Torah Portion Series, 01. Breisheet

This week we begin posting a series of Torah Portion studies focusing on what the Torah has to say regarding headship and partriarchy. If Israel is to be restored, and the tribes are to return, and if the Messiah is to uphold Torah, then we need to wrestle with what that will look like structurally. Does the Torah define what a family looks like? Does it give us clear instruction on the authority structure? Do we know the roles and responsibilities of man and woman? What does a clan or tribe look like? How does it function?

Most readers here were reared in a Christian environment and may have a sense of truth, but do we really know the root in Torah and have we seen it walked out in righteousness? Have we been infected with Greco-Roman thinking in areas that we may not even know?

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On the Slopes of Hermon!!

Nothing happens by accident!!

Indeed, even a slight delay caused by a missing shopping buggy can lead to interesting or even Divine encounters.

Mt. Hermon immediately behind us.

Sunday evening as Kelly and I prepared to grocery shop for the incoming Ani Yosef team, I had to backtrack to get a cart. After walking down a level at the Rami Levy and heading for the garage to get five shekels I suddenly bumped into familiar faces! Mark and Michelle!

He is a graduate student in Israel and teaches some visiting groups in the area as a guest instructor. At our encounter he asked if I was interested in riding up to Majdal Shams, on the southern slope of Mount Hermon, to help teach a class about the two houses of Israel. Wow!! I was immediately intrigued.

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Condemning the just? Abomination?

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Our focus for the next Torah cycle…

Opportunities abound in each new journey through the Torah and now is the time to prayerfully ask Abba what He may have for you.

Free Torah Portion cards available through FFOZ.

As most readers know, we are just a couple Shabbats away from returning to the beginning and again taking up the annual journey through the Torah portions. Each year I seek what the Father would have me focus on as an overarching theme. In some years I have shared from those studies and in others it has been a more personal matter.

Well, this year, I will be paying special attention to elements of headship, patriarchy, marriage, roles of men and women as well as how this all plays out in community with a goal of understanding more about the restoration of kol Israel at the family and then clan levels. Blog co-author, Jeremy, and I have the ambitious goal of releasing a weekly blog post sharing some of what we are learning from each Torah portion.

We hope you will seek the Father and see what His focus would be for you, and if He leads you to join us on this journey, we ask you to participate in comment and discussion after each weekly post. Pray for us and walk with us in this critical journey.

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Prophecy blindness?

Kelly and I are back in the Land, aka Israel, for the next three glorious weeks. We are blessed to have the opportunity to lead the Ani Yosef Sukkot trip and to attend a couple small conferences concerning the restoration of Israel.

After a late start this morning due to little sleep while traveling we headed out for a several hour hike out of the moshav and through a part of the Hakedoshim Forest. The ‘Forest of the Holy Ones.’

We walked and talked. Stopped a couple places to pray and simply drink in the beauty.

As we talked, she mentioned, “I look forward to the day when everything is green again.”

I said, “It is green! Everywhere.”

“I’m not color-blind,” she immediately responded.

“I understand what you are saying, dear, but I already see it as green.” Then it hit me. I pondered and as we kept walking, I said, “I think often we are prophecy-blind like being color-blind. We don’t see things by faith as if they already are!”

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Shabbat Shalom from Israel!

Back in Israel and preparing for another awesome Ani Yosef trip and service project with amazing mishpocha from around the globe.

I posted a quick blurb and some pics at AniYosef.com. Hope you’ll follow and share those posts as we spend the next 21 days fellowshiping and connecting with our Jewish family.

Shabbat Shalom.

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Restoring Kol Israel: ‘Bene Israel’ and Headship

A week ago, in our post titled Restoring Kol Israel: No more male or female?, we made a huge statement that many may have glossed over. Because it is so monumental, we need to go back and parse it with implications spelled out. Here is the quote:

To be clear, Yah is delivering these commands through Moses to the men of the households and it’s the man’s responsibility to teach them and discern correct application for his women.

See post

As demonstrated earlier in the cited post, the Torah commands, over and over, as given by YHVH to Moshe, are specifically addressed to the men. While this understanding is not in conflict with most of Orthodox Judaism, it is a decided cut against the western egalitarianism and feminism that has overrun the church.

To review a couple things very quickly, our heart’s desire is to see kol Israel, all 12 (13) tribes restored. That cannot happen unless the most basic building block is restored. That building block is the man and, if he has one, his family. Call it what you will, manhood, masculinity, patriarchy, etc, the simple fact is that the structure of a nation cannot be assembled from broken or improperly functioning family building blocks. The basis of the entire structure that Yah designed and implemented is focused on the man leading his family. It began in Gan Eden with Adam and Chava.

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Sacrifice for the 70 Nations… (Video)

Hours ago, on the Mount of Olives, a lamb was sacrificed for the nations. But, there are a few problems….

While I need more time to think through and process this, several troubling thoughts come to mind right from the outset…

Leviticus 17 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to Aaron and to his sons and to all the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘This is what the Lord has commanded, saying, “Any man from the house of Israel who slaughters an ox or a lamb or a goat in the camp, or who slaughters it outside the camp, and has not brought it to the doorway of the tent of meeting to present it as an offering to the Lord before the [a]tabernacle of the Lord, bloodguiltiness is to be reckoned to that man. He has shed blood and that man shall be cut off from among his people. 5 [b]The reason is so that the sons of Israel may bring their sacrifices which they were sacrificing in the open field, that they may bring them in to the Lord, at the doorway of the tent of meeting to the priest, and sacrifice them as sacrifices of peace offerings to the Lord. The priest shall sprinkle the blood on the altar of the Lord at the doorway of the tent of meeting, and offer up the fat in smoke as a soothing aroma to the Lord. They shall no longer sacrifice their sacrifices to the goat demons with which they play the harlot. This shall be a permanent statute to them throughout their generations.”’

“Then you shall say to them, ‘Any man from the house of Israel, or from the aliens who sojourn among them, who offers a burnt offering or sacrifice, and does not bring it to the doorway of the tent of meeting to offer it to the Lord, that man also shall be cut off from his people.

  • This was not done ‘in the place where I cause My name to dwell’, rather it was across the Kidron on the Mt. of Olives.
  • It does not appear to have been done by a Levitcal priest.
  • It does not appear to have been a ‘clean’ fire. By that I mean, some kind of fluid, maybe olive oil, or heaven forbid, lighter fluid was used to start it. And, the charcoal came from where?

Make no mistake, Ezekiel 44 clearly says that there will be offerings of the ‘fat and the bood’ in the future Temple, but this is not it. Beware… I strongly suspect this is opening a very dark spiritual portal intended to bring a messiah, but it will not be the Holy One of Israel.

I’ll write more after deeper thought, but this needs to be out there… Armor up!

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Restoring Kol Israel: No more male or female?

For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. [27] For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. [28] There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. [29] And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise.

Galatians 3:26-29 NASB

As I have pointed out before, Paul upheld and taught the Torah. Many folks in this Torah walk want to minimize Paul. They will find many things in his letters that they have trouble finding in the Torah, therefore they say “Paul wasn’t a legit Apostle” or “Paul was writing based on cultural bias and we don’t need to worry about what he said, it’s not Torah.” One of my first thoughts when I hear someone say this is ‘how arrogant can you be?’ My personal belief is that the Apostle Paul likely understood the Torah better than any other human being who ever walked the earth save Moses and Yeshua. There is a reason why Peter labels Paul’s writings as scripture (2 Peter 3:16). I pray that I have demonstrated to you in recent posts, as I will in this one, that the Apostle Paul upheld and taught the Torah and it is at our own peril if we ignore his writings. If something he wrote appears to contradict the Torah then we are misunderstanding him. If we have trouble finding something he wrote in the Torah then we simply haven’t understood the Torah to the depth necessary. This, I venture to say, is a lifelong task. 

So, has anyone ever wondered what Paul was talking about in Galatians 3:28? Where did he get this from? What does it even mean? Is this found in the Torah? 

In this study I was specifically looking at direct commandments being delivered within the context of the Torah which is the standard we are called to live by. The remainder of scripture is practical application of Torah. To the degree that commands are given elsewhere they all have their basis in the Torah and they never conflict with the Torah.

What does bên mean in Hebrew? Strongs H1121

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The Beast Rising (with his Noahide Laws…)

For some time I have been avoiding writing this post, but the links are piling up on my desktop and it is increasingly clear that we are in a cattle chute with no exit opportunity. This is a one way trip into the arena for the bull ride of a lifetime!!

A long way from PBR, but my adrenaline charged youngest son enjoys bull riding. This is mild compared to the BEAST this generation will have to deal with….

The Beast is ready for a show!!

It appears that for the second time in a mere six months, the Israeli elections have failed and the clamor of the populace increasingly is calling for the Messiah to be revealed, only they may not get what they think they are asking for.

Eschatology, a study of end times, has long been one of my major interests, though it rarely peeks onto this blog. Maybe its because there are too many things that have been more important, or maybe its because immediately people think I’m off the deep end (not that most don’t already think that…). But, I have withheld personal thoughts on current events while delving into the much more predictable and important topics of headship, marriage and the foundation and restoration of kol Israel.

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Unclean in the New testament

My bride and I were watching a video by Zach Bauer the other day and he displayed and read this passage: 

Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, [20] Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, [21] Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. (Bold, mine)

Galatians 5:19-21 KJV

Suddenly my wife Sarah noticed the third item in this list. “It says uncleanness right there!” she exclaimed. I looked again and replayed that portion of the video and said, “you’re right and where is that defined?” The next day, I was talking to Peter and he said, “that sounds like a good blog post. If you don’t write it I will.” So here it goes. 

I started by looking up the verse at blueletterbible.org in the KJV and clicking ‘tools’   next to verse 19 revealing the Greek words and the Strongs number. The word ‘uncleanness’ is translated from ἀκαθαρσία G167 which I then cross referenced with the LXX (Septuagint Greek translation of the Tanakh) and can you guess what I found? The same word is used over 150 times in various forms throughout the Tanakh. It links back to Strongs numbers H2930 and H2931.  

One of the glaringly obvious passages to jump to is Lev. 11. Ἀκαθαρσία (akatharsia) is the same word used for the unclean animals that are defined as “non food.” This type of uncleanness is absolutely forbidden and if done willfully puts the believer in a very dangerous place Yah defines as ‘an abomination’ (Lev. 11:10-13, 20, 23, 41-43 KJV). Another word for abomination used in both Deut. 14:3 and Is. 66:17 is tô‛êbah  It gives us, in the context of eating unclean, a link back to Lev. 18:22 which is a direct prohibition of male homosexuallity. How many sermons have we heard preached condeming homosexuality as an abomination but completely ignoring the fact that the church is having a pig roast picnic that same afternoon? Another connection you may want to study through using the same word study process is Rev. 21:27. This links us back to multiple uses of abomination in the Torah and is also a very clear statement about entering the kingdom. 

Tame, H2930/31 also links to being ceremonially unclean in multiple passages such as when you touch a dead body (Lev. 19:13), the time of a woman’s cycle (Lev. 15:24-33; 18:19), after childbirth, after sexual relations with a wife, etc… Obviously, these states of uncleanness are natural functions that are part of life.  They do not make us ‘sinful,’ rather, we are simply not in a clean state to enter the Temple. (Some argue that if we are the Temple of Yah, then we should seek to maintain a state of cleanness as a daily habit, recognizing that sometimes being unclean or exposed to this type of uncleanness is unavoidable. The authors would recommend you seek the Father for how He would have you walk this aspect out in the absence of a Temple.)  What is important is to understand that there are two types of uncleanness, physically sinful and ceremonial. The former separates us from Yah permanently, absent repentance and sacrifice, while the latter separates us temporarily requiring a mikvah/bath and at times sacrifice.

The larger point is this particular “work of the flesh,” just like the rest of Paul’s list in Galatians 5:19-21, has a particular definition or definitions found in the Torah.  These are definitions we must understand as this must be a very serious matter if it can potentially keep one from ‘inheriting the kingdom of God.’

The Apostle Paul upheld the Torah. He never taught anything contrary to it nor did he attempt to add to it. I find it interesting that right here in Galatians, the letter that most Christians point to as “proof that the law is done away with,” we find that Paul is pointing back to the Torah in the verse immediately following the one most folks rip out of context as “proof”. Without the Torah there is no definition for most of the things listed in this passage. Yet, many today would have us believe that uncleanness has some other mystical meaning that they make up in their own head or they have heard spouted by some denominational pastor who pasted together a couple out of context verses that supposedly support their “definition”. This is the very essence of both adding to and taking away from Torah. 

The bottom line is that those who have ‘uncleanness’, ἀκαθαρσία, will not inherit the kingdom of God. Uncleanness, as we’ve demonstrated according to Torah, includes both eating swine’s flesh (see Lev. 11:44-45 and Isaiah 66:16-17) and male homosexuality (among other sexual sins).

Pete and I hope you will continue to study this important topic and we look forward to expanding on this in future posts.

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Restoring Kol Israel: The Role of the Wife

The immediate assumption many make when discussing Biblical headship and the role of the woman is that she is relegated to barefooted existence in the kitchen. And, that is a lie straight from the enemy. Let’s dig in!

We have been pursuing a Biblical understanding of marriage, headship and the roles of men and women in this series titled Restoring Kol (All) Israel. As explained near the beginning of the series, for Israel to be restored, tribes must be restored. For tribes to be restored, clans must be restored. For clans to be restored, the family must be restored. For the family to be restored the man must be restored and then his woman.

Thus far in our study we have seen the clear teaching and example in Scripture, both of the patriarchs and Messiah as well as the instructions found both in Torah and the New Testament that man is to be the head of the home and that part of his responsibility is his woman. We will not rehash those details but rather use them as a foundation to build on what Scripture actually says about the role of the woman.

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A great man will….

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Restoring Kol Israel: The Role of the Husband

As we continue our headship study we need to keep in mind that the Scriptures are almost completely opposed to our modern cultural understanding of family structure, morals and responsibility. One major aspect of this is the role of a husband in this thing we call marriage.

While we generally assume that ‘husband’ means ‘male spouse in a marriage,’ the older definitions, and especially the verb forms are quite instructive:

From Dictionary.com,

noun

a married man, especially when considered in relation to his partner in marriage.

British. a manager.

Archaic. a prudent or frugal manager.

verb (used with object)

  • to use frugally; conserve: to husband one’s resources.
  • to manage, especially with prudent economy.

Archaic.

  • to be or become a husband to; marry.
  • to find a husband for.
  • to till; cultivate.

Husband, in its purest form is a manager of resources or cultivator.  One might specifically call to mind a vinedresser, or one who guards, prunes, trains and harvests from a vine.

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Vision and Restoration…

Why are you alive? Fifty years after you die, what will have been the value of your life? How will people remember you? Will they remember you?

While ultimately, life is not so self centered as to be about my or your existence, few of us think deeply enough about our reason for being or living.

Recently, my wife and I, along with our eldest, attended a retreat focused on Biblical headship and patriarchy, our third such with this group. It was a refreshing gathering of believers from a number of different Christian/Hebraic backgrounds with the common passion for understanding marriage and headship from a decidedly Biblical perspective. Besides the interesting fact that is was fun to rub shoulders with Christians who don’t see or understand Torah as necessary while decidedly rejecting feminism and matriarchy based on the ‘old Testament Law,’ it was cathartic to hear from others who have experienced rejection from friends and family because they choose truth over tradition in this area. But, I digress.

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