Category: newsletter-post

Rabbi & Rebbetzin’s Greetings for September 2022

Rabbi & Rebbetzin’s Greetings for September 2022

By Eric Carlson in September-2 on August 1, 2022

Shalom Mishpocah,

         Summer has passed by quickly! School is starting, hurricane season is in full swing, and though September is a transition month into fall time we still have 21 days of summer left until the Autumnal Equinox on September 22nd 9:04 P.M. EDT-the first day of fall. The following Sunday, Sept 25th at sunset the Fall High Holy Days begins with the start and celebration of Yom Teruah! September is the biblical month of Elul. Elul is 40 Days of Prayer & Fasting. The month of Elul begins Saturday, August 26th at sunset. The 1st of Elul marks exactly 40 days until Yom Kippur. 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 and draw close to God in preparation for the coming Day of Judgement, The Ten Days of Awe between Yom Teruah and Yom Kippur, and The Day of Atonement.  It is customary to recite Psalm 27 every day in this 40 day period 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. (CJB)  By David: ADONAI is my light and salvation; 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 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!

This 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 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. Repentance is useless unless we believe in Adonai’s love, salvation, and goodness in the land of the living.”

Forty is represented by the Hebrew letter Mem.  Forty is the revelation of the concealed.  The number forty is used by God to represent a period of testing or judgment (the length of time necessary to accomplish Gods plan in his interaction with mankind).  Forty is the product of 5 and 8, and points to the action of grace (5), leading to and ending in Schminnee-revival and renewal (8).  But where forty relates to dominion or rule it does so by virtues of its factors 4 (Dalet-the physical dimensions of the world including the cardinal directions North, South, East, and West) and 10 (Yad, the Hand of God), and in harmony with their signification.  Mem expresses God’s sovereignty over us and His Kingdom. God uses the number 40 when starting a new chapter of the history of salvation.  Human gestation is 40 weeks!  Teshuvah is a sort of death and rebirth: a death of the past life, and the birth of a new life and a new creation:

II Corinthians 5:17. (CJB) Therefore, if anyone is united with the Messiah, he is a new creation – the old has passed; look, what has come is fresh and new!

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’s off the throne and among His people! Its critical to prepare for these appointed times.

Isaiah 55:6-7. (CJB)  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. (CJB) 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. (CJB)  “‘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. (CJB) 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.

Elul is the time for fasting, prayer, and repentance which is more critical now than ever before! My heart is heavy, I’m burdened for America, for the greater body of Messiah, our polarization, our disunity, our divisiveness, the vile hatred and violence that abounds! As a nation were rotting from the inside out! It’s not a time for panic, dread, or to be fearful!  It’s a time for radical intentionality in repentance, prayer, and fasting. To stand in the gap and shift history! We are at a very dark hour as a nation. This fall may be a dark time for America! If we don’t become radically involved, it may be irreversible! I highly encourage everyone to fast from now until Yom Kippur which begins at sunset, Tuesday, October 4th!

Prayer Points:

  • Pray for Jewish Revival (Land & the People) which results in the return of Messiah.
  • Pray for America’s awakening, for salvation and revival, that America will turn back to God!
  • Pray against the Spiritual Strongholds of Darkness over our City, State, and Nation
  • Pray for racial equality, justice, national unity, national Shalom, Peace and national healing!
  • Pray for leaders to arise in the greater body of Messiah to lead America into truth & righteousness!
  • Pray for an end to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
  • Pray against rebellion and anarchy in America!
  • Pray for the release of the One New Man to sweep across this nation!

Etrog Lulav

Etrog Lulav

By Eric Carlson in September-3 on August 1, 2022

As I shared in our September Newsletter greeting September is the month we begin the celebration of the High Holy Days the Fall Feasts! September is the month that we order our Etrog and Lulav sets for our Sukkot celebrations!  The command to celebrate Sukkot with the Etrog and Lulav is recorded in:

Leviticus 23:40-43. (CJB) On the first day you are to take choice fruit (Fruit of the Hadar Tree), 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. 42 You are to live in sukkot for seven days; every citizen of Isra’el is to live in a sukkah, 43 so that generation after generation of you will know that I made the people of Isra’el live in sukkot when I brought them out of the land of Egypt; I am ADONAI your God.'”

Leviticus 23:40 mentions the “fruit of the beautiful Hadar tree” as the choice fruit required for use combined with the various branches collectively known as the Etrog and Lulav used during the Feast of Tabernacles. According to tradition, the “fruit of the tree Hadar” refers to the citron. The citron is the ancient, original citrus fruit from which many modern day citrus fruit came from. Citron is the root word for the modern day word citrus.

The Egyptologist and archaeologist Victor Loret identified citrons depicted on the walls of the botanical garden at the Karnak Temple, which dates back to the time of Thutmosis III, approximately 3,500 years ago. Citron was also cultivated in Sumer as early as the 3rd millennium BC. The Greek Philosopher Theophrastus wrote of the Citron around 300 B.C.: “The fruit is not eaten, but is very fragrant, as is also the leaf of the tree; and the fruit is put among clothes, it keeps them from being moth-eaten. It is also useful when one has drunk deadly poison, for when it is administered in wine; it upsets the stomach and brings up the poison. It is also useful to improve the breath, for if one boils the inner part of the fruit in a dish or squeezes it into the mouth in some other medium, it makes the breath more pleasant.”

Citron was also described by Pliny the Elder, who called it nata Assyria malus. The following is from his book Natural History:

“There is another tree also with the same name of “citrus,” and bears a fruit that is held by some persons in particular dislike for its smell and remarkable bitterness; while, on the other hand, there are some who esteem it very highly. This tree is used as an ornament to houses; it requires, however, no further description.

The citron tree, called the Assyrian, and by some the Median apple, is an antidote against poisons. The leaf is similar to that of the arbute, except that it has small prickles running across it. As to the fruit, it is never eaten, but it is remarkable for its extremely powerful smell, which is the case, also, with the leaves; indeed, the odour is so strong, that it will penetrate clothes, when they are once impregnated with it, and hence it is very useful in repelling the attacks of noxious insects.

The tree bears fruit at all seasons of the year; while some is falling off, other fruit is ripening, and other, again, just bursting into birth. Various nations have attempted to naturalize this tree among them, for the sake of its medical properties, by planting it in pots of clay, with holes drilled in them, for the purpose of introducing the air to the roots; and I would here remark, once for all, that it is as well to remember that the best plan is to pack all slips of trees that have to be carried to any distance, as close together as they can possibly be placed.

It has been found, however, that this tree will grow nowhere except in Media or Persia. It is this fruit, the pips of which, as we have already mentioned, the Parthian grandees employ in seasoning their ragouts, as being peculiarly conducive to the sweetening of the breath. We find no other tree very highly commended that is produced in Media.

Citrons, either the pulp of them or the pips, are taken in wine as an antidote to poisons. A decoction of citrons, or the juice extracted from them, is used as a gargle to impart sweetness to the breath. The pips of this fruit are recommended for pregnant women to chew when affected with qualmishness. Citrons are good, also, for a weak stomach, but it is not easy to eat them except with vinegar.”

The four species together are called in Hebrew: ארבעת המינים arba’at ha-minim, the four plants collectively (Citron, Palm Frond, Willow, and Myrtle) mentioned in the Torah (Leviticus 23:40) as being relevant to worshipping Adonai during Sukkot.  The three branches are bound together called the Lulav! The bundle is bound together with strips from another palm frond or bound in a special holder which is also woven from palm fronds.

The “Etrog,” the Citron, and Lulav have some profound spiritual symbolism. The Citron resemble in its shape, the heart, the driving force behind all our actions. The “Lulav,” the Palm Branch, resembles the spine, which holds the body together and, without which, we would be unable to move. The Myrtle Branches, resemble, in their almond-shape, the eyes, with which we behold God’s Word and the Willow Branches, resemble the lips, with which we give expression to our thoughts and feelings while speaking the Word in power.  These four implements held together reveal that a person should devote all of his-or- her strength, abilities, and heart in devotion to Adonai and His Service.

Symbolically, the four species represent the four kinds of people that make up a Messianic congregation or community.

1) The Etrog or Citron, a tasty fruit which also has a pleasant aroma, represents the righteous believer who have both Torah (Bible) knowledge and good deeds (or works).

 2) The Lulav, or branch of a date palm, produces a sweet fruit, but has no aroma or fragrance. This represents the believer who has Torah knowledge but is lacking in good deeds (a hearer of the word, but not a doer). He is deficient in good works.

 3) Then the Hassidim, or sweet-smelling Myrtle, are the believers who have good deeds, don’t have much knowledge of the word — these people do good works, but are deficient in, or deny Torah. The majority of the people of Israel may fall into this category.

 4) Finally, there is the Willow, or Aaravot. This species grows near the water, and needs water, but is odorless and tasteless — representing those believers who are lacking in both Torah and good deeds. Yet they have potential, they are planted at the right place!

All four types of people can be found in a typical Messianic congregation. Thus, the Lulav symbolizes the totality of the “One New Humanity” of Ephesians Chapter 2. Brotherly love and fellowship with everyone loving and helping one another in unity, striving toward the same goals: Fulfillment of Torah to the best of their abilities, bearing witness of Yeshua, and proclaiming the “Good News” to all humankind!

All that we do is done to Glorify Adonai as Sha’ul wrote:

I Corinthians 10:31. (CJB) Well, whatever you do, whether it’s eating or drinking or anything else, do it all so as to bring glory to God.

Additionally Sha’ul wrote:

Colossians 3:17. That is, everything you do or say, do in the name of the Lord Yeshua, giving thanks through him to God the Father.

This understanding is a full-time commission, a full-time job whether we are celebrating the Feast Days or living our everyday lives!

On Sukkot, we bind all the branches together – Willows, Palm Fronds, and Myrtles.  We hold this bundle in our right hand, and then lift them together with the choice fruit represented by the Esrog in our left hand. We then shake them all together, three times in each of the cardinal directions starting towards the East then upwards towards heaven then downward towards the earth.

Holding these four in a tight bond represents the unity that is God’s goal for His People. This bond represents the convergence of separate individuals into a unified people, a One New Humanity, with common vision, common goal, and common purpose for service and ministry unto our King. The four species also represent the Name of God. Aravah (Willow), Hadas (Myrtle), Lulav (Palm) and Etrog represent Yud-Heh-Vav-Heh, the four-letter tetragrammaton Name of Adonai.

Again, the key here regarding the Etrog, Lulav, and Sukkot is unity. As we say everyday in the Shema prayer: “God is One.” Being aware of this keeps our focus upon Him and helps us to deal with the trials and issues of everyday life. When we relate to Adonai’s unity, we come closer to achieving joy and victory in this world. As we daily wave the Etrog and Lulav in the six directions we recite this 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.

The command to waive the “Lulav,” is a time-honored biblical expression of worship for all of God’s children, Jew and Gentile alike! There are propound spiritual lessons we learn through our obedience in performing this mitzvah today as Ya’acov stated in:

James 1:22. Don’t deceive yourselves by only hearing what the Word says, but do it!

The main, foundational understanding of Sukkot and the Etrog & Lulav waving is simply the lesson of unity, that the children of God be echad. As we joyously perform this mitzvah together, as the body of the Messiah, we do so in spiritual unity, one in Messiah! A reminder that we are in this spiritual struggle and fight together — we need each other — and we must help one another. As King David wrote:

Psalm 133:1-3. (CJB) A song of ascents. By David: Oh, how good, how pleasant it is for brothers to live together in harmony. 2 It is like fragrant oil on the head that runs down over the beard, over the beard of Aharon, and flows down on the collar of his robes. 3 It is like the dew of Hermon that settles on the mountains of Tziyon. For it was there that ADONAI ordained the blessing of everlasting life.

As you prepare for the Fall Feasts to enter His presence, may you minister to Adonai with clean hands and a pure heart! I pray you have a radical God encounter with Him these high holy days. May you see His face and hear His voice as we rehearse the soon return of Yeshua, our groom for us His bride! Chag Sameach, Happy Holidays!

Prevent Truth Decay

Prevent Truth Decay

By Eric Carlson in July 2022, July-3 on July 1, 2022

From the book “Understanding the Difficult Words of Jesus” Authors David Blivin’s and Roy Blizzard Jr. “The more Hebraic the saying or teaching of Yeshua the more difficult it is to understand….Most of Yeshua’s sayings are Hebrew idioms which do not translate into Greek”  The synoptic Gospels are derived from original Hebrew texts. Hebraic Idioms become meaningless when translated into Greek then English. In spite of the fact that some of the letters were initially written in Greek, the background and setting is thoroughly Hebrew. The writers are Hebrew, the culture is Hebrew, the religion is Hebrew, the traditions are Hebrew, and the concepts are Hebrew.  The Old Testament is 78% of the bible and the New Testament is 22%. Of course, the Tanach, the Old Testament is Hebrew and 43% of the New Testament was written originally in Hebrew, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and Acts 1-15 which is 43% of the New Testament, of the entire Bible, 88% is written in Hebrew! If you subtract the 176 quotations in the Brait Chadesha, the New Testament taken from the Tanach, the Old Testament, the Hebrew portion rises to 90%. Wonder why all this Greek stuff doesn’t make any sense, Its all Greek to me!

Eusebius stated emphatically that Matthew was written in Hebrew then translated to Greek. Jerome stated in 400 AD that all of Matthew was written in Hebrew and that in his time the original text still survived at the library in Caesarea. Jerome lived that last 31 years of his life in Jerusalem as he wanted to be closer to Adonai and read the original text in Hebrew. This original copy was destroyed when the library burned down in the great 4th century earthquake! This then reveals why the term Jehovah is never found in scripture and is actually a dangerous term to use.

Let’s break down the term Jehovah.  Je is Germanic/Latin for the Hebrew Yah.  There is no “J” in the Hebrew language, so the Germanic Latin equivalent of the vowel “Y” is “J”. Hova is a Hebrew word that means ruin/destroy (Strong’s Ref# 1943). Every time you say Jehovah Your saying God Destroys!  Jehovah Jira-God ruins/destroys my provision, Jehovah Perizim-God ruins/destroys my breakthrough! The term Jehovah was invented by a German scribe in the 16th century when unsure of how to correctly translate Yah from the Hebrew Text.

I Peter 3:10 – For “Whoever wants to love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit.

We must use caution in what we use as resources in the Kingdom, deception abounds! This is critical as Father desires those who will worship Him in Spirit and Truth!

The Shofar

The Shofar

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

Genesis chapter 22 is the source of the ancient rabbinical explanation of the Shofar’s beginning. When Abraham took Isaac to be sacrificed, an Angel appeared and stopped Abraham just before he sacrificed Isaac.  God provided the sacrifice, a ram caught in a thicket.  Here’s the tradition as retold by Jewish sages:  After sacrificing the ram, Abraham took one horn of the ram to remember this day and God took the other. Abraham was known to make altars, to keep reminders of whenever and wherever he met God.  He would go back and visit those places. Though this is an interesting story about Avraham it is not scriptural but the Shofar is!  The first mention of the Shofar in Torah is found in:

Exodus 19:12-17.  You are to set limits for the people all around; and say, ‘Be careful not to go up on the mountain or even touch its base; whoever touches the mountain will surely be put to death. 13 No hand is to touch him; for he must be stoned or shot by arrows; neither animal nor human will be allowed to live.’ When the shofar sounds, they may go up on the mountain.” 14 Moshe went down from the mountain to the people and separated the people for God, and they washed their clothing. 15 He said to the people, “Prepare for the third day; don’t approach a woman.” 16 On the morning of the third day, there was thunder, lightning and a thick cloud on the mountain. Then a shofar blast sounded so loudly that all the people in the camp trembled. 17 Moshe brought the people out of the camp to meet God; they stood near the base of the mountain.

The Shofar is a spiritual instrument that announces the arrival of God and calls in God’s Glory! The Shofar is a warfare instrument.  The Shofar is symbolic of obedience to God!  Shofars are made from the horns of the ram, mountain goat, kudu, antelope, and oryx.  Because of the Golden Calf incident, a bull’s horn is never kosher for a Shofar. The Shofar grew louder announcing the presence of Adonai.

Exodus 19:19. As the sound of the shofar grew louder and louder, Moshe spoke; and God answered him with a voice.

We are commanded to sound the Shofar on Yom Teruah (Feast of Trumpets):

Leviticus 23:24. “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, a holy convocation announced with blasts on the shofar.

The sound of the Shofar staggers and confuses HaSatan who at the first sounding thinks that we are merely complying with the command to blow the Shofar – the second blowing he (HaSatan) thinks it might be the return of Messiah as we know from:

Matthew 24:30-31. “Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, all the tribes of the Land will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven with tremendous power and glory. 31 He will send out His angels with a great Shofar; and they will gather together His chosen people from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”

A translation error from Hebrew to Greek has trumpet being used in most bible translations vice Shofar. There were two silver trumpets that were in the Temple but there were rarely used. The reemergence of the Shofar in the Greater Body of Messiah is a sign of restoration and revival!

Judges 7:15-22 tells the story of Gideon’s obedience and the destruction of the Midianite army by the Israeli army upon the great blast of 300 Shofars! Joshua chapter 6 relates the story of Israel walking around Jericho six times (six being the number of man, man can’t do anything on his own but, seven, the number of the Holy Spirit shows us how God is the only way anything can get done) with incessant Shofar blowing and absolutely no talking then on the seventh 7th time they blow the Shofars and all the people shout at the top of their lungs, the walls of Jericho come crashing down! We see that the Shofar is used in spiritual warfare!

Ephesians 6:12-13.  For we are not struggling against human beings, but against the rulers, authorities and cosmic powers governing this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realm. 13 So take up every piece of war equipment God provides; so that when the evil day comes, you will be able to resist; and when the battle is won, you will still be standing.

Job 2:2 reveals that HaSatan (devil) is walking this earth! I Peter 5:8 says the Devil is roaming about waiting to devour (us!) like a Lion! These passages show us that HaSatan, the enemy does in fact roam the earth!  So based on the knowledge given us in the second paragraph of this article, when we blow the Shofar the first time the enemy thinks that we are being obedient and blowing the Shofar as God commands in Leviticus but on the second blast the enemy thinks the Messiah is coming, so he flees before us. This is why we start every service by sounding the Shofar, we sound the shofar in home dedications, and on all the feast days except Yom Kippur! At the final shofar the dead will be raised!

I Corinthians 15:52. It will take but a moment, the blink of an eye, at the final shofar. For the shofar will sound, and the dead will be raised to live forever, and we too will be changed.

The establishment of the Messianic Reign and Yeshua’s return to earth is heralded by the sounding of the Shofar!

I Thessalonians 4:16. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a rousing cry, with a call from one of the ruling angels, and with God’s shofar; those who died united with the Messiah will be the first to rise;

Blowing the Shofar while praying over a brother or sister opens the heavens and clears a path for those prayers. Blowing of the Shofar when beginning any type of service will clear the space of any presence of the enemy. God’s glory descends on the sounding of the Shofar! The Shofar is also a powerful intercessory prayer instrument used by watchman and prayer warriors alike! Each Watchman had a shofar, there were hundreds of calls! They would announce sunrise and sunset with the shofar! They would sound the shofar if an enemy approached, they sounded the Shofar in war, they would sound the shofar to begin and end Shabbat! The Shofar is a heavenly communication tool.

TEN REASONS WE BLOW THE SHOFAR.

  1. When we hear the shofar we are to remember God’s Kingship. In ancient Israel the new king’s reign was announced with the shofar (1 Kings 1:34). When we blow the shofar we remember that Yeshua is King of Kings and Lord of Lords and we are to be obedient subjects.

  1. When we hear the shofar we are to remember to be God’s worshippers. God seeks those who will worship Him in spirit and in truth. The Shofar is used in worship and in fact heads the list of instruments in Psalm 150, which are used to worship God. “Praise Him with the Shofar.”

  1. When we hear the Shofar we are to remember our need to repent. The Shofar signaled the approach of danger. We are in danger without repentance. “Blow a Shofar in Zion and sound an alarm on my holy mountain… consecrate a fast, proclaim a solemn assembly. Return to Me with all your heart, and with fasting, weeping and mourning, and rend your heart and not your garments” (Joel 2:1, 12- 13).

  1. When we hear the Shofar we are to remember the faithfulness of the Patriarch. The Shofar is made from a ram’s horn. It reminds us of the Akedah, the binding and Abraham’s intended sacrifice of Isaac. Because of this act of faith, God promised to bless the Jewish people and give us victory over our enemies. The Shofar is a reminder of our covenant with God because of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

  1. When we hear the Shofar we are to remember the binding of Messiah Yeshua, our ultimate Akedah. Abraham prophesied that God would provide for Himself the Lamb for the burnt offering (Genesis 22:8). Messiah Yeshua was offered up as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world on that same spot two thousand years later.

  1. When we hear the Shofar we are to remember the Shofar that accompanied the revelation of the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai, and that all Scripture is divinely inspired by God.

  1. When we hear the Shofar we are to remember the battle alarm for war. “Near is the great day of the L-rd, near and coming very quickly… a day of Shofar and battle cry” (Zephaniah 1:14-16). Messiah will return and fight during the greatest battle of all time, the battle of Armageddon. We are in the middle of a battle that has been raging for the soul of humanity. HaSatan and his fallen angels are fighting for people to share their destiny. Messiah Yeshua is fighting for people to share His eternal destiny.

  1. When we hear the Shofar we are to remember our resurrection that will take place at Messiah’s return when the Shofar blows (1 Corinthians 15:52, 1 Thessalonians 4:16).

  1. When we hear the Shofar we are to be reminded of Aliya, our people’s restoration to the Land of Israel. Messiah Yeshua will gather all of Israel’s exiles.

Isaiah 27:13.  On that day a great shofar will sound. Those lost in the land of Ashur will come, also those scattered through the land of Egypt; and they will worship ADONAI on the holy mountain in Yerushalayim.

  1. When we sound the Shofar we are asking God to remember us. The sounding of the Shofar is like a prayer that ascends to God’s throne saying, “O Lord, may the sound of our Shofar ascend before Your throne. Remember Your covenants, forgive us, save us, and deliver us.” As an instrument of proclamation, announcing the presence or coming of the Lord.

Shofar Scriptures

Catalyst of the fear of the Lord                                       Ex.19:16, 20:18

God hears and answers prayers                                      Ex. 19:19

Reminder of taking rest-                                               Lev. 23:24

Command to the Priests                                                Num. 10:8

Essential in going to war                                               Num. 10:9, 31:6

Blown in offering sacrifice (Now praise and Worship)          Num. 10:10

To be blown constantly in battle                                     Josh. 6:8-9

Precedes the shout                                                       Josh. 6:16, 6-20

Blown while on a journey                                              Judg. 3:27

Evidence of the Spirit of the Lord

Coming upon you                                                         Judg. 6:34

Corporate blowing is powerful                                        Judg. 7:8,20,22

Blown by leadership to get attention

Of God’s people                                                           I Sam. 13:3

To cease from warfare                                                  II Sam. 2:28

Blown during installation and anointing

of leadership                                                               I Kings 1:34

To accompany the dethroning of

wicked leaders                                                            II Kings 11:14

Instrument used during great celebrations                               I Chr. 13:8

God ascends in it’s blowing                                            Ps. 47:5

Priestly instrument of praise and worship                         II Chr. 29:26,28

                                                                                Ps. 10:3, Ps. 98:6

                                                                                II Sam. 6:15,

                                                                                Isaiah 27:13.

A powerful catalyst to bring God’s Glory                           II Chr. 5:13

To sound when being attacked                                       II Chr. 13:14

Blown when building                                                     Ezra. 3:10

The alarm of war                                                         Jer. 4:19

Rallies the people for battle                                           Neh. 4:20

It arouses God for Battle                                               Job 39:24-25

Prophetic warning for God’s people                                 Ezek. 33:3-4

Blown as a standard is being raised                                Isaiah 18:3

Blown in fleeing for safety                                             Jer. 6:1

A sound for the watchman                                            Jer. 6:17

The rebellious refuse it’s warning                                    Jer. 42:13-14

Consecrating a fast                                                      Joel 2:15

God Himself blows it!!!!!!!!                                             Zech. 9:14

Gives commands to angelic hosts                                   Matt. 24:31

Blown by angelic hosts                                                  Rev. 8:6

When blown the dead will be raised                                I Cor. 15:52

The Lord descends in it’s sound                                      I Thes. 4:16

Sounds like the voice of God                                          Rev. 1:10, 4:1

Finally, the sounding of the Shofar Heralds the Day of the Lord:

Joel 2:1. “Blow the shofar in Tziyon! Sound an alarm on my holy mountain!” Let all living in the land tremble, for the Day of ADONAI is coming! It’s upon us!

Until the Shofar Sounds again, be blessed!

Rabbi Eric S 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.

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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 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.