Category: May 2022

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.

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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 Rebbitzen’s Corner May 2022

Rabbi and Rebbitzen’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.