Author: Eric Carlson

Rabbi & Rebbetzin’s Greetings for July 2022

Rabbi & Rebbetzin’s Greetings for July 2022

By Eric Carlson in July 2022, July-2 on July 1, 2022

Shalom Mishpocha!

It’s July, summer has arrived! We are 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 3rd at Messiah College in Grantham PA. Monday, July 4th, 2022. Congregation Zion’s Sake offices will be closed in observance of Independence Day! The United States Declaration of Independence is the pronouncement adopted by the Second Continental Congress meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on July 4, 1776. Enacted during the American Revolution, the Declaration explains why the Thirteen Colonies were at war with the Kingdom of Great Britain and that they regarded themselves as thirteen independent sovereign states, no longer under British rule. With the Declaration of Independence, these new states took a collective first step in forming the United States of America. 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 three-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, celebrating our nation’s freedom, thank Adonai for the deliverance and freedom from sin He has given us through His Son, Yeshua, and for the new, abundant life we have in Him.

We are also entering into prime hurricane season! It’s time to prepare and get ready, not only for hurricane season but for the chaotic times we live in! I’ve been sharing articles on our social media of current events. I do so not to invoke fear but to make you aware so that you may prepare! Here is a profound biblical example of why:

I Kings 17:12-16. She answered, “As ADONAI your God lives, I have nothing baked, only a handful of meal in a pot and a little oil in the jug. Here I am, gathering a couple sticks of wood, so that I can go and cook it for myself and my son. After we have eaten that, we will die.”13 Eliyahu said to her, “Don’t be afraid. Go; and do what you said; but first, use a little of it to make me a small loaf of bread; and bring it out to me. After that, make food for yourself and your son. 14 For this is what ADONAI the God of Isra’el, says: ‘The pot of meal will not get used up, nor will there fail to be oil in the jug, until the day ADONAI sends rain down on the land.'”15 She went and acted according to what Eliyahu had said; and she, he and her household had food to eat for a long time. 16 The pot of meal did not get used up, nor did there fail to be oil in the jug, in fulfillment of the word of ADONAI spoken through Eliyahu.

There is a powerful mystery revealed here! Israel was in the midst of a severe famine due to their sin, idolatry, and apostasy from Adonai! People were dying of starvation! Yet when the widow was obedient to the word of Adonai, she and her son had enough provision to make it through the famine!! What supplies she had didn’t run out! The key is that she had something! This is why I have a great passion for people to get ready and be prepared! Adonai uses multiplication in the Kingdom! One million times zero equals zero! One million times one is one million! We must have something, a base or foundation so that He can multiply what we do have!!! This is a profound revelation for us today living in similar circumstances! Here is a very basic list of items to have on hand in case of any emergency.

  1. Several Flashlights.
  2. An ample supply of Lithium batteries (lithium lasts longer).
  3. A good first aid kit.
  4. Water, One gallon per person per day.
  5. Candles with matches/lighters.
  6. Emergency canned food that is high in protein such as Beans, Peanut Butter, Beef stew. Items that have a long shelf life, are ready to eat, and need no preparation. At least a three-day supply per person (I recommend a 30-day supply).
  7. An emergency self-powered radio that can be charged with a hand crank or solar charged.
  8. Make sure you have any prescription medicines you need on hand!
  9. A whistle (to signal for help)
  10. Dust mask (to help filter contaminated air)
  11. Plastic sheeting and duct tape (to shelter in place)
  12. Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties (for personal sanitation)
  13. Manual can opener (for food)
  14. Local maps
  15. Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery

Additional items to consider:

  1. Infant formula and diapers.
  2. Pet food, water, and supplies for your pet.
  3. Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a portable waterproof container.
  4. Cash and change – ATM machines will not be functioning without electricity.
  5. Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person. Consider additional bedding if you live in a cold-weather climate.
  6. Complete change of clothing including a long-sleeved shirt, long pants and sturdy shoes. Consider additional clothing if you live in a cold-weather climate.
  7. Fire Extinguisher.
  8. Feminine supplies, personal hygiene items and hand sanitizer.
  9. Mess kits, Paper cups, plates and disposable utensils, paper towels.
  10. Paper and pencil.
  11. Books, games, puzzles, or other activities for children.
  12. Generator with gasoline. The week before a hurricane enters our area you will not find a generator in any store, anywhere in our area! The time to buy a generator is now if you are considering purchasing one!
  13. VHF/UHF handheld radios for communication with friends and family. Cell phones and cell towers often do not work in times of emergency.

This is a very basic list, adapt it for your own personal preferences and needs! I also recommend that you have a resource to defend and protect yourself and your family. In times of catastrophes such as New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 there we’re no emergency services (police or EMS) for almost 30 days. Gather extra supplies to share! Being prepared is a supernatural opportunity during any emergency to be a blessing to others. Whether that is providing information, know-how skills, or actual supplies or food, being prepared can spread the love and salvation of Yeshua during stressful times. In the extremely unlikely event that all communication is down Congregation Zion’s Sake has an FM transmitter and a 15ft Antenna that has approx. a 12-mile broadcast radius from our offices. We will broadcast on 99.5 FM pertinent and emergency information to your emergency radio.

James 2:15-17. Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food, 16 and someone says to him, “Shalom! Keep warm and eat hearty!” without giving him what he needs, what good does it do? 17 Thus, faith by itself, unaccompanied by actions, is dead.

As Believers, we should always be prepared (Remember the ten bridesmaids in Matthew 25? Five were prepared and five weren’t), aware of our surroundings, and paying attention to what is happening in the world around us. Remember, acts of kindness open eyes of blindness!

As we enjoy the summer sun, gather for picnics and barbeques, enjoy the beach and warm ocean, and take our well-deserved vacations-be safe, spend daily time in prayer and worship, and above all else seek Adonai in all that we do! As recorded in Proverbs:

Proverbs 3:5-6. Trust in ADONAI with all your heart; do not rely on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge him; then he will level your paths

May Adonai bless you and keep you!

Blessings and Shalom,

Rabbi and Rebbitzen Carlson

What is Bar/Bat Mitzvah?

What is Bar/Bat Mitzvah?

By Eric Carlson in June 2022, newsletter-post on June 1, 2022

Bar mitzvah means son of the commandments in Hebrew and bat mitzvah means daughter of the commandments. A bar/bat mitzvah signifies the transition from childhood to adulthood in their walk and relationship with Adonai! There are three scriptures that are associated with this ceremony about teaching the children:

Proverbs 22:6. Teach your children to choose the right path, and when they are older, they will remain upon it.

Ecclesiastes 3:1. A season is set for everything, a time for every experience under heaven.

Deuteronomy 6:4-7. “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. 6 “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.

The heart of our relationship with Adonai is expressed in the above passage of Torah. To teach our children the affirmation of God’s uniqueness, the duty to teach obedience loyalty to Adonai through performance of Mitzvot’s (commands) coupled with the acceptance and salvation of Messiah Yeshua! The purpose of the commandments is to keep our lives focused on what’s truly important: family, community, and an intimate relationship with God.

The formal ceremony celebrating a child’s transition into young adult hood has evolved over time. In Luke 2 we read of a 12 year old Yeshua in the Temple Courtyard;

Luke 2:46-47. Temple court among the rabbis, not only listening to them but questioning what they said; 47 and everyone who heard him was astonished at his insight and his responses.

Today at 13, the child is considered fully responsible for their actions and behavior, accountable to God for their sins. Bar and Bat Mitzvah represents a passage into the teen years and early adult hood. Although generally a 13-year-old is not considered a full adult, the spiritual emphasis of the ceremony connected with Bar/Bat Mitzvah is the teenager’s willingness to pursue Torah, seek the will of God for their life, and accept and follow Yeshua, becoming a member of the believing community. Though typically perform at the age of 13, there is no age limit to do a Bar/Bat Mitzvah.

Bar/Bat Mitzvah celebrates the following values in the child’s life:

  1. Educational achievement:  The Bar/Bat Mitzvah has mastered a significant understanding of the word of God and can share the fruits of their study publicly
  2. Inter-generational links to family members: The parents celebrate this day as well as a sign of the child’s willingness to follow in their paths of seeking God and God’s will in their life.  Relatives participate in the ceremony as a connection to the past and a guide in the future.
  3. Acceptance of Commitment: The Bar/Bat Mitzvah pledges to take a personal stand to live by responsible and moral standards as prescribed and outlined in the Word of God. To live in accordance with Biblical traditions, culture, and faith. To set a Godly example to others and share the saving news of Messiah Yeshua.
  4. To perform Tzedakah (charity). The Bar/Bat Mitzvah candidate is required to do a Mitzvah-Mitzvah! They must research and find a charity to raise funds for and support a good, godly cause! This is how they learn Tzedakah!

The bar mitzvah boy or bat mitzvah girl is called up to the Torah (called an Aliyah in Hebrew, ascension, rise up) wearing their brand-new Tallit to recite the blessings and read from the Torah in Hebrew! These skills have taken a year of learning, studying, and practice to obtain. Keep in mind that services vary widely from congregation to congregation, depending on a synagogue’s leadership and its unique customs or traditions. After reading from the Torah, they share a drosh, a teaching, or word about what they just read and how it will applies to their life. Once the ceremony and drosh are complete, the boy or girl is now considered an adult in the eyes of Congregation! The ceremony ends with their proclamation of: “Today I become a man” or “Today I become a woman”! They are now a member of the Congregation.

After the service friends and family will be invited to attend a reception, a party that will have food, dancing, speeches, and entertainment to celebrate their milestone achievement. Common bar/bat mitzvah gifts include religious and educational books, jewelry, gift certificates, or money. Gifts involving money are traditionally given in multiples of eighteen because in Hebrew the word “Chai”, life corresponds to the number eighteen. Any money received is intended to be saved and used for college or to further the adult’s education.

In Messianic Judaism the Bar/Bat Mitzvah does not represent the culmination of one’s biblical education, but rather a stepping-stone to a more mature, deeper relationship with Adonai in Yeshua! It means taking responsibility for their actions and behaviors, using Torah as their guide, to have a biblical world view because that is the mandate of a child of God. Success in achieving these goals is what we wish for the Bar/Bat Mitzvah, and the beginning of that journey is what we honor in this joyous celebration.

Rabbi & Rebbetzin’s Greetings for June 2022

Rabbi & Rebbetzin’s Greetings for June 2022

By Eric Carlson in June 2022, newsletter-post on June 1, 2022

Shalom Mishpocha,

 

June has arrived, the weather is warming up, schools are letting out for the summer, vacations are being planned, and summer arrives on June 21st with the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year! June is a transition month, leaving spring and entering the summer season! Adonai designed transitions for a kingdom purpose. Transitions aren’t just change but are a series of events designed to move you, us, your business, ministry, Kehillat, the greater Body of Messiah, even the nation in a divine new direction. Our lives in the Kingdom of Adonai are one of transition, the Kingdom is always moving. Adonai uses periods of transition to birth restoration, revivals, awakenings, to shift history, to establish His will and dominion on earth, to guide, direct, and launch us into our prophetic future and destiny!

We’ll be celebrating Shavuot in just a few days! The Feast’s serve as divine guideposts while we’re passing through here! They let you know you are on the right course, the true path towards our creator, not going in circles or getting lost in the journey. Leviticus, along with the rest of Torah keeps you from falling prey to deception, falsehood, apostasy, and separation from God’s presence! The Moedim, the Feasts mark heavenly transitions, supernatural paradigm shifts, phase shifts that herald a change of time and seasons! Keeping the feasts ensures a proper, heavenly, Kingdom alignment. Shavuot is the commemoration of the divine revelation of God’s oracles given at Mt. Sinai, the fulfillment of the Passover Experience. Passover’s true freedom isn’t experienced until Mt Sinai with the revelation of God and His divine word! Until Mt Sinai God only spoke to Moshe! Now all Israel would Shema, hear God’s voice! It was at Mt. Sinai that Israel (the mixed crowd) entered a free will covenant with God. Torah teaches us how to live as a free people. 1,700 years after the first Mt Sinai experience the Ruach HaKodesh is given in the upper room on the same Moedim. This First Shavuot at Mt Sinai betrothed Israel unto Adonai! The second Shavuot experience 2,000 years ago through Yeshua betrothed the Gentiles unto Adonai! We were given the Ruach HaKodesh so we could live, walk, and move in unity, in one accord, Echad as Jew and Gentile, “One New Humanity”! Let us prepare to celebrate Shavuot with anticipation and great expectation, may we experience a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit! May we experience revival this Shavuot!

June 19 is Juneteenth (also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day). On this day in 1865, Union General Gordon Granger read the Emancipation Proclamation aloud in Galveston, Texas, effectively liberating enslaved people in the state, which had thus far been beyond control of the Union Army. Juneteenth became nationally recognized as a Federal Holiday June 16th 2021! It’s a small step on a long journey of racial healing and reconciliation!

II Corinthians 5:18-19. And it is all from God, who through the Messiah has reconciled us to himself and has given us the work of that reconciliation, 19 which is that God in the Messiah was reconciling mankind to himself, not counting their sins against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.

We will conquer and defeat racism, prejudice, and Anti-Semitism through focused intentionality, active dialogue, relationship, fellowship, and the Blood of Yeshua coupled with the Holy Spirit! We have a biblical mandate to do so, “entrusting to us the message of reconciliation”! Racism and prejudice are taught, not inherited! It won’t just go away! But that which was taught can be untaught, we are all made in the image of Adonai!

We pray that your summer be a joyous one with friends and family! We thank Adonai for the sun in the sky, the cool sea water, and the sand on the beach. We pray you find rest in the cooling shade of Adonai’s glorious presence this summer! Be safe and don’t forget the sunscreen!

Blessings and Shalom,

Rabbi and Rebbitzen Carlson

Omer and Yeshua’s Ascension

Omer and Yeshua’s Ascension

By Eric Carlson in May 2022, newsletter-post on April 28, 2022

Why do we count the Omer-Because It’s Mitzvah-it’s commanded by Adonai:

Leviticus 23:15-17.  “‘From the day after the Sabbath, the day you brought the sheaf of the wave offering, count off seven full weeks. 16 Count off fifty days up to the day after the seventh Sabbath, and then present an offering of new grain to the Lord. 17 From wherever you live, bring two loaves made of two-tenths of an ephah (Omer) of fine flour, baked with yeast, as a wave offering of firstfruits to the Lord.

The “omer” is a designated measure, which is one-tenth of an ephah.  An ephah is about one bushel so an omer is about two quarts. (not precise but fairly accurate). Bringing of the ‘omer is one of the most important observances. It’s considered a repayment to God for the manna given in the wilderness, of which every Israelite collected the measure of an “Omer” daily!

The Omer is the counting of the 49 days until Shavuot (which means weeks).  The Omer served as a countdown to the wheat harvest celebration, Shavuot. The Omer was also the period of Courtship between God and Israel after the Exodus, establishing relationship! While in Slavery Adonai did not talk to or reveal Himself to them until Mount Sinai!  This 50-day period is one of building relationship! The Omer is counted for 49 days, 7 weeks of seven plus one which comes to 50 (Letter Nun) which is Yovel, complete freedom. 

The Symmetry of the Omer count (7X7) reveals a higher degree of Holiness that is required to come into God’s presence at Mount Sinai and experience the great forthcoming revelation, First the Torah and second, the Holy Spirit in Jerusalem!  The Omer is the connection, the link between the liberation from Slavery in Egypt and true freedom that would be experienced and received at Mount Sinai with the giving of the Torah then the Ruach HaKodesh some 1,700 years later!  The Omer is the countdown to the harvest! There is a verse tucked in here regarding this season:

Leviticus 23:22. “‘When you harvest the ripe crops produced in your land, don’t harvest all the way to the corners of your field, and don’t gather the ears of grain left by the harvesters; leave them for the poor and the foreigner; I am ADONAI your God.'”

God provisioned in His oracles given at Mount Sinai a covenant promise for the poor and the Gentiles in the original covenant promise to the Jewish people, the reconciliation between Jew and Gentile, the One New Man has been His plan all along. The story of Ruth, a gentile Moabite woman is a harvest Story.  Why?  Leviticus 23:22. The edges of the fields are not harvested.  The blessings are left for the poor and foreigner, the Gehr, a non-Jew who is following the God of Israel.  When Ruth’s Jewish husband died Naomi told her and Orpah to go home to their own Moabite people, three times, but Ruth knew better:

Ruth 1:16-17. But Rut said, “Don’t press me to leave you and stop following you; for wherever you go, I will go; and wherever you stay, I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God will be my God. 17 Where you die, I will die; and there I will be buried. May ADONAI bring terrible curses on me, and worse ones as well, if anything but death separates you and me.”

Ruth powerfully and graphically reveals several things here.  First her profound words to Naomi defines and establishes the Gentile (Church’s) call and relationship with Israel!  Second, Ruth’s story isn’t just about supporting, standing with, and loving Israel! It’s about committed relationship! The result of Ruth’s covenant relationship with Naomi (who refers to Ruth as her daughter) is a wedding to Boaz, a kinsman redeemer which results in a birth!  Oved, who begot Yishai, the father of King David who was a man after Adonai’s own heart-the result of covenant relationship between a Jew (Boaz) and a Moabite Gentile, (Ruth)!!  Adonai established King David’s reign and rule forever as the Davidic Kingdom, preparing for the coming Messiah who would be of the lineage of David and the tribe of Judah-establishing David’s throne forever:

II Samuel 7:16. Thus your house and your kingdom will be made secure forever before you; your throne will be set up forever.'”

We as the greater body will not experience the return of the supernatural, the profound presence of Adonai until we restore the Jew and Gentile relationship (As we are here in CZS)! The harvest story of Ruth personifies the prophetic promise made in:

Isaiah 56:5-6.  In my house, within my walls, I will give them power and a name greater than sons and daughters; I will give him an everlasting name that will not be cut off.  6 “I will also bless the Gentiles who commit themselves to the LORD and serve him and love his name, who worship him and do not desecrate the Sabbath day of rest, and who have accepted his covenant.

Power and a name greater than sons and daughters!  Ruth, a Moabite woman is remembered forever, enshrined through a permanent book in the Bible named after her! Placing her in the direct lineage of King David and Yeshua Himself. The Key in this is Commitment.  Once you commit, once you’re fully committed it allows God to move in all manners of unforeseen divine appointments, persons, and provision manifest into your life. A lack of commitment inhibits the flow of blessings. There’s a difference between interest and commitment. When you’re interested in doing something, you do it only when it’s convenient! When you’re committed to something, you accept no excuses, only results! By in-grafting (Romans 11), Gentiles become grafted into the promise, joint heirs and partakers of the greater house of Israel.

Ephesians 2:14-15.  For he himself is our shalom – he has made us both one and has broken down the m’chitzah which divided us 15 by destroying in his own body the enmity occasioned by the Torah, with its commands set forth in the form of ordinances. He did this in order to create in union with himself from the two groups a single new humanity and thus make shalom (eirene {i-ray’-nay}:  state of national tranquility, exemption from the rage and havoc of war, peace between individuals, harmony, security, safety, prosperity, felicity)

Our only path to national tranquility in our nation is the release and establishment of the “One New Humanity” in our places of worship and upon the nation! The key to achieve this is recorded in Ruth! It’s the commitment to relationship! I John gives a very interesting and impactful statement of truth regarding Kingdom relationship which speaks to our national divisiveness were experiencing today in our nation:

I John 2:8-11.  Yet I am writing you a new command, and its reality is seen both in him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining. 9 Anyone who claims to be in this light while his brother is still in the dark. 10 The person who keeps loving his brother remains in the light, and there is nothing in him that could make him trip. 11 But the person who hates his brother is in the dark – yes, he is walking in the dark, and he doesn’t know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.

This goes all the way back to the story of creation itself. Adonai said in Genesis 2:18 that its not good for a person to be alone! He created a companion for Adam!  The entire biblical narrative is one of relationship, of our reconciliation back to Adonai after Adam and Eve’s fall in the garden. Then, 2,000 years ago Adonai sent His Son, Yeshua to restore relationship!

Hebrews 10:24-25.  And let us keep paying attention to one another, in order to spur each other on to love and good deeds, 25 not neglecting our own congregational meetings, as some have made a practice of doing, but, rather, encouraging each other. And let us do this all the more as you see the Day approaching.

This is critical as we see “The Day” approaching we must pay attention, observe, regard, understand, behold, and perceive one another! To spur, coax, spur each other to love, good deeds, and action!! And to not forgo or neglect Congregational meetings! This is so critical because coming together weekly is about relationship! Those who can’t do so have relationship issues!

Our trust requires action! Walking out, living our relationship with Adonai isn’t just words! It’s not just saying Yeshua, You are my sacrifice I receive You! It’s our deeds, our actions, it’s how we walk this out, our relationship between each other affects our relationship with Adonai! The Greater bodies refusal to live out proper, biblical defined relationship has resulted in division, disunity, and discord!  The exact opposite of what we’re told to do in:

Ephesians 4:2-3.  Always be humble, gentle and patient, bearing with one another in love, 3 and making every effort to preserve the unity the Spirit gives through the binding power of shalom.

Love is the hallmark, the benchmark of our relationship with each other and our intimate relationship with Adonai!  We are commanded by Adonai in Deuteronomy 6 to Love the Lord our God with all of our heart, with all of our soul, and all of our strength! And Yeshua said another like it is to love our neighbor as ourselves! We must relationally love each other!

I Peter 4:8. More than anything, keep loving each other actively; because love covers many sins.

Without love there’s no compassion! Healthy relationships make life enjoyable perhaps more than anything else. I’ve shared many times before. I’ve spent much time with terminal/hospice people!  In the end it’s not the things of this world, material wealth, it’s the relationships that people ponder and dwell upon!  It’s the broken relationships, the lost relationships that in the end people regret If your relationships are broken or shallow, your life will be empty. A poor man with a loving family and good friends is far richer than a rich man who is poor relationally.

On the Congregational level many people bounce from congregation to congregation, leaving a trail of damaged relationships behind (you’ll know them by their fruit). Sadly, loving families, genuine friendships, and healthy relationships are what humans desire most in life, yet they often elude us.  Sha’ul spoke extensively on what’s required for healthy, biblical relationships. If one routinely practices these behaviors, they’ll enjoy healthy relationships. But its not an easy pill to swallow. Developing healthy relationships requires the slaying of the flesh:

Colossians 3:5. Therefore, put to death the earthly parts of your nature – sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed (which is a form of idolatry);

We begin to see a process, a pattern revealed. One cannot change or control another person! All you can control is how you react to others. How you react is defined by these actions, these behavioral changes:

Colossians 3:7-9. True enough, you used to practice these things in the life you once lived; 8 but now, put them all away – anger, exasperation, meanness, slander and obscene talk. 9 Never lie to one another; because you have stripped away the old self, with its ways,

Remember I said previously without compassion there’s no love!

Colossians 3:12-15. Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with feelings of compassion and with kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with one another; if anyone has a complaint against someone else, forgive him. Indeed, just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you must forgive. 14 Above all these, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together perfectly; 15 and let the shalom which comes from the Messiah be your heart’s decision-maker, for this is why you were called to be part of a single Body. And be thankful –

We are called to be part of a single, unified body!  These actions and behaviors are how we will remove all separation and heal the divide!! To be a single body! To walk in humility, in love which covers many sins! Rebbitzen and I love you and there is nothing you can do about it! 

Rabbi and Rebbetzin’s Corner May 2022

Rabbi and Rebbetzin’s Corner May 2022

By Eric Carlson in May 2022, newsletter-post on April 28, 2022

Shalom Congregation Zion’s Sake Mishpocha!

 

I wish to thank Rebbitzen for all her hard work and efforts in securing the hotel, catering, and D.J. for our 1st of Nisan celebration and our Community Passover Seder last month! The presence of Adonai was powerful at these fellowships! Those who attended already know what a supernatural time it was at both events! As we enter the month of May we enjoy the beautiful springtime! The leaves of the trees are fully out, the flowers are blooming, and the weather is fantastic with mild temperatures before the oppressive heat and humidity of summer arrive!

Song of Solomon 2:11-12. For you see that the winter has passed, the rain is finished and gone, 12 the flowers are appearing in the countryside, the time has come for [the birds] to sing, and the cooing of doves can be heard in the land.

Springtime is about renewal, it’s the season of new beginnings and awakenings. We celebrated Pesach and Matzah last month! Celebrating and commemorating Yeshua’s death and resurrection, he defeated death and gave us eternal life! In Yeshua we have our own, personal renewal and spiritual awakening! A spiritual awakening is a profound awareness of our spiritual reality. Your reticular activation system (RAS) goes into overdrive!  The reality has been there all along, you just hadn’t seen it before!  When we have a spiritual awakening, we literally “wake up” to Kingdom life.  The immediate results of Spiritual Awakenings are profound, we seek truth, question things not reconciled to scripture, while questioning, even challenging the rituals, beliefs, traditions, and ideas of manmade religion!  We are awakened to the reality that there is so much more in our walk and life with Adonai, His Son Yeshua, The Ruach HaKodesh, and His word then the whitewashed façade that many have been taught in religion! We earnestly seek to worship Adonai in Spirit and Truth!

A spiritual awakening is a personal resurrection from spiritual death. We must be roused, wakened, resurrected spiritually as individuals first! Adonai is pouring out His Spirit allowing us the opportunity as individuals, as a congregation, as a movement, even as a nation to do His will and work in pursuing a global supernatural Spiritual Awakening and revival. As Yeshua said regarding the Kingdom of God in:

John 3:3. “Yes, indeed,” Yeshua answered him, “I tell you that unless a person is born again he cannot see the Kingdom of God.”

When we are born again our soul, our spirit yearns for something more, the deeper, more intimate aspects of the Kingdom, a spiritual awakening. As it grows and expands, the soul and spirit move into untapped areas that draw us closer to Adonai! Why is this necessary now? Why must we be awakened? A dark storm is approaching, and few are prepared! We are on the threshold of witnessing, of experiencing the fulfillment of Biblical prophecy as we enter the last days. Those who are awakened and prepare their hearts will persevere through the storm. Those who don’t may fall victim to the deception, desolation, and destruction of HaSatan as he attempts to thwart the plans of God. Sha’ul shared encouraging words about the trials and storms he suffered in:

II Corinthians 18-10. For, brothers, we want you to know about the trials we have undergone in the province of Asia. The burden laid on us was so far beyond what we could bear that we even despaired of living through it. 9 In our hearts we felt we were under sentence of death. However, this was to get us to rely not on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead! 10 He rescued us from such deadly peril, and he will rescue us again! The one in whom we have placed our hope will indeed continue to rescue us

Dark days lay ahead but it will be our greatest hour of awakening and revival, a critical time for us to expand the Kingdom of God! We too must rely on the God who raises the dead! He will protect and defend us! There is a supernatural purpose in all this:

  • Adonai wants to send an awakening upon all humanity on a scale that has never been seen before! Life from the Dead, that the World may know! All distractions will be removed that Adonai may get people’s attention! Adversity is the womb of revival!

  • Adonai is building His Messianic Community to be both a dwelling place and a powerhouse of His presence, with His dunamis power that we may once again move in supernatural signs and wonders! We are being raised up to our place of leadership in the greater body just as it was in the beginning! To lead and teach His people, Yeshua’s bride, the body of Messiah to righteousness and holiness as the sons and daughters of Tzadok!

Now is the time to be Spiritually Awakened to the hour and be aware of what Adonai is doing! I believe Adonai has had us hidden, incognito, in preparation for such a time as this! To be the light sent from heaven to turn the people back to Him in righteousness! We must be actively engaged in prayer, fasting, removing all distractions and obstacles that hinders God’s presence and voice. It means shifting your schedule, placing prayer to a place of prominence in your daily routine. It means increased time in the word to facilitate and anchor that prayer. It means dying to your flesh, praying the Will of Adonai. Its disciplined, effective, and habitual.  It’s not liturgical or religious, its fresh manna daily from heaven. Our prayers are that you will have your own “Road to Damascus” encounter this month with the Most-High God, a Spiritual Awakening as we count down the Omer to Shavuot with anticipation and expectation!

Blessings and Shalom

The Tallit

The Tallit

By Eric Carlson in May 2022, newsletter-post on April 28, 2022

Phrases and Purpose

Atara – The crown or neckpiece of the Tallit.

Shamash – The blue strand in a tzitzit.

Tzitzit – Specially made fringes worn on the four corners of a Tallit.

Tzitziyot – Plural form of tzitzit.

The blessing embroidered upon the atarah or CROWN is usually:

Blessed are You, LORD our God, King of the Universe, who sanctifies us with His commandments and commanded us to wrap ourselves in tzitzit.
Barukh attah Adonai, eloheinu melekh ha-olam, asher kiddeshanu bemitzvotav, vetzivanu lehitatef b’tzitzit.

The Blessing that is recited when putting on the Tallit:

“Blessed art Thou Lord our God, King of the universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us to wrap ourselves in the tzitzit.”
Barukh attah Adonai, eloheinu melekh ha-olam, asher kiddeshanu bemitzvotav, al mitzvat tzitzit.

Custom of the Tallit:

In ancient times the Tallit was more like a poncho, worn daily as clothing to protect against sand and wind. Today the Tallit is used as a religious garment for prayer (Prayer Shawl). At the four corners of the Tallit, Tzizit (tassels) are attached in fulfillment of the biblical commandment. For prayer, the Tallit is pulled over the top of the head blocking all distractions. This is a personal prayer closet, a private, holy place where one seeks the face of God. Yet, the function of the Tallit is a vehicle to attach and carry the Tzizit! The Tzizit consists of one long and three short white threads which are passed through holes in the four corners of the Tallit! The biblical commandment prescribing the entwining of a blue (Tekhelet in Hebrew) cord in the fringes is essential because blue, the color of the sky, was also the color of the “Throne of Glory”.

Exodus 24:10. and they saw the God of Isra’el. Under his feet was something like a sapphire stone pavement as clear as the sky itself.

And Ezekiel saw the Throne of God:

Ezekiel 1:26. Above the dome that was over their heads was something like a throne that looked like a sapphire. On it, above it, was what appeared to be a person.

Again, Tzizit’s are commanded by God:

Numbers 15:38-40. “Speak to the people of Isra’el, instructing them to make, through all their generations, tzitziyot on the corners of their garments, and to put with the tzitzit on each corner a blue thread. 39 It is to be a tzitzit for you to look at and thereby remember all of ADONAI’s mitzvot and obey them, so that you won’t go around wherever your own heart and eyes lead you to prostitute yourselves; 40 but it will help you remember and obey all my mitzvot and be holy for your God.

Let’s pause and talk about command versus precedent regarding both the Kippot and Tallit.  The 5th Amendment to the United States Constitution reads:

“No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”

The 5th Amendment is law. When you get arrested as we all know from Movies and T.V. you are read your Miranda rights. Miranda rights” came about following the 1966 Miranda v. Arizona Supreme Court decision, which found that the Fifth and Sixth Amendment rights of Ernesto Arturo Miranda had been violated during his arrest and trial for armed robbery, kidnapping, and rape of a mentally handicapped young woman. (Miranda was subsequently retried and convicted.). Miranda was unaware of his rights and answered police questions that incriminated himself. Because of this Supreme Court Case, every arrest is preceded by the reciting of the Miranda Rights.

That is not required by law. In fact, reading them is not a law, it’s a precedent which is a convention or custom arising from long practice. An overwhelming proportion of both Jewish customs and Christian customs are precedent. Its required because it’s been done over a long time, in fact millennia. That doesn’t make it law. You don’t have to be read your Miranda rights when your arrested, it’s not a law, but if you’re not read them the odds are high a judge will throw out of court anything you said because you were unaware of your constitutional rights.

Tzizit are commanded by God, the scripture is clear. But when they are to be worn, who wears them, and how often?  All precedent. The word doesn’t distinguish between men or woman wearing them or how often it’s to be done! Sha’ul spoke of precedent point blank several times, but this is often overlooked:

I Corinthians 7:25. Now the question about the unmarried: I do not have a command from the Lord, but I offer an opinion as one who by the Lord’s mercy is worthy to be trusted.

The construction of the Tzizit is also precedent. Typically one long thread is wound around the other threads 7, 8, 11, and 13 times and the four joints are separated from one another by a double knot. The total of all the wraps equals 39, the number of stripes that Yeshua bore on His back for our healing. The Tzitzit thus consists of five double knots and eight threads (13 total). This number together with the numerical value of Tzitzit (600) amounts to 613, the total number of Gods commands in the Torah.  There are several methods regarding how to tie the Tzizit, again, precedent not law.  However, be aware that though we are not constrained by orthodoxy precedent following some other practice may cause that community to ostracize you. 

A cord of Tekhelet (תְּכֵלֶת), a royal blue that is the official color of Israel, is supposed to be added to the fringe at each corner, however since the dye had been derived from an extinct snail found near Tyre, the color requirement for the tzitzit had been waived until about 15 years ago with the miraculous reappearance of the extinct snail and a supernatural rediscovery of how to process it (sun light). At some point following the Roman destruction of the Second Temple, the actual identity of the source of the dye was lost! These Tekhelet stripes became part of the emblem of the Israeli flag. Yeshua wore a Tallit and Tzitzit.

Matthew 9:20-22.  A woman who had had a hemorrhage for twelve years approached him from behind and touched the tzitzit on his robe. 21 For she said to herself, “If I can only touch his robe, I will be healed.” 22 Yeshua turned, saw her and said, “Courage, daughter! Your trust has healed you.” And she was instantly healed.

The Tallit or prayer shawl is for everyone who is a believer (Jew and Gentile) that understands it’s meaning. It is a powerful worship and prayer tool to seek the face and glory of God. Used as a prayer closet, it allows one to concentrate and seek our heavenly Father without distraction. The Tallit is a garment one can wear to create a sense of personal space during prayer. By wrapping yourself in it, or by covering your head with it, the intention and direction of your prayers can be enhanced. The Torah does not state that the Tallit is for men only. All at Congregation Zion’s Sake are welcome to wear the Tallit contrary to some theologies!  In fact, the Tzizit are prophetic:

Zechariah 8:23.  ADONAI-Tzva’ot says, ‘When that time comes, ten men will take hold – speaking all the languages of the nations – will grab hold of the cloak (Kh’naf: edge, corner, wing, extremity of the garment, Tzizit) of a Jew and say, “We want to go with you, because we have heard that God is with you.”‘”

I pray the Tzizit will remind you to not go around wherever your own heart and eyes lead you to prostitute yourselves; but it will help you remember and obey all my mitzvot and be holy for your God.

Send on your behalf – Sh’lach l’Cha  & the “One New Man”

Send on your behalf – Sh’lach l’Cha & the “One New Man”

By Eric Carlson in April 2022, newsletter-post on March 31, 2022

Shalom Mishpocha,

I would like to share with you the “One New Man” in Ephesians 2:14-15.  In this passage Sha’ul tells us “For he himself is our shalom – he has made us both one and has broken down the m’chitzah which divided us 15 by destroying in his own body the enmity occasioned by the Torah, with its commands set forth in the form of ordinances. He did this in order to create in union with himself from the two groups a single new humanity and thus make shalom,” We know Biblically that it is the Father’s heart that we (Jew and Gentile) come together as one in Messiah Yeshua.  I would like to show you a prophetic revelation of the “One New Man” found in Numbers Chapter 13 (in order to save space I will ask you to read Numbers 13 at home from your Bible).  This passage is about the Children of Israel’s refusal to enter in and conquer the promise land as God had ordered.  The Israelites chose instead to send spies and reconnoiter the land, even though God had already given it to them.  God spoke unto Moses and said “Sh’lach l’cha” (send for yourselves as it translates to English) spies.  God didn’t need spies, or the land reconnoitered! He had already made known His covenant promise, the Promised Land was ours!  This spirit of hardened hearts and rebellion that Israel displayed is still prevalent today among those serving the Lord!  Through Yeshua we have God’s promise of Healing, Wholeness, Restored Relationships, Restored Marriages, Restored Minds, Broken Curses, Cured Addictions, and ALL Our Provisions met!  The promises are ours, given to us by Yeshua!  Many today fail to claim these promises.  This is why we are so often not victorious; our hearts are hardened.  We hesitate, reconnoiter, and attempt to send spies to scout our problems, to find a way around them, instead of claiming victory over, and conquering them!  We can do this because Yeshua has already won the battle and given us the authority to do so!

Twelve spies, one from each tribe, were selected and sent to reconnoiter the promise land for 40 days.  Upon their return they brought reports of abundant crops and a cluster of grapes so large that it took two men to carrying it on their shoulders slung on a pole.  Despite seeing evidence of all of the “milk and honey” as God had promised, ten of the twelve spies reported to Moses and the people that the land was filled with large giants who made the Israelites look like tiny grasshoppers.  They reported that the land “could not be taken”.  Considering the miracles God had granted them in the Exodus from Egypt, it is nearly impossible to comprehend that the Israelites cried out again, saying it would have been better to stay Egypt, even though they knew God was with them by evidence of all His miracles!  You could take them out of Egypt but you couldn’t take Egypt out of them!

Two very famous spies of the twelve, Joshua (also known as Ephraim Hosea, son of Nun) and Caleb made a very different report.  Caleb said in Numbers 13:30 “Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it.”  God’s anger flared at those who balked at taking possession of the land and the entire generation would perish in the wilderness and never enter the land.  Caleb and Joshua however found favor with the Lord for their faith, belief, and their representation of the Lord. These two men of God were allowed to enter the Promised Land and receive their inheritance!

Now, here’s the “One New Man” scriptural revelation!  Caleb was not Jewish!  He was a Kenizzite (Numbers 32:12), a group of people from the area North and East of the land of Israel in what is now present-day Syria.  Caleb was a proselytite, a convert the Jewish People.  Caleb was integrated into the tribe of Judah and was selected as one of the twelve spies.  Caleb and Joshua were one of the first of the “One New Man” in the bible, a Jew and Gentile who came together as one to inherit the promises given to Abraham.  Not only were Joshua and Caleb a prototype “One New Man”, but they were also the only two of the twelve spies who said the land could be taken.  The promises, fullness, and completeness of the Kingdom of God are for the Jew and Gentile, together as the “One New Man”.  It is the “One New Man” who will enter God’s rest in Hebrews 4:6-11.  Yeshua’s plan for us is to stand together as one!

Joshua and Caleb set a mighty the example for us!  Our report should be “The Harvest is ripe and it is ours! We should immediately reap for we are able and harvest fields are ripe!  We can take it! There are many giants, there will be troubles, but we can do it for the Lord is with us!  Yeshua has already won the victory!”  Don’t send spies when you are in tribulation!  Don’t hesitate when you need a healing!  Don’t give up on unsaved family members or friends!  Claim your victory!  Enter your spiritual Promised Land!  For we are well able to overcome any tribulation, sickness, or curse for we have overcome by the blood of Yeshua, He has given us the promise!  It’s up to us to take the victory!

May you have the Victory and Joy of Yeshua in your life daily!

Rabbi’s Comments for April 2022

Rabbi’s Comments for April 2022

By Eric Carlson in April 2022, newsletter-post on March 31, 2022

Shalom Mishpocha!

The New Year is upon us (5782)! We look forward to restarting both the Biblical Calendar and the Annual Feast Day Cycle! The redemption of Israel from slavery in Egypt occurred this month, (14th of Nisan). The world was delivered from the slavery of Sin occurred in the same month through the Messiah who was born 1st of Nisan. Happy Birthday Yeshua!!!  Yeshua was also crucified on the stake 14 days from now in the same month during Pesach!

The Moedim are a heavenly ordered Cycle of Time, a never-ending repetitive circle that can be repetitive but not exactly identical! Jewish thought regards time not in a linear, flat pattern but a spiral type of “helix,” a limitless forward, upward progression driven by a divine cyclic pattern that repeats certain divine patters in weeks, months, and years of life such as the Moedim or Feast Days beginning with the weekly Shabbat through the annual feast days.

This new year also begins the seven year cycle known as “sh’mittah”, a year of nullification of all credit and debt while the fields are left fallow and whatever it produces all will consume and eat (Lev. 25:2-7, Deuteronomy 15:1-4). Troubles times may await us! The single most important and critical thing we can do to get ready for what’s coming is to deepen our relationship and standing with God.  He makes a covenant promise in the midst of His judgment for the righteous who are established in Him;

Isaiah 54:14-17. In righteousness you will be established for it will not come near you. 15 Any alliance that forms against you will not be my doing; whoever tries to form such an alliance will fall because of you. 16 It is I who created the craftsman who blows on the coals and forges weapons suited to their purpose; I also created the destroyer to work havoc. 17 No weapon made will prevail against you. In court you will refute every accusation. The servants of ADONAI inherit all this; the reward for their righteousness is from me, “says ADONAI.

What a phenomenal, supernatural promise of God. No matter what weapon, alliance, or accusation that is formed, made, stated, or issued against you shall not prosper or come to pass. That is the reward for righteousness says Adonai!  Those who know Adonai, who walk in truth and righteousness before Him!  Those who submit, obey, honor, and worship the King of Kings! Let us ring in the New Year with expectation and anticipation for we are established in the King of Glory!!

Blessings and Shalom,

Rabbi and Rebbitzen Carlson

Congregation Zion’s Sake

Sheva Moedim HaAdonai: The Seven Feasts of the Lord

Sheva Moedim HaAdonai: The Seven Feasts of the Lord

By Eric Carlson in April 2022, newsletter-post on March 30, 2022

The Feast Days cycle follows a pattern of seven.  Seven in Hebrew is Sheva and is represented by the letter Zain.  Seven (Sheva) is the central key to God’s design, Sheva is the building blocks of the universe.  The world was created in Sheva (seven) days.  There are Sheva (seven) feasts of the Lord in the annual feast day cycle.  There are Sheva (seven) days in the week.  There is the shenat ha-sheva, the seventh year or Sabbatical year in which the ground is to lay fallow knows as a Sh’mittah year. Sheva shabtot shanim-seven sabbatical years are counted (49 years) which bring in the Yovel, the Jubilee on the 50th year!

Sheva is also woven into biblical culture and lifestyle:

There are the shivat ha-minim, seven spices of the land of Israel found in Deut.8:8. Sheva berakhot, seven blessings of marriage that are recited under the Chupah, Sevah (seven) pairs of each clean animal were taken onto Norah’s ark.  Sheva is the number of days it took the priests to be purified before they may enter into the Temple and Adonai’s presence on the eighth day. Sheve (seven) is the number of creation and is the numbers of perfection.

Seven feasts of the annual cycle are primarily covered in Leviticus 23 and Numbers 28-29.:

  1. Shabbat
  2. Pesach (Passover) & Matzah (Unleavened Bread). Ex 12:14-20; Nu 28:16-25; Deut 16:1-8
  3. First Fruits
  4. Shavuot (Pentecost).  Nu 28:26-31; Deut 16:9-12
  5. Yom Teruah (Feast of Trumpets).  Num 29:1-6.
  6. Yom Kippur (Day of atonement or Purge).  Lev 16:2-34, Num 29:7-11.
  7. Sukkot (Tabernacles).  Num 29:12-39, Deut. 16:13-17

Leviticus 23:1-2. (CJB) ADONAI said to Moshe, 2 “Tell the people of Isra’el: ‘The designated times of ADONAI which you are to proclaim as holy convocations are my designated times.

The feast days are Gods prophetic timeline in eschatology! Convocation in Hebrew is Mikra (calling out of the holy ones) who’s root word is Kaw-raw means rehearsal. Divine Appointment in Hebrew is Moed, a specific date in which the King of heaven comes off the throne to meet His people.

Leviticus 23:4-5. (CJB) “‘In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, between sundown and complete darkness, comes Pesach for ADONAI. 6 On the fifteenth day of the same month is the festival of matzah; for seven days you are to eat matzah. 7 On the first day you are to have a holy convocation; don’t do any kind of ordinary work. 8 Bring an offering made by fire to ADONAI for seven days.

We see two celebrations here. Pesach/Passover!  The day of slaughtering and eating the lamb and departing Egypt followed by the seven days of the Feast of Matzah, seven days of eating matzah! The first and last days of Matzah are no workdays! Pesach marks a transition, the New Year, from Slavery to Freedom, from sin to Salvation in Yeshua! The first celebration coincided with the 10th plaques, the Angel of Death.

Exodus 12:3-11. (CJB) Speak to all the assembly of Isra’el and say, ‘On the tenth day of this month, each man is to take a lamb or kid for his family, one per household – 4 except that if the household is too small for a whole lamb or kid, then he and his next-door neighbor should share one, dividing it in proportion to the number of people eating it. 5 Your animal must be without defect, a male in its first year, and you may choose it from either the sheep or the goats. 6 “‘You are to keep it until the fourteenth day of the month, and then the entire assembly of the community of Isra’el will slaughter it at dusk. 7 They are to take some of the blood and smear it on the two sides and top of the door-frame at the entrance of the house in which they eat it. 8 That night, they are to eat the meat, roasted in the fire; they are to eat it with matzah and maror. 9 Don’t eat it raw or boiled, but roasted in the fire, with its head, the lower parts of its legs and its inner organs. 10 Let nothing of it remain till morning; if any of it does remain, burn it up completely. 11 “‘Here is how you are to eat it: with your belt fastened, your shoes on your feet and your staff in your hand; and you are to eat it hurriedly. It is ADONAI’s Pesach [Passover].

Israel is at the beginning of their life as a nation yet they have no identity. They are unable to stand as a Nation, They have no realization of their identity and the special covenant they represent!  If God didn’t intervene, they would not have survived.

Reflecting back upon this time we wonder why the situation of the Israelites are so tenuous? Why are they in danger? After all they are great in numbers are they not?  The word states that even Egypt feared their size and potential power!

The Children of Israel had lived in Egypt for several hundred years.  They had become immersed, imbued, overwhelmed, subjected too, infused into Egyptian Culture.  They most likely had conformed to Egyptian fashions and as apparent in Exodus 12 that they live come to live in mixed neighborhoods with the Egyptians.  They had begun to think like Egyptians including the paganism of Egyptian worship and their multitudes of gods.  We see the Children of Israel in Diaspora in Egypt with no culture, no vision, and no hope; There was absolutely nothing Biblical or what would become known as being Jewish about them!!   Why should God save them?  Why would He save them?  To fulfill His own promises and covenants He had made with Abraham, Isaac, and Ya’akov!

We know from the Egyptian records that Egyptians and their priests worship include, as one of their main god’s, the Zodiac sign of the sheep (Aries).  Remember, every one of the previous nine plaques had come against Egyptian gods-this last one would be no different, only more significant as Aries was considered a higher deity (this is why you absolutely should not read or dabble with the horoscope-it’s ancient Egyptian pagan worship, that’s where it came from!)

Egypt’s deity hood of Aries and sheep led to their banning the slaughter of sheep (which represented a god) and despised sheep traders and shepherds

Genesis 46:34. (CJB) tell him, ‘Your servants have been keepers of livestock from our youth until now, both we and our ancestors.’ This will ensure that you will live in the land of Goshen – for any shepherd is abhorrent to the Egyptians.”

Israel was given the land of Goshen to in Egypt to live, set apart and free from the effects of the plaques:

Exodus 8:22. (CJB) But I will set apart the land of Goshen, where my people live -no swarms of insects will be there – so that you can realize that I am ADONAI, right here in the land.