Kill The Fatted Calf!

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That sounds like a good idea!  But today, many who are sanctimonious think eating meat is bad, and say that anyone who does it is ‘weak’, or worse, ‘inhumane.’

To the first accusation: it is actually the vegetarian/vegan that scriptures call ‘weak.’

Would Yeshua use the epithet above, “Kill the fatted calf,” in order to express one of the greatest testaments to faith, if eating meat was a weakness?  Was the Father ‘weak’ to celebrate his son’s homecoming by slaughtering a bull, to eat with his guests?  Are we so arrogant to presume this was not the culture of the day, when every parable Yeshua told related to that culture?

“Assist him who is weak in HaEmunah. And do not waver in your reasoning. For one believes that he may eat all things; another who is weak eats [only] vegetables.”

This portion of scripture was written to former pagans.  Most people today do not realize that vegetarianism is a byproduct of paganism.  Many early gentile believers were former pagans, who had certain days they would only eat certain foods.  They worshipped the creation rather than the creator, who made animals FOR FOOD.  This is NOT an issue of salvation, NOR is it an issue of tzedaka, because we are NOT made righteous or unrighteous by what we eat.  However, to raise the status of the animal to that of human, OR to lower the status of human to that of animal, is an affront to the creator.  Much of vegan/vegetarian thinking does exactly that.

It is ELOHIM that created the animal to die as innocent for the sake of mankind.  That is NOT a weakness of man, that is an act of G-d.  Mankind was indeed vegetarian in the garden, and for 1,100 years thereafter, until the flood.  G-d HIMSELF killed an animal on day ten of human history, in order to atone for man’s new nakedness, his fallen estate.  An innocent creature died for the sake of man.

G-d Himself is the one who told No’akh to eat meat, after the flood, putting enmity between man and beast FOR THAT VERY PURPOSE.  We certainly would not call Avraham or the Malakh יהוה weak, even though we see the father of FAITH, who even in the weakest estate of his old body TRUSTED, eating meat together with the Malakh יהוה .  And this was BEFORE the written Torah and the covenant between G-d and Yisra’el through Moshe.  EACH TIME Elohim made the covenant promises to Avraham, animals were slain and eaten by Avraham.  When Avraham offered Yitz’khak on the altar, but Elohim provided a RAM to take his place, the animal died for the sake of the man.  This is a GODLY principle.  This is not a show of weakness.

When the Kohanim were set apart to serve Yisra’el, the whole nation of Yisra’el was to set apart one third of ALL THE CATTLE IN YISRA’EL, so that the Levi’im could EAT.  The tithe was FOOD for the Levites.  Further, EVERY SINGLE TIME any ONE Jew brought an offering to the temple that was a calf, a goat, or a bull, or a ram, the animal’s best part was given to Elohim, and the REST of it given to the Kohen who performed the rite, AND TO HIS FAMILY, who was with him in the Temple!  It was their DAILY FOOD.  They had to eat, and the DIVINE MENU was meat, along with grains, wine, and other produce.  That is not a sign of weakness, and neither is it inhumane.  It is the provision of the Almighty, under HIS DIRECTION.

To say that it is inhumane to kill an animal and eat it is so akin to worshipping the creation that it is disconcerting to hear believers support the notion.  To accuse believers who eat meat of being inhumane is a violation of the principles of scripture, most notably of Romim 14, where this very issue is settled, and where the vegetarian is called the weak one.  And, meat eaters are instructed there to STAY FIRM IN THEIR REASONING.  Even during the Millennium, while the Strong One, Messiah Yeshua, is ruling in Yerushalayim, we will be bringing BULLS up to the Kadosh City in order to offer them up, AND EAT THEM.  The killing of and eating of meat is NOT isolated to Pesakh, but was and will be a DAILY RITE in the Temple, including throughout the Millennium.

Elohim Himself consumed animal sacrifices, in fire.  Does that make the Creator inhumane?  Does that make Him weak?

We are instructed to eat meat in the Torah:  Gen 9 tells No’akh that every living thing that moves on the earth is now food for mankind.  But, at the same time, He tells us that there was already a classification of clean meat and unclean meat.  If Elohim did NOT want us eating meat at all, would HE not have classified it all as NOT FOOD?  He classified clean meat as FOOD, and tells us, IT WILL BE FOOD FOR YOU in VaYikra 11, and in D’varim 14.  Does a command from Elohim necessarily mean that He is feeding a weakness of man?  Again, mankind was weak BEFORE THE FLOOD, and He did not command us to eat meat until after.

It is not bad logic, but strong reasoning, to infer that man NEEDED meat after the flood.  When we consider that before the flood there was no rain, and that the flood was caused by the water that was between the firmaments falling to earth, we can see that that water probably served as a radiation barrier, protecting mankind from the harmful rays of the sun, and thus causing mankind to live up to 1100 years+.  After the flood, the lifespan of man quickly diminishes, and scriptures now say that a man is considered blessed just to live 80 years.  Rarely does one make it to 100+ any more.  This is certainly more sound reasoning than the notion that anyone who eats meat is weak in faith, especially since scripture plainly states that it is the vegetarians who are weak.

It is absurd to think that now, after 6,000 years, it is suddenly wrong to eat meat.  The Nation of Yisra’el is shown throughout history to be consumers of LOTS of meat, not only religiously, but in their daily lives.  It is the spirit of paganism consuming believers and dividing the Body of Messiah over the pettiest of doctrines, where vegans/vegetarians start hurling accusations of unrighteousness at meat eaters.  I have always said, choose not to eat meat for your own reasons.  But, do not try to foist the reason for it on other believers, especially since SO MANY ANIMALS died for the sake of mankind in scripture, as a DIVINE PRINCIPLE.   And also, since Sha’ul addressed this very issue clearly in scripture, telling both groups NOT to judge the other.  The difference today is that now, it is NOT FORMER pagans who are vegetarians, struggling with the notion of eating meat, but it is believers who grew up confidently eating meat, who now adopt the pagan idea that this is inhumane.  They seem to be turning, if ever so slightly, to worshipping the creation rather than the Creator, who gave us meat, FOR FOOD.

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Sukka, Sukka Now!

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Sukkot is on its way: The Messiah was born on the first day of Sukkot, and the evidence is in the scriptures!

The shepherds were ‘abiding in the fields, keeping watch over their flocks by night’.  No one keeps sheep out in the field in late Dec feeding them dirt, freezing them in the snow!  And yes, it does snow in Bethlehem in the twelfth month!  That’s Bethlehem in dec in the picture!

The ‘angel’ said “I am here to announce good tidings of Great Joy, which will be for all people”.  The Season of Sukkot is known as the “Season of Our Joy!”  Of Great Rejoicing.  It occurs in the early fall, as it is the fall harvest of the fruits of Israel.

They gave the shepherds a ‘sign’: “swaddling cloth” wrapped around the baby that would be born.  These are torn cloths used to make torches; in the temple, the priests’ robes were torn into strips that were used to make torches to light four HUGE torch lights in the Temple Court in Jerusalem, ONLY during Sukkot, starting on the first day of the seven days of Sukkot.  These lights were visible to the shepherds.  The four torches were called, “The Light of the World”, and they were lit ONLY during Sukkot!

The second part of the sign was that He would be found in a food tray [manger comes from the latin for ‘to eat’; it is not an animal barn].

In the season of Sukkot, Jews build “booths” outside their houses to commemorate their time in the wilderness in booths, and to contemplate the temporal nature of life.  Since this was a ‘pilgrim’ feast, with people travelling from all over Israel to come to Jerusalem, people in Jerusalem and all the outlying towns, Including Bethlehem, would leave a “food tray” in their Sukka for weary travelers.  The food tray was a box, up off the ground, to keep animals and insects from ruining the food.  This also would have been perfect for keeping a newborn up off the ground as well.  This was part of the ‘sign’ from the angel.

Yeshua was circumcised on the 8th day of his life, as all Jewish boys are.  This is called “Shemini Atzeret”, the Eighth Day of the Meeting, after the seven days of Sukkot.  It is also called the Day of Rejoicing in the Torah.  When Yeshua was brought into the Temple for circumcision, they REJOICED over Him, the LIVING TORAH, since the Torah is the only thing that was considered the “Word of G-d” to the Jewish mind in His day.  The gospel of Luke clearly shows that this was done so that Mary and Yosef would keep Torah.  This is also the day His Name, Yeshua, was officially assigned to Him before witnesses.  It was truly a great day of Rejoicing in the Torah!

Yokhanan HaMatbil [John the Immerser] was born six months before Yeshua.  Pesakh [Passover] is precisely six months before Sukkot.  Yeshua said Yokhanan WAS Eliyahu, and Eliyahu was expected to arrive during Pesakh.  But more, ZekharYah, his father, was a priest, in the priestly order of AviYah!  According to David in Chronicles this is the 8th order.  This priestly order served in the Beit HaMikdash twice a year.  Once in the late spring/early summer, exactly nine months before Pesakh.  Yes, it also served in the dead of winter, but, if we back up from Yeshua being born on Sukkot, then Yeshua’s conception is in the dead of winter, DURING KHANNUKAH! Which means that six months before that, Yokhanan’s conception had to occur.  We know the two babies are six months apart, because Luke tells us so, when Elizabeth and Miriam met before Yokhanan was born, immediately after Yeshua was conceived.

So, Yokhanan was born on Pesakh, and Yeshua was born on Sukkot 1, and circumcised on the 8th Day, Simkhat Torah, the day of REJOICING in the Torah!

Celebrating Sukkot is affectively celebrating the birth of Messiah Yeshua.  And we get to enjoy it for EIGHT DAYS!  When we rejoice in the Torah on the Eighth Day, it is the only time the Torah is ever completely visible, as it is rolled all the way out, spindle to spindle, so we can look at EVERY WORD OF GOD.  “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by EVERY WORD OF GOD.”  It’s like looking at a portrait of Yeshua.

Since we have more time, and Yeshua has not returned as yet, we must make this known!  The WHOLE WORLD WILL keep Sukkot when Messiah returns; if you don’t keep it then, you are punished.  If you don’t keep it NOW, will you be there then?? [Ze 14]

THIS is my memorial!

Zeh Zikhri: [Ex 3] my remembrance by declaring:

Some people wonder why I write His Name as יהוה and not as “Lord” or as “Adonai” or as Hashem, or anything else.

I went for years not knowing that the Creator has a NAME.  It is not wrong to call Him Adonai/Lord.  I don’t think it makes any literary sense, however, to call Him “The Name”, which is what Hashem means.  But, I do refer to ‘ha shem’, The Name, when I’m speaking Hebrew.  My issue is with REPLACING His Name with any one of those titles when quoting scripture or declaring the truth of who He is, and who His Son is.  He is indeed Adonai, but that is a role and a title, and not a name.

The Creator spoke very clearly to Avraham, Yitz’khak and Ya’akov, and to Moshe, and told them His Name is  יהוה , and that THIS was how we were to call upon Him.  The prophet Yo’el said that anyone who calls upon the Name of  יהוה  will be saved, and Kefa echoed that sentiment when He told us that Yeshua is in fact  יהוה .

Yeshua said His Father’s Name, the name that was given to Him as the Name Above all Names [Phil 2:10-11, Acts 2:36].  The mandate by Jews NOT to say His name came much later.  All the Shlikhim, Kefa, Sha’ul, Yokhanan, et al, declared His Name.  The Aramaic scriptures make it abundantly clear, using the Aramaic form of the Name, which most scholars agree is indeed a direct equivalent to the Name, used for no other purpose in ancient, holy writ, that the Name is important to the B’sorah.  It is placed surgically in key verses in the Brit Khadashah [NT] texts.

The below is a brief exposition on its use in both sides of the book, and is the ‘beginning’ of the support for not blotting out His Name, or calling Him ‘lord’ instead.

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Had a Blast!

A post from a couple of years ago, but very applicable to the season.

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Yom Teruah was a real blast!
[Ps 89:16]
We have now entered into HaYamim HaNora’im….
The ‘terrible days,’ which symbolize “The Time of Ya’akov’s Trouble,” what most know as the ‘tribulation,’ but do not fully understand the details of that.
We have seven days between Yom Teruah and Yom Kippur to contemplate our offenses against Elohim [G-d]. We have spent 30 days [+ Yom Teruah’s 48 hrs.] reflecting on our offenses with our brothers.
The way the WHOLE TORAH is ‘broken down’ is summarized in the Ten D’varim [Mitzvot, Commandments].
The first four summarize the commands that govern our relationship with Him.
‘I am יהוה your G-d; you shall put no other gods ‘before my face…’
‘You shall not make for yourself any graven image’
‘You shall not lift up the name of יהוה your G-d in vanity.’
‘Remember the Sabbath Day, to set it apart. Six days you will do your own work, but the SEVENTH DAY is a Shabbat unto יהוה your G-d….for in SIX DAYS יהוה made the heavens and the earth, and He rested on the SEVENTH DAY, so HE BLESSED the SEVENTH DAY, and set it apart.’
The commands that summarize our understanding and teach us about how to treat people are:
‘Honor your father and your mother, so you may live a long life.’
‘You shall not murder.’
‘You shall not commit adultery.’
‘You shall not steal.’
‘You shall not bear false witness.’
‘You shall not covet.’
These are a summary.
But, those who may tend to the last six, but do not tend to the first four, are yet ‘falling short.’ Even though they are ‘good people’ and ‘believe in God,’ and may even believe in His Son. They ignore how HE said to interact with Him. They will endure the Yamim Nora’im in the wrong place! Because they did not receive the CREATOR as the only G-d, and were dismissive over His Name, HIS Sabbath, and Idolatry, overt or subtle, all of which are dismissive attitudes that run rampant in most people’s lives today, unbeknownst to themselves.
We continue to pray Daniel’s prayer from 9:4-19. It is so applicable today to modern believers, who have erred against His will, but do not ‘see’ it. But, some are waking up. That is answering our prayers. For that, we are grateful. And we need to be ever more vigilant over our own souls, that we might save some, by our life’s witness.
So, ‘teshuvah’ during these next days up to Yom Kippur is also laced with thanksgiving, for me, that we have more time to reach people with HIS truth. Consider, Sha’ul [Paul] said this to BELIEVERS:
“Awaken your hearts to tzedaka [good works, ‘righteousness’], and sin not [1 John 3:4, sin is breaking Torah]; for some have not the knowledge of Elohim. I say this to your shame.” I Cor 15:34.

What have you gone and done?

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….Mom, sitting in front of what appears to be a Tallit

Some people from my past, when they see me wearing a Kippah and Tzit-tziyot, ask me, “When did you convert?”

The question used to take me aback, because I never saw myself as having ‘converted,’ as in the worldly understanding of it.

My de-facto answer these days is “Forty-one years ago, when I came to trust in Messiah Yeshua in a tiny, country, Baptist church!”

It’s funny, because Jews never ask me the question!  They see me as Jewish, and then, when they learn I am Messianic, most of them [the non-religious] do not question my Jewishness; they’re just bewildered by my belief in Yeshua as the Messiah, because they see HIM as the world does, a ‘former Jew’, or not Jewish at all.

In Israel, on my first trip there, I had so many Israeli Jews come up to me and call me brother; and they meant it in the most literal sense of the word.  At that time I only wore the Kippah and tzit-tziyot during religious rites, so they had no reason to assume, other than my looks and locale.  On my first day in Israel, I was standing at the Kotel, [The “Wailing Wall”, an outdoor synagogue] preparing to pray the Shema, an instinctive urge I had, not knowing it was customary, and I had my eyes closed, standing inches from those ancient stones.  I felt an arm go around my shoulder, and a voice spoke softly into my left ear, “Welcome home…”  This Rabbi knew it was my first time, I guess.  And saw my reluctance, perhaps.  He asked, “Have you prayed the Shema yet?”  To which I said no, and he gave me some space.  A few minutes later, we talked, and found out we had a common friend in Houston, a Rabbi, and that he also knew the family of one of my other Jewish friends in Houston!  He never once asked when I had converted, or questioned my pedigree.  The Rabbi friend we had in common here in Houston, when I met him, I volunteered my ‘goy’ status, and he corrected me!  We met at work.  Our companies shared the same building complex, and he and I both would go to a connecting hotel lobby at noon for prayer.  One day, he was reading Torah as I walked by, having completed my prayers.  I saw him with books, and I asked, “Are you reading Torah?”  He smiled real big, “You know Torah?”  And he handed it to me when I smiled and nodded.  I read a few verses aloud out of his Hebrew-only Tanakh, and he was shocked.  “You’re Jewish?”  “Well, my grandmother was, and one of my dad’s grandfathers was.”  “Well then, YOU’RE Jewish.”  He added that my observance of Shabbat affirms it as well.  And for the eight years that I worked there, we were buddies and brothers.

But, my ‘conversion,’ as I said, was not the same as others who do convert to Judaism.  Mine was an ‘organic’ process.

What do I mean?

First, in regard to ‘genetics’, I am Jewish, and have been all my life.  My mother and father both had Jewish parents or grandparents.  My mother didn’t know this until late in her life, after I asked my grandmother if she was Jewish.  I’ll never forget how matter-of-fact she was, and the big leather tome of her Jewish history she dug out to show me our heritage.  My dad did not believe it, thinking my grandmother was delusional. [he wasn’t there in Georgia, but was at home in Texas]  And he was not aware of his Jewish great-grandfather who was on the registry of Jewish Civil War Soldiers for the confederacy, along with my grandmother’s grandfather!  That was my own discovery while I was getting a Master’s in [Jewish Military] history.  So, I do have a bit of a genetic, Jewish pedigree.  But, while our blood runs thick with our Jewish forebears, we did not have the Torah nor the customs, but a watered-down version of them we inherited through Christianity.  Our Sabbath had been moved, and the feasts perverted.  But both sides of my family LOVED the Word of G-d nonetheless.  So, at 11 years old, when I stood in a Baptist church and heard of the Son of G-d, knowing already He was Jewish, and I heard that he died to take the penalty of my sin into His own flesh so that I would not have to, I trusted that good word.  And I changed.  And I became more Jewish than all my Jewish grandparents.  Because the organic, life-giving event that transformed me was the beginning of the process of circumcision of the heart, [Rom 2:29, 11:13-20], and according to the inspired Word of G-d, on both sides of the book, THAT is what makes one a Yehudi: A True Jew!

So, I converted nearly forty-two years ago, and am still being converted.  I am being transformed, and conformed into the image of the Son of G-d.  That ‘image’ is ONLY clearly expressed in The Word of G-d.  Every testimony outside of the Word MUST be measured against The Word ONLY.  In the Tanakh [OT], it [the image of Yeshua] is a mystery.  In the Brit Khadashah, it is a manifestation. [Heb 1:1-4] Yeshua lived His life as a Jew, died as a Jew, and for Jews.  But, He died not only for our [Jews] sins, but for the sins of the whole world.

I love my Jewish heritage.  I was honored to find out I had the blood of the tribe of Messiah in my veins.  But I put NO STOCK in that, nor in my Torah walk, to save me or give me righteousness.  I obey the Torah and follow His Customs to ‘show’ the mystery of Messiah to others, because I love G-d, and want to do it HIS WAY.  I wish everyone would, and that all could see how simple, and pure, and easy this walk truly is.  And how glorious doing what HE says is, making the wise simple, and the simple, wise.

How many yoms can you kippur?

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Below is a post from our congregation’s website, and is a good re-read for the season we are in, and the fast for which we all need to prepare.

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There is a trend in some of the ‘two-house’ leaning circles in Messianic “Judaism” that says we should not ‘fast’ on Yom Kippur, because that is what Jews do, and the word in Leviticus 23 does not say ‘fast’, but ‘afflict’, which only means to humble oneself. On the surface, this doctrine sounds lofty, sounds ‘holy’, and sounds like an honest attempt to get to truth. Unfortunately, this is rooted in lack of scholarship, and in anti-Semitism, and the hatred/mistrust of all doctrines of Jews, just because they are “Jewish.” They forget that Yeshua showed up and worked within the framework of 1st Century “Jew”daism during His ministry, and would not violate its ‘customs’ unless those customs violated the Torah.

Yeshua kept the Jewish customs, the ones that did not contravene Torah. The custom of fasting is less a custom and more a command, though to us who are so far removed from the word ‘afflict’, we do not see that “anah”, conjugated as “anitem et nafshoteikhem”, actually does mean to fast, and scripture proves it. We assume sometimes that “Strong’s Concordance”, a lexicon published in AD 1890 by a Methodist protestant, is the ‘authoritative source’ on Hebrew. That is a DANGEROUS assumption, and discredits mountains of other Hebrew scholarship, and does NOT take into account what ancient JEWS used words for and how THEY understood them, including Yeshua.

Further, Stephen, Sha’ul, and the rest of the Shlikhim, were FALSELY accused of wanting to do away not only with Moshe [Torah], but with the CUSTOMS established in Yisrael. Pay attention: these were FALSE ACCUSATIONS!

“And they appointed false witnesses who said, ‘This man does not cease to speak against the Torah and against this makom hakadosh; for we have heard him say that Yeshua HaNatzri shall destroy this place and shall change the customs which Moshe entrusted to you.’ ” Acts 6:13-14 [Perek Version]

“And when they heard it, they glorified Elohim and said to Sha’ul, ‘Our brother, see how many thousands there are in Y’huda who are believers, and they are all zealous for the Torah: but they have been informed about you that you teach all the Y’hudim who are among the Goyim to forsake the Torah of Moshe, stating that they ought not to circumcise their children, neither to follow after the customs of the Torah. Now, therefore, they have heard that you have come here. Do, therefore, what we tell you. We have four men who have vowed to purify themselves; Take them and go purify yourself with them, and pay their expenses so that they may shave their heads; then everyone will know that what has been said against you is a lie, and that you yourself uphold the Torah and obey it.’ ” Acts 21:20-24 [PV]

We see here, then, that keeping the customs/traditions was part of keeping Torah, in the minds of TENS OF THOUSANDS of JEWS who believed in Yeshua! And Sha’ul did NOT repudiate them, but agreed with them. He also declared that he kept both the Torah and the CUSTOMS, years later when he was defending himself against the same accusations:

Then Sha’ul answered, “I have committed no offense against the Torah of the Y’hudim, or against the Temple, or against Caesar.” Acts 25:8 [PV]

“And after three days, Sha’ul sent and called the leaders of the Y’hudim; and when they were come together, he said to them, ‘Men and my brethren, though I have done nothing against the people and the Torah of my fathers, yet I was delivered from Yerushalayim in bonds into the hands of the Romans, who, when they had examined me, would have released me, because they found in me no cause worthy of death. But as the Y’hudim stood against me, I was obliged to appeal to Caesar, not that I had anything of which to accuse my own people.’ ” Acts 28:17-19 [PV]

There is a lot to see in these two passages. First, that he did nothing against the “Temple”; the temples embodied many ‘customs’ that were not explicit in Torah, but that went hand in hand with Torah commands. You will see, one of these was fasting on Yom Kippur. Next, we see that, again, Sha’ul declares that he himself did nothing against the ‘traditions’/customs of ‘our fathers’, the JEWS. He is defending his obedience to JEWISH CUSTOM, even AFTER he became a believer in Messiah Yeshua. Check the book of Acts from about chapter 13 through the end, and you will see Sha’ul keeping customs. One of them was Synagogue attendance on Shabbat. There is no direct command to go to a Synagogue. Why, then, do we see Yeshua, Kefa and the 11, Sha’ul, and many tens of thousands of Messianic Jews doing so? We can also see that in the Jewish mind, the death penalty was justified for breaking CUSTOMS. Not just commands; why? Because in their minds, the customs were ‘how’ to keep the commands. They were not separate. Again, the ones Yeshua opposed were the ones that replaced or prevented actually keeping the commands. The ones that supported the commands, those handed down from Moshe, He upheld, as did Sha’ul and all the Talmidim of Yeshua.

Now, to fasting on Yom Kippur itself, the command reads this way:

“Howbeit on the tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement [Yom HaKippurim]; there shall be a holy convocation unto you, and you shall afflict your souls [anitem et nafshoteikhem]; and you shall bring an offering made by fire unto יהוה .” Lev. 23:27

Those teaching that this does not mean fast assert that since a Methodist preacher decided it only means “afflict”, they can discard the rest of scripture concerning the Hebrew use of this word and ignore the “custom” of fasting on Yom Kippur. That is a DANGEROUS day to tinker with! Ezra shows us how this word means to fast.

“Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river of Ahava, that we might afflict ourselves before Eloheinu, to seek of Him a right way for us, and for our little ones, and for all our substance.” Ezra 8:21

The word for ‘fast’ here is “tzom”, which is the root word for ‘abstaining from food’, lest there be any doubt about what Ezra is recording. It is followed by the phrase, “L’hitanot lifnei Eloheinu”, or “afflict ourselves before Eloheinu”. So, the fasting was done for the purpose of ‘afflicting’. Indeed, Biblical ‘affliction’ is ‘hunger’, and this is seen in many hundreds of uses of the word in the Tanak.

Let’s make sure this holds up with more than one witness, however:

“But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth: I humbled my soul with fasting; and my prayer returned into my own bosom.” Psalm 35:13

“And if you draw out your soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall your light rise in obscurity, and your darkness be as the noonday..” YeshaYahu (Isaiah) 58:10

“In those days I Daniel was mourning three whole weeks. I ate no pleasant bread, neither came flesh nor wine in my mouth, neither did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled…. Then said he unto me: ‘Fear not, Daniel; for from the first day that you did set your heart to understand and to afflict yourself before Eloheikha, your words were heard…’” Daniel 10:2-3, 12

“Blow the shofar in Tzion, sanctify the fast, call a solemn assembly…” Yoel 2:15

So, we now have four scriptural witnesses that clearly show us that in many cases the word ‘anah’ is used to indicate that FASTING is the “how” we do the ‘afflicting/humbling’. In Yoel, this is the second shofar of the fall season, and the ‘fast’ is accompanied with the assembly of weeping and supplication, and this has long been seen by Jews as Yom Kippur, the Great Shofar. This was NOT a later “Jewish” concept, but a deeply rooted Torah concept. Moshe taught the Jews this, that ‘afflict’ in the context of Yom Kippur meant ‘fast’, and the prophets echoed it. It is not a “Jewish”, Talmudic custom, as many in so-called “Messianic” circles are now teaching.

This is further born out in the Mishnah, a document that was compiled in the late 2nd/early 3rd century. The Mishnah is the writing down of the orally taught ‘customs’ that were used in the Temple during the Second Temple period. Messiah Yeshua went to that Temple to observe the customs, and to show how those customs pointed to Himself. The customs of our Jewish people are very, very important. The Mishnah is NOT the Talmud. These were the students of people like Gamliel in the Brit Khadasha, who wrote down their teachings about Temple service one generation after they passed. It is the closest we can get to understanding ‘how’ they did things.

In the Mishnah, in Tractate Yoma, which explains how Yom Kippur was conducted in the Temple by the priesthood, we see very clearly that the 1st century JEWS observed a FAST in order to AFFLICT their souls before Elohim as commanded. [Yisrael was made up primarily of the tribes of Judah [JEWdah], Benjamin, and Levi, but small remnants of all the other tribes as well, and they were all called JEWS/YISRAELIS interchangeably. Two-housers can’t wrap their head around that, and it thwarts their doctrine]

In “Perek 4” (Chapter 4) of the Yoma Tractate, we read:

“But this day he scooped them out with a gold one [and was not required to empty one to the other] and with it he would bring it in [and offer it, thus conserving energy for the High Priest on this fast day]. On all other days he would….”

Here, we learn that on Yom Kippur, the High Priest is fasting, and his duty with the ashes is modified to accommodate his fast. This is the first mention in this tractate of the fast. In other words, there must have been a common understanding in Yisra’el that they fasted, that the Mishnah did not need to explain what “anitem nafshoteikhem”/afflict your souls meant! It was simply stated as a matter of fact that the High Priest was fasting that day!

We see this same defacto understanding in Perek 6, where we read:

“At each booth they would say to him, here is food and water, not that it ever happened that one needed to break his fast, rather, it was a comfort for the person to know that it was there, if needed.”

This is describing the journey of the escort for Azazel, the ‘goat for Azazel’ [known incorrectly as the “scapegoat”]. This escort was offered food, but no escort EVER took it! This is on Yom Kippur, when he is escorting Azazel to the cliff. This also shows us that there was a ‘defacto’ understanding that everyone fasted on Yom Kippur, not just the High Priest.

Then, in Perek 8 we read:

“since the Torah states regarding Yom Kippur, “You must afflict yourselves”, one consuming less than the bulk of a large date including its pit does not alleviate the affliction of fasting…”

Here, we are reading how fasting applies to ALL YISRAEL, and how it is EQUATED with ‘anah’, or “affliction”/”humbling” oneself. Again, the command for one to fast is never mentioned, but it is treated as if everyone in Yisrael understood it this way, and it is showing some mercy on the part of Elohim and Moshe, saying that food the size of a date’s bulk is permitted in emergencies!

Again, Yeshua adhered to these customs, all the Shlikhim [Apostles] did, suffering and dying in never ‘admitting’ to the lies that they violated Torah AND Customs, and the biblical proof that ‘anitem et nafshoteikhem’ actually means ‘fast’ is more than sufficient. There are many, many other scriptures where ‘anah/afflict’ is used in the context of HUNGER. Those teaching that Yom Kippur is NOT a fast are in serious error. It is NO SURPRISE to us that this doctrine is coming from TWO HOUSERS.

Our congregational Halakha on Yom Kippur is that WE FAST IN HUMILITY on that day. “How can two [or more] walk [share halakha, halakha meaning ‘your walk’ ] TOGETHER, unless they are in agreement?” If you’re ‘walking’ with those who teach this and other doctrines, please prayerfully consider the wisdom of the Prophets instead.

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