Weekly Scripture Commentary
Parashot Nitzavim & VaYeilech — "Standing" & "And Went"

"You stand this day all of you before Yehovah your God; your captains of your tribes, your elders, and your officers, with all the men of Israel, your little ones, your wives, and your stranger who is in your camp; that you should enter into covenant with Yehovah your God, and into His oath, which Yehovah your God makes with you this day; that He may establish you today for a people to Himself, and that He may be to you a God, as He has said to you, and as He has sworn to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. And not with you alone will I make this covenant and this oath; but with him who stands here with us this day before Yehovah our God, and also with him who is not here with us this day." Deuteronomy 29:9-14

"For this commandment which I command you this day, is not hidden from you, nor is it far off. It is not in heaven, that you should say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it to us, that we may hear it, and do it? Nor is it beyond the sea, that you should say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it to us, that we may hear it, and do it? But the word is very near to you, in your mouth, and in your heart, that you may do it. See, I have set before you this day life and good, and death and evil; In that I command you this day to love Yehovah your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments and His statutes and his judgments, that you may live and multiply. But if your heart turns away, so that you will not hear, but shall be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them; I announce to you this day, that you shall surely perish. I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your seed may live; That you may love Yehovah your God, and that you may obey His voice, and that you may cleave to Him; for He is your life, and the length of your days." Deuteronomy 30:11-20

The two holiest days of the Jewish calendar are upon us – Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur.

Rosh HaShanah is, most of the times, known as the Jewish New Year, but we do not find this designation in the Torah. In the Torah we read that this Holy Day is called, "Zikaron Teruah," which means, the memorial of the sound of the Teruah. The rabbis connect this sound of the teruah with the sound that the Israelis heard when God gave the Torah at Mount Sinai.

This day begins a 10-day reflection period for repentance toward God and man. These 10 days are referred to as the "Yomim Noraim," the Days of Awe. They are awe filled days which bring with them another opportunity to renew our commitment to our Messiah and Lord and to follow His commandments, to love one another, to love our neighbor as well as our enemy, and to do good and perform justice in every situation; to love our God with all our power and mind, and to thirst for His righteousness. We cannot know what good is unless we know what is revealed about God. An atheist's standard of good and bad is relative to his/her own pleasures, and even if he/she has any standards that are universaly called good, they are from God even if they are not recognized as such. Only God's standards are universal and can be called good.

Yeshua's voice will be heard in the sounding of the Shofar as He calls us to open the inner door of our hearts that He may come in and establish the favorable year of the Lord for us in 5777, even as He did in the synagogue on the Shabbat before Rosh HaShanah, nearly 2,000 years ago. Let Him come into your heart and do Tashlich for you - throw your sins into the depths of the sea, for in His forbearance, patience and long suffering He has been waiting to wash our feet these High Holy Days, so that we may walk with Him in the beauty of holiness, "having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing" (Ephesians 5:27), when He comes for His bride, because He is indeed our life.

But without a true perspective of who Yeshua is, this is not possible.

It is believed that on the Shabbat before Rosh HaShanah, Yeshua made aliyah - went up to read the Haftarah portion. As we are approaching this Holy Day it is appropriate to remember what He taught as well as to check our perspective on His Messianship and His Divinity.

In Luke 4:16 we read, "And He (Yeshua) came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up; and as was His custom, He entered the Synagogue on the Shabbat, and stood up to read (made aliyah)."

These Torah divisions were made by the Rabbinate around 500 BCE and are read on the same Shabbats from year to year. Early on, these readings were completed in a three year cycle instead of one year as we have it today. On the Shabbat before Rosh HaShanah the prescribed Haftarah reading is from Isaiah 61. So it was quite normal and fitting for our Messiah to enter His hometown Synagogue and read from the Scripture that Shabbat. Yet, that Shabbat was unlike any other in history - for the Messiah read the portion until He reached the phrase: "to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord." Then He closed the scroll. Isaiah 61 is filled with descriptions of the Messiah's ministry: to preach the good news, to proclaim release to captives, recovery of sight to the blind, to free those downtrodden and to proclaim a "L'Shanah Tovah," a Good New Year, the favorable year of the Lord.

What was the reaction of those Jewish people in the Synagogue on that pre Rosh HaShanah Shabbat? At first, they were speaking well of Him. There are many people today who say similar things about Yeshua, "He was a good man," they say. While others go further, "He was a great Rabbi." Some will say, "He must have been a Prophet." A few will even proclaim that "He was the Messiah," in accordance with the rabbinical definition of the Messiah, that He is only a superior man and not God in human flesh. Yeshua not only heard their limited praises, but, being God, was able to look right into their hearts. What did He see? He saw that in no time they would turn against Him.

Are you someone who says something "nice" about Yeshua? It has become a common practice in the Jewsih scholarly communities not to offend someone's religion so they would say nice things, but be aware of their unbelief.

To those who say, "He was a good man," Yeshua answers that, "there is no one good, except God" (Mark 10:18).

To those who would say, "He was a great Rabbi," He would say, "He is the stone which the builders rejected" (builders of the Rabbinical Judaism, i.e. the Rabbis) (Psalm 118:22 / Acts 4:11).

To others, who would proclaim Him a prophet, He says, "I am the Way the Truth and the Life, no one comes to the Father except through Me" (John 14:6). He rejects being declared only a prophet. He says He is the only way to come to God the Father.

Yet, there are some Jewish people - and even more non-Jewish people - who will accept Him as the Messiah, but not as God manifest in the flesh. If that is your view, to you He says, "Unless you believe that I AM (YHVH - the name of God in the Torah), you shall die in your sins" (John 8:24). Yeshua leaves no room for salvation apart from the belief that He is one - ehad - with the Father. The Tanakh - the Jewish Bible - gives hundreds of proofs that He was who He said He was, "the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob," the great I AM. Are you among those who reject the Jewish Scriptures, and "do not love the truth, so as to be saved?" (2 Thessalonians 2:10). Study the Scriptures and believe!

Life is very fragile and short, to live forever with God you need to decide in this life that Yeshua HaMashiah is indeed the God of all creation. Any other view will consign you to an eternity without His Presence and love. He will not accept anyone who demotes Him in their heart or understanding:

Who has gone up to heaven and come down?
Whose hands have gathered up the wind?
Who has wrapped up the waters in a cloak?
Who has established all the ends of the earth?
What is His name, and what is the name of His Son?
Surely you know!
 Proverbs 30

Yes, you know, He is Yeshua HaMoshiah the Son of God who was present at and involved in creation. To those who do believe in His divinity, He proclaims God's favor to you, in this New Year and forever! L'Shanah Tovah Tikatevu!

Sisterhood

Coming up this Shabbat at Ben David

September 16 - Message by Chuck Ott:

Title:

“Does the Hebrew Bible teach that I MUST Believe in Yeshua?”

As a Jewish or non-Jewish person who wants to be faithful to the Hebrew Scriptures (Tanach), am I really compelled to believe in Yeshua? Isn’t my “belief” in God enough? Can’t I just wait until the Messiah comes [again] to decide what to believe, if He comes? What does belief in Yeshua mean for me and for the Jewish people as a whole? We’ll explore what the Hebrew Bible has to say and how ancient and modern Rabbis weigh-in on these critical questions. The answers can be life-changing!

Simchat Torah

October 14 - Simchat Torahtorah
The Joy of the Torah - Morning Service
Concluding the annual Torah reading and beginning anew.
Join us celebrating God's word.

Rosh HaShanah

Wednesday, September 20 - Erev Rosh HaShanah Messianic Service at 7:00pm.rosh
Rosh HaShanah, also known as the Jewish New Year, is called in the Bible, The Feast of Trumpets, or, in Hebrew, Zicharon Teruah, the Day of Memorial of Blowing.
Rosh HaShanan (literally, Head of the Year) occurs on the first day of the Jewish month of Tishrei, this year, on Thursday, September 21.
Please join us for the evening service on Wednesday, September 20, at 7:00pm and celebrate this Biblical Holy Day and its Messianic significance.

Yom Kippur

September 30 - Yom Kippur Messianic Serviceykippur
Yom Kippur, or the Day of Atonement, occurs on the tenth of Tishrei, Saturday, September 30 this year.
Join us for this Messianic Service at 10:30am.

Sukkot

October 7 - Sukkot Service at 10:30am:sukkot
join us for a Sukkot celebration.
- Morning Service and Oneg in the Sukkah.

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