride leads to concentration on our rights instead of our responsibilities. Are you looking at how your rights have been violated instead of looking at how you can be responsible and accountable to God?

  1. Pride produces hardness of heart. Are you insensitive to the needs of others? The first sign of pride is when we begin to withhold love from others.

  1. Pride produces a lack of forgiveness. “Why should I forgive them? They hurt me!” Have you ever said or thought that?

  1. Pride produces self-pity. Self-pity is a bottomless pit; it’s never satisfied. Many times we fall into self-pity because we violate the scripture that tells us not to compare ourselves with each other.

II Corinthians 10:12. We don’t dare class or compare ourselves with some of the people who advertise themselves. In measuring themselves against each other and comparing themselves with each other, they are simply stupid.

  1. Pride produces fear of man. Are you more concerned with what people think than what God thinks? There are usually two causes; One, we haven’t seen the greatness of God for the situation; Two, our focus is on ourselves rather than God.

  1. Pride produces an un-teachable spirit. How long does it take you to repent when conviction has been brought by the Ruach HaKodesh? If it takes a long time there’s more work the Ruach needs to do in your life concerning pride.

  1. Pride prefers selfish interests over other’s needs. What are your interests or motivations?

  1. Pride will not admit mistakes. Do you say; “I’m always right?” Do you blame others and excuse yourself!

  1. Pride leads us to rely on our own wisdom and understanding. It brings about an inability to see clearly, to think things through, and to hear the Word of the Lord. If pride has a place in your heart you will misunderstand what God is saying. Are you having that problem?

  1. Pride produces an independent or non-submissive spirit that leads us to adhere to the letter of the law, neglecting the spirit of the law. Are you in this category?

  1. Pride responds with judgment, slander, and criticism – sometimes speaking the truth to someone who doesn’t have a right to or a need to know. Do you do that?

  1. Pride produces discontentment. Are you discontent with where God led you and the people, He has put you with? Are you always wanting to go somewhere else and doing something else? God has led you to where you’re at until you are content with where He’s led you; stop looking somewhere else. God does not authorize spiritual butterflies or spiritual bumblebees.

  1. Pride makes excuses before it begins. If the Ruach Elohim (Spirit of God) is going to receive the glory in and through your life, don’t make excuses that rob the Ruach Elohim (Spirit of God) from receiving any glory. Just be quiet and do what you’ve been told to do. Are you making excuses?

  1. Pride produces insecurity and low self-esteem. The way you can become the center of attention is by concentrating on your insecurity and your low self-esteem. You require validation. When we understand who we are in Him it puts our lives in proper perspective and insecurity is removed. Who are you in God?

  1. Pride is envious and jealous. Do you not rejoice with others blessings but rather concentrate on why you weren’t blessed. Pride is the heart of selfishness.

  1. Pride creates disloyalty and undermines authority. It is Absalom meeting people when they come out from David; He hugs and kisses them and says, “Oh, poor David doesn’t understand; If I were king this is how I would have handled your situation.” Have you been guilty of undermining authority because of pride?

  1. Pride is ungrateful. Are things never quite good enough?

  1. Pride concentrates on what has not been done. “I’ve never been invited to their home. They’ve never had me for dinner.” Stop concentrating on yourself. Have you ever invited them for a meal? Have you invited them for thirty meals?

There are no easy ways to stop PRIDE from operating in our lives.  The influence of Pride is in every level of Society, the world thrives on it. A commitment to change and keeping to the commitment is how we begin. 

Habakkuk 2:4. “Look at the proud: he is inwardly not upright; but the righteous will attain life through trusting faithfulness 

James 4:6. But the grace he gives is greater, which is why it says, “God opposes the arrogant, but to the humble he gives grace.” 

As we are preparing for the Feast Days next month, I pray that we all look inward to rid ourselves of all sin that we may come before the Lord with cleans hands and a pure heart!  


Rabbi Eric S Carlson 

Rabbi and Rebbitzen’s Corner August 2023

Rabbi and Rebbitzen’s Corner August 2023

By Eric Carlson in 08_2023-2 on August 1, 2023

Shalom Mishpocha!

August is here already! Half the summer has flown by! It’s a time to relax before the school year starts. The original name of the month of August was originally a Latin word, Sextilis. In the 8th century BC, during the early Medieval period, the month was renamed to August in honor of Augustus Caesar, the first Roman emperor. August 1st is Airforce Day. The Air Force Day was established on August 1, 1947, by President Truman “in recognition of the personnel of the victorious Army Air Forces and all those who have developed and maintained our nation’s air strength.” August 1 was chosen to mark the 40th anniversary of the establishment, in 1907, of the Aeronautical Division in the Office of the Chief Signal Officer of the Army. The United States Airforce became a separate military service on September 18th, 1947. United States Coast Guard Day is recognized on August 4 to commemorate the founding of the United States Coast Guard as the Revenue Marine on August 4, 1790, by then-Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton. On that date, U.S. Congress, guided by Hamilton, authorized the building of a fleet of the first ten Revenue Service cutters, whose responsibility would be enforcement of the first tariff laws enacted by the U.S. Congress under the U.S. Constitution.

As you read this, we are 45 days from the Fall High Holy Days, the Fall Feasts! We will have a Fall Feast Schedule too you soon! August is also the month of our highly acclaimed “Youth Service” which is Friday, August 11th, 2023, at 7:30PM where the youth run the entire service! Invite your friends and family to this special night that our youth have worked so hard to prepare for!

August is the warmest and most humid month of the year! We are also experiencing above normal, record high ocean temperatures! This is a recipe for numerous and strong hurricanes. Make sure you understand how to interpret local weather forecasts and alerts, and know what to do before, during, and after a storm. Make sure you are prepared before the storms begin! You’re going to need supplies not just to get through the storm but for the potentially lengthy and unpleasant aftermath. I recommend you have enough non-perishable food, water and medicine to last each person in your family a minimum of 30 days (store a longer than 30-day supply of water, if possible). Electricity and water could be out for weeks. You’ll need extra cash, a battery-powered radio and flashlights. You may need a portable crank or solar-powered USB charger for your cell phones. If you have a generator, make sure you have plenty of fuel to last the duration of power outages. If you are considering purchasing a generator do so now before hurricanes form, generators quickly become unavailable! And lastly, don’t forget supplies for your pets! If you live in hurricane, flood prone areas make sure you know what your evacuation zone is and have an evacuation plan!

It’s also time to prepare for our children’s return to school in a few short weeks as families begin shopping for school clothes and supplies! Enjoy these last days of summer! I hope and pray you embrace the beauty and blessings of this new month of August! Enjoy time with friends and family! Be safe and stay cool!

Love and Blessings 

 Rabbi and Rebbitzen!

Elul – 40 Days of Prayer & Fasting

Elul – 40 Days of Prayer & Fasting

By Eric Carlson in 08_2023-3 on August 1, 2023

The biblical month of Elul begins Thursday evening, August 17th at sunset. The 1st of Elul begins a time of repentance in preparation for the High Holy Days! It marks 30 days until Yom Teruah and 40 days till Yom Kippur. Elul is seen as a time to search one’s heart and draw close to God in preparation for the coming Day of Judgement when the Sefer HaChaim, the Book of Life is opened on Yom Kippur, The Day of purging. The month of Elul is likened to a king visiting his subjects in the field before returning to his palace.

Elul is an Akkadian word for “harvest”. The Jewish names of months came from our captivity in Babylon. Scripture refers to the months by their numerical order except for the first month of the new year, Aviv. Elul is a time to search one’s heart to draw closer to Adonai. It is customary to recite Psalm 27 every day during this 40-day period of seeking God’s mercy and forgiveness. The 27th Psalm is one of trust, the psalmist has no fear of enemies while in the Lord’s protection. This Psalm is extremely relevant in our day today:

Psalm 27. By David: ADONAI is my light (Ori) and salvation (Yeshua); whom do I need to fear? ADONAI is the stronghold of my life; of whom should I be afraid? 2 When evildoers assailed me to devour my flesh, my adversaries and foes, they stumbled and fell. 3 If an army encamps against me, my heart will not fear; if war breaks out against me, even then I will keep trusting. 4 Just one thing have I asked of ADONAI; only this will I seek: to live in the house of ADONAI all the days of my life, to see the beauty of ADONAI and visit in his temple. 5 For he will conceal me in his shelter (Sukkah) on the day of trouble, he will hide me in the folds of his tent, he will set me high on a rock. 6 Then my head will be lifted up above my surrounding foes, and I will offer in his tent sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will sing, sing praises to ADONAI. 7 Listen, ADONAI, to my voice when I cry; show favor to me; and answer me. 8 “My heart said of you, ‘Seek my face.’ “Your face, ADONAI, I will seek. 9 Do not hide your face from me, don’t turn your servant away in anger. You are my help; don’t abandon me; don’t leave me, God my savior. 10 Even though my father and mother have left me, ADONAI will care for me. 11 Teach me your way, ADONAI; lead me on a level path because of my enemies 12 don’t give me up to the whims of my foes; for false witnesses have risen against me, also those who are breathing violence. 13 If I hadn’t believed that I would see ADONAI’s goodness in the land of the living, 14 Put your hope in ADONAI, be strong, and let your heart take courage! Yes, put your hope in ADONAI!

The reason this Psalm is fundamental to this period of T’Shuvah (repentance) is that it contains references to all three fall feasts: “my light,” ori in Hebrew refers to Yom Teruah as the shofar announces the arrival of Adonai, the “or”, the light! My Salvation, Yeshua refers to the atonement He gave us for Yom Kippur. Then David states Adonai would hide him in his sukkah in the times of trouble, referring to the holiday of Sukkot in verse 5.

Psalm 27:13 also contains a textual oddity: “If I hadn’t believed that I would see ADONAI’s goodness in the land of the living.” The phrase “If I hadn’t” in Hebrew is lule which when read backwards spells Elul. Salvation comes from devoted trust in Adonai’s mercy, goodness, and salvation. These 40 days are an awakening from the apathy and slumber induced by sin. The Fall Feasts are Moedim, Divine Appointments that God established, specific times that He’d be among His people! Its critical to prepare for these appointed times.

Isaiah 55:6-7. Seek ADONAI while he is available, call on him while he is still nearby. 7 Let the wicked person abandon his way and the evil person his thoughts; let him return to ADONAI, and he will have mercy on him; let him return to our God, for he will freely forgive.

The services in these 40 days of Elul are referred to as Selichot Services from:

Psalm 130:4. But with you there is forgiveness (selichah: forgiveness, pardon), so that you will be feared.

This word exclusively refers to God’s mercy to grant forgiveness, to pardon the sins of those who repent. Selichah is found only three times in the Tanach, once in Psalm 130:4 the other two are in profound prayers of repentance. The first in Nehemiah where he recalled our rebellion and Adonai’s compassion toward us:

Nehemiah 9:16-17. “‘But they and our ancestors were arrogant; they stiffened their necks and ignored your mitzvot; 17 they refused to listen and paid no attention to the wonders you had done among them. No, they stiffened their necks, and in their rebellion appointed a leader to return them to their slavery. But because you are a God of forgiveness (selichah), merciful, full of compassion, slow to grow angry and full of grace, you did not abandon them.

And then in Daniels powerful prayer of repentance upon reading in Jeremiah that Israel’s 70 years of captivity and exile in Babylon/Persia was complete. Daniel immediately began repenting for Israel’s sins that had resulted in our exile:

Daniel 9:8-10. Yes, ADONAI, shame falls on us, our kings, our leaders and our ancestors; because we sinned against you. 9 It is for Adonai our God to show compassion and forgiveness (selichah), because we rebelled against him. 10 We didn’t listen to the voice of ADONAI our God, so that we could live by his laws, which he presented to us through his servants the prophets.

The prophet Jeremiah is a holy Set Up for this time of Elul prayer and repentance! Things were as bleak in Jeremiah’s’ time as they are for us today! What we learn from Jeremiah is that it didn’t have to be the way it ended! I want to read two excerpts from Jeremiah 23 though I’m tempted to paste the entire chapter:

Jeremiah 23:1-4. “Oh no! The shepherds are destroying and scattering the sheep in my pasture!” says ADONAI. 2 Therefore this is what ADONAI, the God of Isra’el, says against the shepherds who shepherd my people: “You have scattered my flock, driven them away and not taken care of them. So I will ‘take care of’ you because of your evil deeds,” says ADONAI. 3 “I myself will gather what remains of my flock from all the countries where I have driven them and bring them back to their homes, and they will be fruitful and increase their numbers. 4 I will appoint shepherds over them who will shepherd them; then they will no longer be afraid or disgraced; and none will be missing,” says ADONAI.

We are in the great apostasy-much of the greater body looks like the world! Then he states:

Jeremiah 23:16-18. ADONAI-Tzva’ot says: “Don’t listen to the words of the prophets who are prophesying to you. They are making you act foolishly, telling you visions from their own minds and not from the mouth of ADONAI. 17 They keep reassuring those who despise me, ‘ADONAI says you will be safe and secure,’ and saying to all living by their own stubborn hearts, ‘Nothing bad will happen to you.’ 18 But which of them has been present at the council of ADONAI to see and hear his word? Who has paid attention to his word enough to hear it?”

These verses accurately reveal our own situation today!! Our own shepherds have scattered the sheep with lying spirits and doctrines of demons! Manmade religion that espouses and even accepts the immoral culture they live in! Almost every denomination has split over the LGBQT false narrative, same sex marriage, BLM, and wokeism. The greater body is overwhelmed with false prophets who are not hearing or speaking the voice of Adonai! They speak their own words and proclaim dreams that aren’t from Adonai and don’t come to pass! The greater body is in apostasy like Judah was back in Jeremiah’s day.

It’s such a sad story that didn’t have to be!! Judah was given a choice to serve and obey Adonai and His Torah or not! Their negative answer of course resulted in their demise and destruction! They tried to kill Jeremiah for speaking truth and just as they tried to kill Yeshua for speaking truth! The cancel culture today is doing everything in its power to silence the voice of truth, the word of Adonai! An evil and wicked generation hates the light and rejects all truth! We are at a similar crossroads! We too have a choice! Will we intercede, repent, and pray for this nation to turn back to Adonai? Or remain apathetic and complacent until our nation is judged and destroyed!

To date, as a nation, we still haven’t repented! Instead, we’ve catered to prophecies that tickle our ear to hear what we want to hear. Our sins are no less great than Israel’s; our pride is a clenched fist in the face of God, our arrogance an act of self-centeredness, and our defiance is willful disobedience to the God of heaven and earth; creator and sustainer of families, governments, even life itself. The more we defy Adonai as a nation the worse our situation becomes. Our sexual immorality, passing our children through the fires of Molech (abortion) even live birth abortion, idolatry, insolence, and disobedience to our founding covenants with Him as our nation was birthed.

God is shaking the very foundations of the Earth and the Body of Messiah. As I’ve been sharing for several years now, we’re in the last days! What we are experiencing today is recorded throughout the word! Soon the Shofar will sound, and the Messianic Reign of God will be established upon this earth and Yeshua will return to rule as King over all the earth! Until then let us not relent in sharing the Good News and calling upon all to repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand!


Rabbi Eric S Carlson!

T’shuvah is Topical & Relevant

T’shuvah is Topical & Relevant

By Eric Carlson in 07_2023-3 on July 1, 2023

We must be relevant! In light of all the crisis in our world today many, many clergy aren’t being topical in their messages, they’re not relevant. The word of God, The Kingdom of God, Adonai is the same today as it was yesterday, as it will be tomorrow! The reality is, as a Messianic Rabbi, as a Messianic Believer every situation, every topic, every scenario, all decisions we make both congregationally or as a family are done through scriptures as all believers should! I don’t view our current world situation through the eyes of the world, I view it through a biblical perspective, it’s the only way I can view it! Not only because I’m a Messianic Rabbi, but because I’m a believer, a servant of Yeshua! A lack of Biblical Worldview is a significant issue we have in the greater body of Messiah today!

This gives rise to several concerns. First, a non-negotiable core tenant of Christianity and Messianic Judaism is our foundation upon the Word of God and acceptance of Yeshua as the Messiah! Not on doctrine, religion, Talmud, Oral Traditions, or any other manmade interpretation of the Word of God. Salvation is only through the Blood of Yeshua. We accept and receive Yeshua as our atonement sacrifice for sin, He’s the only way unto the Father for Jew and Gentile!

Second, in general, organized religion isn’t topical or relevant! Only the Word, the Kingdom of God, and Yeshua are topical and relevant! The recent surge of racism and Anti-Semitism both in our society and in the church are symptomatic of the shortfall of religion vs. intimate relationship with Adonai, His Son Yeshua, His Word, and the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit)! Those who are relationally intimate with Adonai, those who know and consume His word, love Israel and the Jewish People!! Scriptures contain the answer for every question, every life decision, every scenario and aspect of your life, from family relations, to marriage and finances, from raising children to conflict resolution, business practices and morality, to the prophetic future and what your role and part of that is as a child of God! There exists a grievous lack of topicality in the greater body today because it does exist in the bureaucracy of religion.

A perfect example is post 9/11 if you can remember. Surveys revealed that almost 90% of the messages given in the first two weeks after the traumatic 9/11 terror attack weren’t topical! They had no mention, no discussion, or even a reference to the recent 9/11 attacks!! What a horrible reflection of the greater body! Then, like now, people were scared, confused, looking for answers and couldn’t find them in most houses of God! Topical means to be of immediate relevance, interest, or importance, relating to current events. We have heavenly, scriptural guidance regarding topicality and relevance, unfortunately, many individuals and even a majority of clergy are unaware! There must be an awareness of the world around us as believers, both individually and corporately as the greater Body of Messiah as Yeshua was:

Luke 13:1-5. Just then, some people came to tell Yeshua about the men from the Galil whom Pilate had slaughtered even while they were slaughtering animals for sacrifice. 2 His answer to them was, “Do you think that just because they died so horribly, these folks from the Galil were worse sinners than all the others from the Galil? 3 No, I tell you. Rather, unless you turn to God from your sins, you will all die as they did! 4 “Or what about those eighteen people who died when the tower at Shiloach fell on them? Do you think they were worse offenders than all the other people living in Yerushalayim? 5 No, I tell you. Rather, unless you turn from your sins, you will all die similarly.”

Yeshua topically relates to two specific current events of His day that everybody knew about, no explanation regarding what happened was required! He directly related these horrific deaths to those who were listening! In both cases He stated that unless the people repented, they would face similar circumstances! Our relationship, interaction, our expression of worship ministering to Adonai isn’t based upon feelings or emotions. It’s based upon covenant relationship with the Most High God. This is exactly why the word of God is topical, and relevant to us in our current circumstances today!

Hebrews 4:12. See, the Word of God is alive (zao {dzah’-o}: Alive, living, active, blessed, endless in the kingdom of God, living water, having vital power)! It is at work and is sharper than any double-edged sword – it cuts (diikneomai {dee-ik-neh’-om-ahee}:cut, pierce, penetrate, reach through) right through to where soul meets spirit and joints meet marrow, and it is quick to judge the inner reflections and attitudes of the heart.

The word is as alive, topical, relevant, powerful, and active in our current crisis and radical, toxic hatred and culture war today as it was 2,000, 3,000, 4000, and 5,000 years agoThe word of Adonai is written for people and not for specific epochs of timeThe word isn’t relegated to history! As we just read the word cuts right to where soul meets spirit and judges the inner reflections (secret places) and attitude of the heart! Scripture is written for people and their hearts which are timeless! Sin and repentance were as critical in Yeshua’s day during times of trouble and crisis just as it is today! Throughout all human history fallen humanity have sinful naturesRegardless of what century or millennium people have lived in, sin has been, and will always be an issue until Yeshua establishes His kingdom upon this earth, and even then sin will still affect humanity until the end of the thousand year reign…… 

The writer of Hebrews compares the word of Adonai as a sword that’s able to pierce, penetrate, reach through to the heart! Adonai gave His Word the power of a sword to penetrate our pride, flesh, haughtiness, and selfishness to get to our deceitful, dark, and wicked hearts. Kardi in the Greek is the place of human emotion, personality. God’s word reveals that our desires, joy, understanding, love, emotions, wickedness, trust, and belief all reside in the heart. 

Psalm 51:10-11. Create in me a clean heart, God; renew in me a resolute spirit. 11 Don’t thrust me away from your presence, don’t take your Ruach Kodesh away from me.

In the sickening realization that he had sinned against God, David wrote Psalm 51 in an agonized cry of repentance unto Adonai pleading for forgiveness of his sin and evil regarding his inappropriate sexual relationship with Bathsheba and the murder of Uriah her husband. Psalm 51 contains foundational truths and power that we as believers base our relationship with God on. David, a man after God’s own heart has insightful knowledge in his relationship with Adonai that we tap into and learn from today. David was human just as we are, God’s word is written to humans like David, like us!

David’s downward spiral of sin, shortcomings, failures, followed by confession and repentance serves as model of real, heartfelt T’Shuvah. David, like so many believers today was zealous for God, he had a longstanding intimate relationship with Him! Here is the topical, relevant key that reveals where many in the greater body of Messiah are at right now; Over time David had become lukewarm, believing He was so highly favored of God that He could have and do whatever He wanted. Being Lukewarm resulted in pride, arrogance, and haughtiness that began David’s downward spiral. Exactly where America is today, including many, many believers! Counterfeit Grace and Hyper Love teachings and theology has resulted in many believers becoming Lukewarm, believing they can behave any way they want, simply doing whatever they think is right (Judges 21:25). Like King David many believers are lukewarm, prideful, haughty, and fearful which prevents repentance! Then people wonder why we are experiencing all the issues that we are!

David was indeed a man after God’s own heart, but it didn’t make him perfect. He fell prey to the common lust of the flesh; the lust of the eyes (he should have turned his eyes away from the bathing Bathsheba) and pride of life (David thought he was above the Torah). The heart of Man is wicked. And Adonai searches the heart!

Jeremiah 17:9-10. “The heart is more deceitful than anything else and mortally sick. Who can fathom it? 10 I, ADONAI, search the heart; I test inner motivations; in order to give to everyone what his actions and conduct deserve.”

Adonai must pierce our deceitful heart (like a sword) with His word! As Hebrews 12:4 states it must be deep, right to the inner reflections and attitudes of the heart. David spoke to this as well:

Psalms 51:6. (NKJV) Behold, You desire truth in the inward (tuwchah {too-khaw’}: inner regions, hidden recesses, inward parts) parts, And in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom.

Tuwchah {too-khaw’}, inner parts, the hidden recesses, are the areas that only you know about, your motivations, your attitudes, your inner reflections and thoughts! God desires that His truth reside in your secret areas, the places YOU THINK only you know about! The places of both your hope and dreams as well as your temptations and weaknesses. In this area David asks that Adonai’s wisdom be placed! Scripture is topical, addressing all of life’s situations, every joy, every temptation, every battle, every defeat, every victory, wealth, poverty, marriage, children, crisis, tribulation, pandemics, famines, recession, depressions, insecurity, fear, anxiety, pride, immorality, gender confusion, arrogance, life and death, every possible situation in life you will face the word of Adonai has an answer in truth, spirit, and wisdom because its topical, relevant, speaking to the nature of the Human heart and not specific events! Adonai created us in His image, He has perfect understanding of human nature which is why He sent His Son Yeshua, Divine yet in the flesh to give us this topical and relevant statement to America today:

Matthew 13:14-15. That is, in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Yesha`yahu which says, `You will keep on hearing but never understand, and keep on seeing but never perceive, 15 because the heart of this people has become dull — with their ears they barely hear, and their eyes they have closed, so as not to see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their heart, and do t’shuvah, so that I could heal them.’

Today, right now, this topical and relevant message must be our heart cry for T’shuvah, for repentance! American’s hearts have become dull, hardened, not hearing, not seeing, not understanding with our hearts what’s unfolding before our very eyes! Adonai sternly warned us in:

Deuteronomy 8:11-20. “Be careful not to forget ADONAI your God by not obeying his mitzvot, rulings and regulations that I am giving you today. 12 Otherwise, after you have eaten and are satisfied, built fine houses and lived in them, 13 and increased your herds, flocks, silver, gold and everything else you own, 14 you will become proud-hearted. Forgetting ADONAI your God – who brought you out of the land of Egypt, where you lived as slaves; 15 who led you through the vast and fearsome desert, with its poisonous snakes, scorpions and waterless, thirsty ground; who brought water out of flint rock for you; 16 who fed you in the desert with man, unknown to your ancestors; all the while humbling and testing you in order to do you good in the end – 17 you will think to yourself, ‘My own power and the strength of my own hand have gotten me this wealth.’ 18 No, you are to remember ADONAI your God, because it is he who is giving you the power to get wealth, in order to confirm his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as is happening even today. 19 If you forget ADONAI your God, follow other gods and serve and worship them, I am warning you in advance today that you will certainly perish. 20 You will perish just like the nations that ADONAI is causing to perish ahead of you, because you will not have heeded the voice of ADONAI your God.”

The word of Adonai cuts right through to where soul meets spirit and joints meet marrow, and quickly, powerfully judge the inner reflections and attitudes of our hearts. America has become so abundantly wealthy we’ve come to believe ‘My own power and the strength of my own hand have gotten me this wealth.” And have gone on to worship and serve other Gods. We retain the ability to turn this nation around! We must repent!!

The word of God is clear, convicting, relevant, topical, and powerful IF we allow it to pierce our heart and transform us! Adonai is and has been calling unto us to repent, to return, to Shema, hear and obey His word so that He could heal us, to set us free!!

Shalom and Blessings,

Rabbi Eric S Carlson

Independence Day

Independence Day

By Eric Carlson in 07_2023-1 on July 1, 2023

As we enter into this 4th of July holiday weekend, I believe it is one of the most critical Independence Day celebrations America has experienced in 247 years.  This remembrance has become a time of fireworks, picnics, and long weekends while few actually know what this day is about.  The Continental Congress, comprised of 56 representatives from the 13 Colonies, met under duress to discuss their current moral and ethical situation in the Americas.  They were suffering grievances, injustice, and wickedness from their own Government.  Those 56 representatives were Godly, righteous, upright men who knew the Holy Scriptures very well, most of them had intimate relationships with God. 

The 4th of July holiday commemorates the initiative, the drive, the boldness, and the character of those founding fathers.  Suffering grave infringements upon their liberty, freedom, happiness, and prosperity these righteous men composed and wrote a letter of grievances to the King of England explaining their heart and what their issues were because the very foundation of their beliefs and livelihood were being revoked and attacked. 

Psalms 11:3. If the foundations (shathah {shaw-thaw’}: foundations, supports, stays) are destroyed, what can the righteous do?”

What do the righteous do?  They take action! Here is what they wrote 247 years ago and signed in unity on the 4th of July 1776: 

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly, all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. 

    Our current nation, government, and society is under siege by those who seek to remove our freedoms! As you are all quite aware, we live in a world that’s immersed in gender dysphoria, non-binary references, preferred pronouns, with Federally mandated inclusion training for dysfunctional sexual minorities whose immoralities are normalized and celebrated. Meanwhile, propaganda says with bold confidence that science proves that a certain percentage of people are born gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered. When did sexual orientation become a variable, merely a psychological choice, changeable with drugs and surgery? When the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do? 247 years ago our ancestors, Jew and Gentile alike through off the restraints of unrighteousness, evil, and wicked deeds and took a stand against it. We too must now fight!

    When in the course of Human Events when humanity is caught between righteousness, holiness, and subservience to God and the wicked decrees of a worldly, secular government, there are no viable choices for the holy servants of God but to stand upon the absolute truth of God’s word and defy, denounce, and fight any law, tenant, proclamation or decree that would require us to accept, condone, or participate in any wickedness, evil, sin, or ungodliness.  As for me and my houses (Both my home and Congregation Zion’s Sake); We will serve the Lord! 

This is a rally cry for all believers no matter what your theology is. We have a heavenly mandate to lay down all fear, to not succumb to political correctness, Wokeness, the LGBQT agenda, or governments to both stand and proclaim the truth of God’s word, to stand with us and fight!  Here is the truth, and remember, truth is truth regardless if one believes it or not: 

Leviticus 18:22. “‘You are not to go to bed with a man (yishkav: to lie with in sexual relations, to be lain with sexually, to ravish, rape, to take forcibly) as with a woman; it is an abomination (to’evah: a disgusting thing, abomination, abominable both ethically and ritually).

In fact, this sin is so severe that GOD – who? God decreed that this is a capital offence, the punishment is death.

Leviticus 20:13. If a man goes to bed (yishkav: to lie with in sexual relations, to be lain with sexually, to ravish, rape, to take forcibly) with a man as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination (to’evah a disgusting thing, abomination, abominable both ethically and ritually); they must be put to death; their blood is on them.

It’s not what I think or feel, it’s not homophobia, it’s not religious intolerance, or hatred. We clearly see that God states this is a sin, an abomination before Him. It’s not what any special interest group thinks, it’s not what the US Supreme Court thinks, what the United States Government thinks, or what the United Nations thinks, it’s what God says and what God commands that matters. What’s occurring, what we’re experiencing today, is exactly what Yeshua told us would happen:

Matthew 24:12, 37-38. and many people’s love will grow cold because of increased distance from Torah.

37-38. For the Son of Man’s coming will be just as it was in the days of Noach. 38 Back then, before the Flood, people went on eating and drinking, taking wives and becoming wives, right up till the day Noach entered the ark;

What were those days of Noach? What were people doing back then?

Genesis 6:5. ADONAI saw that the people on earth were very wicked (ra’at: bad, evil, wicked, malignant, calamity), that all the imaginings (vechol-yetser; Vechol: The Whole, everything, all. Yetser imagination, mind, handiwork, intentions) of their hearts were always of evil only.

Their hearts were wicked, bad, sinful, malignant, their thoughts, their actions, all of their work was wicked. America is heading down this path both morally and socially. Remember, our thoughts and God’s thoughts are not the same. Without the guidance, discipline, morality, and ethics of God’s word and His Kingdom people will fulfill the desires of the flesh. America is doing what it thinks right according to its own eye not only without consulting God, but in defiance of God. America has literally challenged God’s authority, defiantly challenging His sovereignty, attempting to alter the covenant meaning of the Rainbow that Adonai would never flood the earth again to represent a sexually deviate, immoral movement!

Unfortunately, many people (Believers) have bought into the theological lie that that Old Testament is done away with, so they agree with this ruling and have sympathy towards the LBGQT community.  Many, and I mean many religious leaders today share the blame for this sin and failure through their false theologies, cherry picking of scripture, and teaching people that the Tanach, Old Testament is done away with. 

Here is what we must uncover and understand. The Homosexual – LBGQT agenda truly doesn’t seek marriage or equal rights, they seek to silence us, they seek to silence the voice of morality and righteousness, they want to eradicate us. You, the righteous man and woman of God are the only hindrance to their sin, you are the light in the darkness and they want it removed, the darkness hates the light. For those that are sympathetic to this wicked Gays rights agenda the word gives a stern warning:

Proverbs 14:12. There can be a way which seems right to a person, but at its end are the ways of death.

In fact, to sit back and do nothing at this juncture is a sin:

James 4:17. So then, anyone who knows the right thing to do and fails to do it is committing a sin.

We’ve been prisoners of this wickedness long enough! The Good News in all of this is that its always darkest before the dawn! We have a biblical promise of one last great outpouring of God’s glory before the end, before the final judgment! Are you ready! It’s once again time to stand for freedom, justice, and righteousness. It’s time to restore truth and purity back into the Body of Messiah and our society! It’s time once again to let Freedom Ring!

Shalom and Blessings,


Rabbi Eric S Carlson

Rabbi and Rebbitzen’s Corner July 2023

Rabbi and Rebbitzen’s Corner July 2023

By Eric Carlson in 07_2023-2 on July 1, 2023

It’s July, the lazy days of summer have arrived! It’s common in our culture to call these summer days the “lazy days of summer,” and now, there’s evidence to back up that it’s a real thing. Psychologists say it’s a biological phenomenon! Studies show that when it’s nice outside, our thoughts tend to focus more on what we’d rather be doing instead of the task at hand. We tend to get a little lazy regarding work and daydream of vacations, the beach, or just about anything outside! We are also halfway through this year, where is the time going?

The Messianic Jewish Alliance of America (M.J.A.A) annual “Messiah Conference” begins this Sunday July 2nd at Messiah College in Grantham PA. Tuesday, July 4th, 2023, Congregation Zion’s Sake offices will be closed in observance of Independence Day! On July 2, 1776, the Second Continental Congress secretly voted for the Colonies to declare their independence from Great Britain. Two days later, on July 4, the Declaration of Independence was finalized and published. Knowing this would be considered an act of treason against Great Britain, the signatories included the words at the end of the document: “we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

The Declaration was primarily written by Thomas Jefferson, who would later become the third President of the United States. In a historical irony, both Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, the second President of the United States, died on July 4, 1826, exactly 50 years after the Declaration was published. Achieving that independence took seven more years. The declaration was made to guarantee equal rights for every person! 

As you celebrate Independence Day this year, please pray for no traffic fatalities across the entire Commonwealth of Virginia over this four-day weekend! Say a prayer of thanks for those who have served and are currently serving in our military preserving our freedoms and way of life! As believers, we can thank Adonai for both physical and spiritual freedom in Yeshua. As you enjoy the Fourth of July festivities, picnics, fireworks, and celebrate our nation’s freedom, thank Adonai for the deliverance and freedom from sin He has given us through His Son, Yeshua, and for make us a new creation in Him! 

Galatians 5:13. For, brothers, you were called to be free. Only do not let that freedom become an excuse for allowing your old nature to have its way. Instead, serve one another in love.

May you have a blessed and safe summer!

Rabbi and Rebbitzen