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Adat Yeshua Weekly Commentaries

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Parashat Va’era

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…

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Parashat Shemot

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…

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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…

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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…

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Parashat Miketz

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…

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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…

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Fighting God

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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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Spiritual Deception

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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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Vezot Haberakhah

Hot on the heels of Sukkot comes the final portion of the Torah scroll, before its reprise again at Shemeni Atzeret next week. The name of the portion ‘V’zot HaBrachah’ (and this is the blessing) is taken from the first words of the portion and sets the content for the closing chapters of the book of Deuteronomy. Moshe is about to die and bequeaths his last words. It is is…

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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…

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Parashat Vayeilech

Be Strong Moshe’s whole life’s work and calling was about to conclude. His concern to the bitter end was for the future of his people and God’s faithfulness to them and to us. Both he and Joshua are called to go before the Lord in Deuteronomy 31, where they hear some unpleasant things: V.16: “go astray or play the harlot”. The Hebrew is strong here and refers to sexual immorality…

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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…

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Today

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…

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Ki Tetze

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…

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