Thursday, July 9, 2015

To pray or not to pray?

This is an article that I have been wanting to write for a very long time now. This article is inspired by a portion (why pray?) of a book called, “Living a Joyous Life” by Rav David Aaron. He has a great gift of explaining things that are quite complex in a way that simple people, like me, can understand them. I would really recommend reading this book to anyone living (or wanting to live) a Jewish life. A good friend of mine and a mentor has also been a great inspiration to this article too.

There is no question that if we want a relationship with HASHEM, then we need to communicate with Him. But the understanding of prayer in Christianity is far different than that of what it is in Judaism. Even the English word “pray” comes from the Latin word “precari” which means, “to beg” which is what many people think about prayer. Because of this western concept of prayer, there has been many confusions regarding the topic, even in the Jewish culture.

The Jewish “L’hitpallel” has nothing to do with begging HASHEM to change His mind. L’hitpallel is a reflexive verb, and it means to do something to yourself, not to HASHEM. When you are praying, your question should not be, is HASHEM listening to my prayers?” Rather, you should ask yourself, “am I listening to my prayers?” Does what I hear impact me? Have I changed? (Living a Joyous Life pg 114)

Basically, we do not demand that HASHEM move from where He is to come to where we are. Rather, we need to pick ourselves up and move to where HASHEM is, to be in line with His instructions.

Just like a radio works, there are many different radio stations with different frequencies. All the different frequencies are there floating around by the radio, but what station plays is the one who’s frequency the radio is tuned into. If you are in tune with HASHEM, then that is what you are going to “hear” so to speak. But if you tuned into a different frequency, then you are going to “hear” something else. L’hitpallel is how we tune into HASHEM.

We do not demand from HASHEM, just as a radio cannot demand what the radio station must play, but rather tunes into the radio station so that it can broadcast what is already being played. What station are you tuning into?

The Jewish faith is a faith of actions based on the Torah. It is not a passive faith of just believing something to be true, but rather it is actively living in truth, DOING what is right.

So to come back to the title of this article, “to pray or not to pray,” or correctly translated, “to beg or not to beg,” we should not beg. Rather, we should search within ourselves and change whatever needs to be changed so that we can be in line with the Will of HASHEM. May we all actively seek to be perfectly in tune with the frequency of HASHEM.

Friday, March 6, 2015

The Tongue - Weapon or Healer?


How great is the obligation on us to use our tongues, not only to avoid slander, insult, and abuse, but to influence positively and encourage those around us. And in truth, this obligation is perhaps more than any other type of chesed – kindness – that we could do, because the easier and more available something is, the greater will be the punishment if we ignore it.

Our tongues are ready for action at any moment and we are surrounded by people thirsty for a boost. It’s a wonder we’re not doing this all the time. There is one question that makes this a particularly hard mission: what if you have nothing to compliment? Now, this is hopefully not too much of an issue, as everyone should be able to find something to compliment in another person. Failing that, however, Chazal tell us that at a wedding, you can tell the groom good things about his bride, even if they aren’t true. They also say that at a funeral, you can exaggerate the praises of the deceased during the eulogies. Now this seems peculiar.

The deceased is in the world of truth; he knows you’re lying! Nevertheless, his soul experiences happiness through the words, despite the embellishments. Giving someone encouragement doesn’t always mean strictly telling the truth. We steer as far away from lies as possible, but when the words are meant to build someone, we are allowed to say things that deviate from the strict lines of truth. An overcooked meal can be “delicious” when your wife’s feelings are at stake. A messy scribble can be “amazing” if your child worked hard to draw it. This habitual encouragement that we should be giving is not just a “nice thing” to do. This is an obligation that the Torah describes as “walking in Hashem’s ways”. (This I do not agree with as we are not to lie at all. It is one of the Ten Commandments, NOT to give a false report)

King David writes in more than one place in Psalms (146, 147) that Hashem encourages the humble and the widowed, and we say these verses every day in our morning prayers. We aren’t just becoming decent people, or even popular people through this work, but we are becoming G-dly. Every single aspect of this world which provides enjoyment and happiness, be it a beautiful child or even a sweet apple, are all examples of how Hashem is constantly encouraging us so that we can serve Him with happiness and confidence. Our tongue is the vehicle for this, and a few words at the right time can be the healing tree of life that blossoms and blooms without limits.

In Pirkei Avos, we are told, “Who is honourable? One who honours others.” This is not limited to honouring those who deserve honour, but honouring everyone. For the basic fact that they are created in the image of G-d, and have potential for tremendous greatness, that alone is a cause for honour. And in reward for this outlook, Hashem honours us.

Rav Saadiyah Gaon even explains that the whole reason why we experience the feelings of honour and arrogance are so that we can have a mild example of the great feeling of satiation and self-worth in the world to come. Obviously, we have to avoid the pitfalls that such emotions can have, but to offer them to your fellow so that he can experience an element of life that is reminiscent of the world to come, that is a truly valuable gift.

To train ourselves to do this is hard work, but the opportunities are endless. A pat on the back, an honest “thank you”, and a well-timed compliment will all mould us into G-dly people. It will be hard, and sometimes even unnatural, to go beyond ourselves and give to other people, but they need it, and so do we.

As with all of our obligations between our fellow, the primary realm is at home. Husband, wife, parents, children and siblings, they are the first address when it comes to chesed, and they are the ladder to greatness. The closeness will test us, but this is the boot-camp in working on our middos. From there, we can spread out to a neighbour in shul, a colleague at work, and a complete stranger, just because!

If we set a goal to provide words of encouragement to people three times a day, with the intention of internalising and habituating ourselves in this type of behaviour, we will be feeding people from a tree of life and providing the needy with the most valuable commodity: self-worth. But, above all, we will be following in our Master’s footsteps. JL

Based on a series of lectures by Rabbi Avigdor
Miller zt”l.
(Article from Jewish Life Magazine Jan 2015 edition pg22)

(This statement in brackets is not in the article, but rather, they are my words)

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Purim – Recognizing Miracles

We are now in the moon of Adar (the 12th moon) where our joy is increased. But we are living in the galut (dispersion, exile) among the very anti-Semitic goy who try and make life for us Jews very difficult. Here in South Africa, our government is instituting a boycott of any Israeli products, persecuting us Jews and having many marches against us because they claim that we live according to an apartheid regime and that we are villains and evil. But is that really true?

But do we live by apartheid? And if so what kind of apartheid are we talking about?  If we are evil then how is this evil defined?  And then, would such opinions not depend on others point of view?  Looking at a torah life as the only way of life and survival may indeed seem stupid or evil from the outside. The Torah makes it very clear that Yisra’el is a kadosh nation. The question is, what does it mean to be kadosh?

Kadosh simply means, “separate” or, “set apart.” The Christian bible translates this Hebrew word, “kadosh” as “holy.” HASHEM made it very clear that we are not allowed to be like the other nations. Are we not to follow the commands and precepts found in the Torah, no matter where we are? To do this, we must separate ourselves in a torah life and culture, not so? Anti-Apartheid (Anti-Kadosh) literally means, “forced conversion,” which is a very wicked act. It is exactly what happened during the Spanish Inquisition where many Jews we killed. Anti-Kadosh, in this sense, is Anti-Semitic.

Now I need to make it very clear that the kadosh'ness' of the Jews is in no way the same as that of the other apartheid regimes, like what happened in South Africa. Us Jews do not hate or mistreat people from other nations or cultures. In fact, Although we are one of the smallest nations in the world, we are the second largest financial, humanitarian aid contributor among all nations. We have a deep love for people and live to be a light to the world bringing morality and righteousness, no matter where we may be.

Unfortunately, because we have not stayed kadosh, and most times, not been able to do so, there is a great amount of Jews that have assimilated into other cultures and religions. This has always been viewed as a great crisis among religious Jews. We have seen throughout history that Jews have been forced to assimilate and convert to other cultures and religions or face the penalty of being kicked out of the community, country or even killed. This is still happening at this moment all around the world to some degree or another, whether it be terrorist attacks, pressure from the governments, boycotts or simple hate speech against us.

So how are we to increase our joy? We could even be justified in being angry at the injustice and clear violation of our human and religious rights that our own governments show us. But no, we are not angry at all. In fact, we rejoice and really do increase our joy. But how is this even possible? There is one simple word that explains how it is possible, “Emuna.”

Through all this tribulation that we are going through, it is fitting that Purim is being celebrated now. Purim is the remembrance and celebration of the great miracles and protection that the Almighty grants us, His nation, Yisra’el. We read the story Esther on this day, which has so many lessons for us.

The story of Esther is about how we were exiled and were living under the Persian King. One of the King’s generals, Hamman, was an evil man and convinced the King to make a decree that all the Jews must be killed because they live by a different set of laws and separate themselves from the people among whom they live (the Persians). So the Jews were to be destroyed because they were living in apartheid.
But HASHEM had His hand over the situation at every single moment. HASHEM caused this to happen, even though it seemed bad. And As Jews we so many times feel that HASHEM has departed from us, and in worldly terms we may even have every right to moan about being persecuted. But this is not what we do. Such events caused us to fast and repent and turn to HASHEM for their salvation. Everything happened as it should have and at the right moments too. In the end, the evil Hamman and his sons were hanged on the very gallows that Hamman built for the hanging of the righteous Jew called Mordechai. At the end we Jews were not only saved then, we also gained all the respect of the King, something we did not have before.

Emuna teaches that there is only One being that is in control of everything and that everything that happens is from Him. And that everything that He does is for the good, even if it may seem bad.

The Name of the Almighty does not appear even once in the entire book of Esther. In fact it is the only book in the entire Tanakh that does not contain the Name at all. This teaches us, among other things too, that even though it seems that HASHEM has hidden Himself from us, that He is still actually in control and watching over us.

The ultimate goal in life is “tikkun” (soul correction) and everything that happens to us happens for the sake of tikkun, because HASHEM loves us.

That is why us Jews can be happy and Joyful at all times, no matter what our circumstances are at any time. We know that everything is for the good.

May we all continue to do teshuva (repentance) and grow closer to HASHEM, by the study and obedience to His Torah so that we may continue to joyfully say: BARUCH HASHEM no matter what our circumstance. To be kadosh (set-apart) is to be satisfied with being different, as we prefer to be what HASHEM wants us to be, no matter where we are or what the circumstances.
Purim Same'ach

Monday, December 22, 2014

Are we to celebrate Hanukkah?

At the time of the writing of this article, it is deep into the Hanukkah celebration. When I logged on to Facebook this morning, which I have not done for a long time, the most talked about topic was about Hanukkah. I mostly saw arguments from Messianics and "Believers" who mostly claimed that Hanukkah is not to be celebrated as it is not found in the Torah or anywhere in the rest of the Scriptures. They even go as far as to say that because it is called a festival of lights, that it is pagan and evil. But is this really the case? Let us have a look at Hanukkah a little through the eyes of a Jew who lives by the Torah and honors the Almighty, blessed be He.

Is Hanukkah not found in Torah?
Yes it is true; we cannot find the celebration of Hanukkah as a mo'ed (appointed time) anywhere in the Torah at all. Does that mean that we may not celebrate it at all? Well, the celebration of Hanukkah (dedication) wholly revolves around the re-capture of Yerushalayim by the Hasmonians (who were Levites and Kohanim (Priests)), from the Greeks, and the re-dedication of the Temple of HaShem, blessed be He. This event happened around 500BCE, which is LONG after Torah had been written and completed. So for this reason, there would be no way that Hanukkah would be found in the Torah. 
None of us as Jews observe Chanukah as if it is compulsory or as if it is a mo-ed declared by torah.
It is purely a cultural celebration, where we celebrate the many wonderful miracles that HaShem, blessed be He, did for the Jews during the re-dedication (Hanukkah) of the kadosh temple,including the events leading up to it.

But then, again, what we look for and how we look will determine either what we will find (or not find). If we really look carefully, then we will find Hanukkah in the Torah. When the Mishkan (Tabernacle) was erected for the first time, it had to be "Hanukkah" (dedicated) first before it came into service. We read about this event in Bamidbar (Numbers) chapter seven. Anything which was to be used for ‘sacred purpose’ had to be dedicated (Hanukkah).

Festival of lights
Yes, Hanukkah is called a festival of lights. Does this automatically mean that it is pagan in nature, just because there are other religions that have their own festivals with the same name? That idea is really an absurdity. If we had to use that same logic, then the term "El," which we use to refer to HaShem, blessed be He, is also pagan because that is also the name of the ancient Cananite deity. The Cananite 'el' was the "father of the gods." But in reality, the Hebrew word 'el' simply means, "mighty one." The Hebrew word 'el' was a fitting name for the deity that the Cananite people created for themselves and for whom they had to find a name. The fact is, that the word "El" long preceded the Ca'ananite deity. Also the term "ba'al" is not pagan at all, but rather the deity which was given that name by its creators is. The term ba'al simply means "master or husband." I am my wife's ba'al.

So just because Hanukkah is referred to as the festival of lights does by no means mean that it is in any way associated with any pagan practice at all or with any other religions festival of lights. Why then is Hanukkah called the festival of lights?

There is a commandment in the Torah that the kohen gadol (high priest) must daily clean and light the Menorah in the Mishkan (Tabernacle) or Beit Mikdash (Temple). See, even lighting candles and even incense, is found in the Torah and is not of pagan origin. Now during the time of the Maccabee's when the temple was abominated by the Greeks slaughtering pigs on the alter and many other abominations, the Hasmonians (Maccabee's) re-captured the city and the Temple too. They then did a full cleans of the temple and then re-dedicated (Hanukkah) it. But during this time, they needed pure oil for the lighting of the menorah. They needed enough oil for at least eight days, but could only find enough for one day. When they used that oil, a miracle happened and it lasted the full eight days long instead of only one day.

That is why we light candles for a period of eight days during Hanukkah in commemoration of the miracle of the oil lasting the full eight days needed during the re-dedication (Hanukkah) of the temple. That is also why we call it the festival of lights which is the celebration of the miracle of the menorah and NOT from pagan origins at all. A Jewish home can be identified during the time of Hanukkah by the sight of lights from the hanukkia (Hanukkah candles) radiating light in the window.

For those who do not wish to celebrate Hanukkah and all the miracles that HaShem, did for His people and His Temple, then don't. This is in any event a Jewish practice and not for people of other religions. For those who belong to the Hebrew faith, we celebrate such amazing miracles that HaShem, blessed be He, did for us as a nation. It is our culture and as a nation, we celebrate it all together, which brings unity among us. Such commemoration also brings hope and strength in times of trouble, hardship and persecution. Such traditions have brought joy in times when it seemed impossible and even gives a reason for living to many. It is safe to say that many Jewish traditions, such as Hanukkah, are the reason that many Jews lived when it was easier to just give up and die. Unity is of the utmost importance to the Hebrew nation, when one Jew hurts, then all Jews hurt together. As the saying, that comes from the movie "The Three Musketeers” says, "All for one and one for all." This is how the Jews have survived throughout history, and this is why we celebrate Hanukkah.

Every single Jew who awaits the coming of the Messiah, looks forward to the one who will bring peace to this world and rebuild the Beit Mikdash (Temple) and then Hanukkah (Dedicate) it. And yes, there will be a festival that day, and yes, there will be lights as there will also be a dedication (Hanukkah).

For those who live a life of Hanukkah, may you be filled with the light and joy of Hanukkah!!!!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Your Word is a lamp to my feet

It still often amazes me how people can take a verse here and there and use it so out of context that the original writers of the verses would never recognize the way it is being used in today’s times. And then they believe that it is truthful and build an entire teaching that is foreign to the teachings of the Scriptures because the basis of the teachings are way out of context to start off with. But at the same time I know how these people are so deceived, because I too was in my earlier years. It was only when I started noticing contradictions within the churches teachings, that are universal to all the churches that I had attended, that I started doing a lot of reading, studying and research for myself. (This happened many years ago)

What I found is that a lot of what the church teaches is pure superstition based on the incorrect context of many verses in the bible and the opinions of the teachers themselves. This is why there are many thousands of different Church denominations, each teaching their own opinions. In fact, the fundamental church doctrines are not based on the Scriptures but rather upon the anti-Semitic Jew hating early church fathers and their personal teachings. The problem is that the church goers trust the pastors and priests way too much without actually testing any of what they teach. What we land up with is a lot of buzz words and phrases, but do not really have a proper understanding of what they mean.

Psalm 119:105 is one verse that is used a lot within the Christian church and is even one of their favorite hymns to sing. But do they really believe this to be true in the correct context, or is it a superstitious buzz phrase to keep themselves happy and satisfied? Let us then read this verse and understand it in its correct context for once. “Your Word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105).

The subject of this verse is the Word of the Almighty. King David, the author of this Psalm, is making it clear that what guided his actions and every step he took, was the Word of the Almighty. Can this fact be changed over time? The answer is a definite NO. This man, David, who was called, “a man after My own heart” by the Almighty Himself, authored many Psalms praising the wonderful Word of YHWH.

So what was king David referring to as the Word of YHWH that is a lamp and a light that illuminates his walk? Who better to turn to than the person who was considered to be the wisest of all men, and who was entrusted to build the house for the Shechina (presence of the Almighty), the Temple, and who is the son of the author of Psalm 119. King Sh’lomo wrote the following, “For the command is a lamp, And the Torah a light, And reproofs of discipline a way of life” (Proverbs 6:23). Here Sh’lomo makes it very clear that the Commandments are a lamp and that the Torah is a light. The term, “Commandments” is a simile for the term, “Torah” as it is the Torah that holds all the Commandments. Just as a ‘lamp’ is a simile for ‘light’ as the function of a lamp is to give light.

In the Christian religion, the problem arises when they claim this verse and sing it in hymns etc. but then in the same breath, they reject the Torah and the Commandments. The rejection of the Torah is literally the opposite action to what Psalm 119:105 teaches. If someone proclaims or sings this verse of Psalm 119:105, and then does not walk in the light of the Torah and the Commandments, then that person is a liar. Some people are even fooled into believing that the ‘New Testament’ is the Word of YHWH spoken of in Psalm 119. If you are one of these people, then ask yourself the question, Did the ‘New Testament’ exist at the time when King David wrote this Psalm? Or was David referring to the Torah? If the ‘New Testament’ is being referred to, then it must be the same context and contents as that of the Torah as it never existed at the time of the writing of the Psalms, but the Torah was.

We see the same thing when we read the prophets, “Grass shall wither, the flower shall fade, but the Word of our Elohim stands forever.” (Isaiah 40:8). Did the ‘New Testament’ exist when Yeshayahu (Isaiah) wrote this? If the Torah was what Yeshayahu was speaking of, then it is the Torah that stands forever. So is the Word of YHWH that exists today different to that of the Word of YHWH that Yeshayahu knew and wrote about?

The author of Psalm 119:105 (quoted above) also wrote the following: “The Torah of יהוה (YHWH) is perfect, bringing back the being; The witness of יהוה (YHWH) is trustworthy, making wise the simple” (Psalm 19:7). So if the Torah is perfect and stands forever, then why is it necessary to change or do away with or even need something better? How can anything that is perfect be bettered?

Let us have a look at some references in the ‘New Testament’ regarding this topic. “So that the Torah truly is set-apart, and the command set-apart, and righteous, and good” (Rom 7:12). Sha’ul (Paul, as the Catholic Church calls him) is speaking of the Torah as good and righteous and set-apart, and not as a curse as many Christians claim. He also refers to the Hebrew Tanakh (Old Testament, as the Catholic Church calls it) as Scripture and that we need to use it for teaching, reproof, setting straight and the instruction in righteousness, “All Scripture is breathed by Elohim and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for setting straight, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of Elohim might be fitted, equipped for every good work” (2 Tim 3:16-17).

It is very clear that the Torah of YHWH is perfect and eternal. No person has the authority to decide otherwise. In fact, not even the Almighty can change His Word, however, this is irrelevant as His Word is already perfect and need not ever be changed. We do not have the choice of how we want to serve YHWH the Almighty. The only choice we do have is between serving Him or not. If we choose to serve YHWH, then we need to do it His way. That is however a good thing as He has given us the manual to do so, the Torah.

May we all study His Word and DO His Word so that we may walk on the derech tzedakah (way of righteousness)

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Do you practice witchcraft?

Many people agree that witchcraft is evil and dangerous and should never be practiced or even attempted by any believers. But what these people are not as certain about is, “what witchcraft is.” Many believe witchcraft to be things like, casting spells, animal and human sacrifices, wearing evil pendants and talisman, voodoo, speaking to the dead or to spiritual beings etc. Yes these are all forms of witchcraft and are to be avoided at all costs. But there are other forms of witchcraft that seem to be innocent and even not recognizable as witchcraft practices, but are still just as evil as the other forms and is an abomination for the Almighty. Let us have a look at a few examples that Rambam gives on this subject:

a piece of bread dropped out of my mouth, my can fell from my hand, so I will not start out today… Since a fox ran past me on the right, I will not venture outside the door today… If a certain thing happens to me, I will follow this course of action… This house which I built has turned out lucky for me… From the moment I bought this animal I became rich… That is a lucky sign…

He concludes by saying that all these practices are false and deceptive, and that whoever believes in them us nothing but a fool (Yad, Avodah Zarah 11:16).

Yes, Superstitious beliefs and practices, are forms of divination and are wicked to the core. Many may seem to be innocent and even cute, but that is what makes it so deceptive. Witchcraft is condemned in the Torah as an abominable form of idolatry, being steeped in crime, immorality and deception. It is not in accord with Yisra’el’s belief in One Elohim. To think that any instance or event or action is out of the reach of the Almighty, is considered unbelief and a denial of YHWH.

So to all the believers who have a lucky coin or something similar, or scared of breaking a mirror, or worried if a black cat crosses your path, or any other superstitious belief, please consider the following verse found in the Torah:

Do not allow a practiser of witchcraft to live.” (Exo 22:18).

May we all seek the Almighty with all our heart, mind and strength and live by His Torah and leave all worldly beliefs and practices alone.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Circumcision – Outdated Legalism, or Loving Obedience?

The Word of the Almighty (Torah) is such a beautiful creation that is perfect and good in every way. It teaches us how we are to love Him and draw close to Him and also how to love and care for our neighbors too. But there are religions, like Christianity/Messianic, Hebrew Roots and even Islam, who believe and teach that it is old and outdated to some degree or another. Such people see the Torah as a list of do’s and don’ts. These are the people who do not know or understand the heart of the Torah or the Almighty at all.

These people also only see the Scriptures in a very shallow way and cannot see or recognize the true depth, meaning and value of the Scriptures. What that leads to, is simply a lack of understanding of many teachings and, therefore, the belief that many of the ancient customs are outdated and no longer necessary today. But to someone who dedicates his life to the pursuit of truth and understanding and the deeper study of the Torah, this idea of being outdated is absolutely ludicrous. What some might perceive as redundant, to another person it is a great treasure and overwhelming wealth.

Maimonedes (Rambam) explains, so clearly, the differences between the Torah Jews and other religions, that might seem to resemble that of Torah Judaism. It is this that he wrote to the Jews who were living in Yemen, who, at that time, were being persecuted and was facing forced conversion to other religions, in that case it was to Islam. Rambam wrote these letters to support the Jews and encourage them to stay strong in their beliefs. In one of his letters, he wrote the following:

  “Our religion differs as much from other religions as a living person differs from a lifeless statue, which is ever so well carved out of marble, wood, bronze or silver. When an ignorant person sees a statue that superficially resembles man in contour, form, features and color, he thinks that the structure of its parts is similar to that of a human being. But the informed person, who knows the interior of both, is aware of the fact that the internal structure of the statue shows no skillful workmanship at all, whereas the inner parts of man are marvelously made.

So too, a person ignorant of the deep meaning of the Bible, and of the deeper significance of the Torah, would be led to believe that our religion has something in common with another. True, both contain a system of religious observances; but the tenets of other religions, though resembling those of the Bible, are merely superficial imitations. People have modeled their religions after ours in order to glorify themselves

One of the biggest controversies surrounding the Scriptures is that of the circumcision. Many teach that it is

If your argument is, “but I am too old,” Then please spare a thought for Avraham who was 99 years old when he circumcised HIMSELF. He did so because of his love and devotion to the Almighty Creator, without any hesitation at all.

Now, let us look at the different views and understandings of this commandment and see which view is shallow and deceitful and which is the one who knows the deeper rooted understanding of this commandment.

As noted above, Christianity/Messianic believe that it is redundant and not necessary to perform anymore. Some do it because they want to, for health benefits etc, and not because it is a commandment. Some may do it because the Torah teaches so, and often because their friends are doing it too, but they are few and far between. They claim that Sha’ul (Paul) taught that circumcision is not longer necessary and that in Acts 15 it was done away with. We will discuss this case further below.

Now let us see what Judaism teaches on this subject. This section was taken from Jewish commentary of the Torah from the Torah portion mentioned:

”Regarding the commandment of the circumcision (Gen 17:9-14).

From the sequence of this chapter, it is clear that the blessings of the children and possession of the Land depended on circumcision, a connection that is also implied in the second blessing of the Blessing after Meals.

The symbolic significance of this commandment is indicated by the name of the flesh that is removed in performance of the commandment – “orlah,” commonly translated as ‘foreskin,’ but more accurately, as it is used in Scripture, ‘a barrier’ standing in the way of a beneficial result. For example, the sinful habits that predispose a person not to change his lifestyle are called the ‘orlah’ of the heart (Lev26:41; Jer 9:25; Eze 44:7).

Thus, although this concept is beyond human understanding, circumcision is a means to help the Israelite ennoble himself and return to the spiritual state of Adam before his sin. As the Sages teach, Adam was born circumcised, but after his sin his foreskin was extended and covered the organ (Senhedrin 38b), as a symbol that he had created a barrier between himself and set-apartness.

By removing the superfluous skin covering the organ of continuity, circumcision teaches that man must eliminate the natural barriers blocking his advancement. But circumcision’s capacity to accomplish this is not a logical outcome of the physical act; to the contrary, it is metaphysical. This aspect of circumcision is symbolized by the commandment that it be done on the eighth day of a boy’s life. As Maharal teaches, the natural order of Creation involves cycles of seven, such as the seven days of the week and the seven years of the Shemittah agricultural cycle. The number eight represents the concept that one can rise above limitations of nature. By commanding Israel to circumcise its male children on the eighth day, Elohim taught that the Israelite’s ability to remove the barriers to his spiritual ascent transcends the natural order of life. Nevertheless, Elohim gives man the ability to do it – and since he can, he must.

A commandment consists of two parts: the physical act and its underlying moral or spiritual teaching – and neither is complete without the other. Just as it is not enough to perform the commanded deeds if they are denuded of intellectual and moral content, so it is not enough to philosophize on the commandments and seek moral improvement without actually performing the commandments. Hence, the physical act is the covenant, but it is also a sign of the covenant’s deeper meaning.”

Can you see the difference? The one sees the commandment as a redundant obligation whereas the other sees its true value which is removing the barrier so that we can come closer to the Almighty. The one view is humanistic and the other is recognizing the love for YHWH. Also notice how valuable and important it is to analyze the Hebrew text for the absolute truth. You will not find this information in any English translations at all.

So what about Acts 15… does that not teach that circumcision is not necessary for Gentile believers? Well, lets analyze it a little bit together.

And certain men came down from Yehudah and were teaching the brothers, “Unless you are circumcised, according to the practice of Mosheh, you are unable to be saved.”” (Act 15:1). Here we see that certain Y’hudim were teaching that new believers must submit to all the Torah straight away, including the Circumcision. But this is not possible for new believers as it takes a lot of study to know the whole Torah.

So when Sha’ul and Barnabah had no small dissension and dispute with them, they arranged for Sha’ul and Barnabah and certain others of them to go up to Yerushalayim, to the emissaries and elders, about this question.” (Act 15:2). Sha’ul and Barnabah were not disagreeing with the Y’hudim with regards to the circumcision, but rather when it was to be introduced to the new believers. This is so that the new believers would not be frightened off. So they went and sought counsel.

Therefore I judge that we should not trouble those from among the gentiles who are turning to Elohim, but that we write to them to abstain from the defilements of idols, and from whoring, and from what is strangled, and from blood.” (Act 15:19-20). Here it is clear that only new believers from other nations (non-Jews) who were turning to Elohim (Torah Judaism). They were taught that there are a few things that they have to immediately obey without question. These things are:

1) Abstain from the defilement of idols:
now redundant and that it is not necessary to perform anymore. The reason, so often being, that the men are just too afraid to go and have such a delicate organ operated on. So they simply try to justify their fears by teaching that the Messiah is the new covenant and that we do not need to be circumcised any more and all sorts of non-sense like that. This is a very humanistic point of view where the person stands in the center instead of the Almighty being in the center of one’s belief. Is it not written that the Messiah came to live as an example for us and that we must follow in his footsteps? Was the Messiah not circumcised? (Luke 2:21).

1) Defilement of Idols
a)      Eating meat offered to idols
b)      Speaking in the names of idols (Exodus 23:13)
c)      Having an idols image or statue in your home
d)      Riches and popularity etc.

2) Whoring:
            a) Do not commit adultery
            b) Do not have any sexual relations with anyone other than your husband or wife
            c) Do not follow the teachings of men
            d) Do not turn away from the Word of the Almighty to follow other false teachings

3) What is strangled:
            a) Any meat that comes from an animal that has been strangled, which is a kosher law

4) Blood:
            a) No blood is allowed to be eaten, for the soul is in the blood (Kosher law)
            b) Do not murder
            c) Women’s monthly cycle laws

These things are absolute no-no’s for anyone who turns to the faith of the Messiah, and have to stopped immediately if they are still being performed. But that is not where it ends. The chapter goes on to say:

For from ancient generations Mosheh has, in every city, those proclaiming him – being read in the congregations every Sabbath.” (Act 15:21). Here is the key to the entire chapter. Because the new believers do not know the whole Torah, they need to go to the Jewish congregations on every Shabbat to learn Mosheh (Torah) so that they can know how to live their life in righteousness and serve the Almighty in truth.

As one learns the way of righteousness, he is then required to live accordingly. That is why the new believers went to learn Mosheh, so that they can learn righteousness and changed their old practices and habits in favor of the teachings of the Torah. So when it came to the section in the Torah which speaks of the Circumcision, the new believers then, out of their own desire to obey and serve YHWH, became circumcised, because that is what the Torah teaches. In fact, the Torah makes it very clear that no person can partake in the Passover if he is not circumcised in the flesh.

It is very clear that, neither Sha’ul, nor any other disciple ever taught that it was not necessary to be circumcised. Only through the twisting of Scripture and trickery, do the Christian/Messianics teach this false theology.

Let us end with the following Scripture of a prophecy:

‘Thus said the Master יהוה (YHWH), “No son of a foreigner, uncircumcised in heart OR uncircumcised in flesh, comes into My set-apart place, even any son of a foreigner who is among the children of Yisra’ĕl” (Eze 44:9).

Do you want to go into the Set-Apart place of the Almighty, or do you want to be rejected and denied entrance because you did not want to become circumcised, and chose to keep the barrier between yourself and the Almighty Creator of the heavens and the earth?