Adat Yeshua Weekly Commentaries
We’re free! It is often said that the darkest hour of the night is the one before dawn. I’m not sure that’s true, but if it is then one of those lowest points and subsequent dawns took place some 2500 years ago as we returned from exile to Israel again and began to rebuild the Temple under Ezra and Nehemiah. The first returnees were dismayed at what they found and…Read More
Knowing when not to say no For 400 years our people toiled and worked in Egypt, just as G-d had promised they would, not a day longer or less, exactly what was promised and foreseen. When the time was up, G-d, who had been working behind the scenes for all this time, began to bring about Israel’s deliverance: Moshe was born, a man destined by G-d to walk with Him…Read More
Life and Death in Egypt ‘And these are the names…’, thus begins this new book in the scroll, the same phrase used at the end of Bereshit to detail the people leaving their homeland to sojourn in Egypt. The parallels are meant to be stark, then we were small, now we are large in number, then we were free, now we are enslaved. Much had happened in the ensuing 400…Read More
Hineh ma tov umanaim, shevet achim gam yachad
The long term historical aim of British society has been to develop a multicultural model of existence where all value systems are equal and to be exalted as valid and worthy of contribution. Alongside this we have seen the concept of individualism as a high ideal and a cultural rebuttal of the age old dictum ‘no man is an island’. In the face of this we see community breakdown, family…Read More
Responding to God
The final and most crucial part of the Yosef story unfolds: the unveiling of his real identity. The Torah says that God meant his whole journey up to this point for GOOD! (Genesis 45:7-8). That one sentence shows utter conviction of faith and trust in God, not only in the good times but in ALL things. Not for us the notion of a capricious deity who randomly interrupts our existence…Read More
Chanukah – God is in control Two thousand years ago, one wintry day in Jerusalem, a solitary figure walked through the Temple precincts in Shlomo’s Porch. It was the ideal place to be during this time, the marking of Israel’s ‘Independence Day’ as it was then known: Chanukah, the time of the rededication of the Temple after its dreadful desecration by Antiochus. That man was Yeshua Mashichanu. He was asked…Read More
Are you part of the resistance movement?
The Lord was with Yosef; in everything he did God gave blessing and increase. Such wonderful success, able to carry responsibility – and on top of it all, he was handsome in form and appearance! But we know what he had to live through to bring him to that place. Yosef is in Egypt now, his past experiences of being sold into slavery by his brothers behind him. With God’s…Read More
Fighting God In this portion we see Ya’akov returning to the land after 20 years to face all the issues he had so quickly avoided on his departure. We see him slowly beginning to learn the spiritual lessons he needed to learn. A man of formidable inner power and personal drive, yet still a man who thinks that events in life are primarily shaped by the person rather than by…Read More
The Reluctant Chosen
Ya’akov is on his journey of becoming a man of God. He has a lot of growing up to do, emotionally and above all spiritually; here is the man who while sleeping on the future Temple site is blissfully unaware of the presence of God, so spiritually deaf is he and as yet untrained in the ways of God. His life is hallmarked by his constant struggles with God and…Read More
Making an Impact
We live in a world dominated by catch phrases and sound bites; ask anyone who either works in this kind of environment where every breath is focussed on ‘outcome related variables’, or ‘objective focussed service trajectories’, or even if you study on one of the many courses that are more concerned with learning the jargon than actually knowing facts, and they’ll tell you how superficial and vague we’ve become as…Read More
A woman of valour, who can find?
This week’s portion is a highly important one for the development of Israel and the purposes of God. It speaks of so many things that are historical patterns that have echoed throughout the ages since, the battle between Yitzchak and Ishmael, the choices made in the flesh rather than in the Spirit, and the lives and legacies of Sarah and Rivkah. Yet it’s named after the life of Sarah, the…Read More
Last week we considered how ‘mercy wins out over judgement’ as the core concept that lies behind the spiritual reality of the physical universe. Through Avraham, the route to redemption begins to take hold, revealing the power and ability of God to turn around any situation, however evil, for good. Those whose spirits are regenerated will see the tension between the spiritual and the physical and will see the triumph…Read More
Can God change His mind?
It all could have been so good, indeed, according to Torah everything was created good. God never acts to do evil or bring injustice; it is however in the nature of man, given the choice, to do evil and bring injustice. From Bereshit we moved swiftly towards Noach and the great flood. For most people the idea of an ideal ‘natural’ lifestyle (as in living in accordance and harmony with…Read More
Shabbat Noach: Knowing how to rest
It is said: Nomen est omen, you are your name. Here we have the first portion in the Torah named after a person, Noach, and his name comes from the Hebrew verb ‘lanuach’ which means to rest. His father chose the name because he felt that through him (Noach) rest would come, or comfort, as some translators have it, from the toil of the land. In some way Noach, as…Read More
The point of it all
Here we are once more, our scroll rolled back to the start and the well-worn path of the history we seem to know so well starts up again. These early verses are so enigmatic; it’s almost as if we’re called to dig deep to understand the broad sweep of the truths contained therein. All of our history is contained in these few verses – and for what? Just what is…Read More
Make a difference!
So we’re wandering, sojourning in our sukkot, we’ve learned the transitory nature of our lives, we’ve learned in the desert that God was our provider and every slice of our lives was held in His hand alone. Sukkot, as all Chagim, draws our eyes and focus inexorably back towards home. But it’s not only sojourning that we focus on. Sukkot as you know is the final harvest time, the ingathering…Read More
Our Father the Rock
Parashat Ha’Azinu In Devarim 32 we read Moshe’s song of deliverance. This lyrical, sung format is meant to be learnt and sung to each new generation, a wonderful song of redemption amidst rebellion, a song of hope and prophecy, of gloom and the ultimate hope of salvation. It’s a song of possibilities, riven with the anguish of a prophet who loved G-d and His people, yet knowing the end from…Read More
Behind the veil
Psalm 19:7-11 tells us that the Torah of God is without defect, restoring the soul. Torah itself lays the answer to all our deepest needs and spiritual hunger and to all our ‘life’ questions. Torah points the way forward to solutions; as we approach the autumn High Holy Days with the Days of Awe and the deep introspection demanded of us, it is good to remind ourselves where to look…Read More
Who wants to prosper? I could guarantee that if that question was asked of anyone they would put their hands up. Who doesn’t want to prosper? You’d be mad not to. It seems so simple doesn’t it? G-d will bless you if you walk in obedience to Him, in the Torah He has given. We know of course that we have to know what the commands mean and how to…Read More
Our portion this week, Ki Tetze, connects with one of the major topics of the modern world: health and safety. Surprisingly the need to introduce health and safety laws on buildings isn’t new. Despite what we may feel about it, health and safety legislation is from Heaven and in the Torah. We are told to build a fence around a rooftop that might otherwise be a health hazard to other…Read More