Thursday, December 19, 2013

Christmas Unplugged (reposted)

(this is a re-post)
I am blessed to celebrate both Hanukkah and Christmas.  I celebrate Christmas very differently than most, and very differently from the way I did it in years past.   I read a quote this week that sums up my outlook on Christmas celebrations.

"Whenever Christmas begins to burden, it’s a sign that I’ve taken on something of the world and not of Christ."

Years ago, I read the book  Unplug the Christmas Machine that had a profound impact on me.  I was a young mother at the time, and completely worn out by "Christmas".  I ran myself ragged shopping, decorating, entertaining, being entertained...and you know the rest of the story.  After reading the book, I decided to do Christmas differently, and it has evolved over time.  Slowly, I began to do gifts differently.  I shopped, spent, and decorated less, and began to worship more.

Who is Christmas about, after all?  Isn't it about Yeshua?  Weren't the first gifts brought to Him?  I can remember, as a small girl, feeling like something was missing at Christmas.  Yes, I knew and read the story of His birth...but what was I giving Him?  My little girl heart knew He was being ignored... in spite of all the decorations, presents, parties, and hoopla.  Even as a small girl, I sensed He was grieved.

Somewhere along the line, in my desire to love Him and honor Him, I read about the pagan basis for Christmas.   I learned that Yeshua was most likely not born in the winter because the shepherds were tending their flocks in the hills.  I learned that the Bible says not to put a tree in your house and decorate it (Jer.10:1-5).  And don't even get me started on Santa Claus.  I had to ask myself if G-d is pleased by telling children that lie.  I have a grandson now, and I much prefer that he learn about G-d's appointed feasts and festivals than the world's.  I'm thankful that his parents feel the same.

Yeshua celebrated those feasts, including Hanukkah.  He also said, "I have not come to do away with the Law, but to fulfill it."  I don't think He meant to stop celebrating His feasts, but to realize in celebrating them that He is the fulfillment of them.  They are all tactile, hands-on lessons that teach us about His character and about our relationship to Him.  Yeshua is, after all, the G-d of the Old Testament, and He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.  If he said we would observe His feasts forever, shouldn't we be doing that and follow His example? 

For that reason, I celebrate Hanukkah - with Yeshua as the Light of the World.  I observe Christmas as the fact that  He was born as a man.  I worship Him - not the Christmas tree, or the presents, or the whole machine that Christmas has become.  I'm much happier doing it that way.

For me, Christmas is a time of peace and of drawing close to Him.  I thank Him that He was willing to become a man and to suffer as we do in this earth, to understand our frailty.  I thank Him that He didn't give in to sin so that He could be that perfect offering for sin.  I thank Him for His light that has shone in my heart and taken root there.  I thank Him for the blessing of being in His family and for the gift of His Word to guide my life.  I thank Him for the Ruach Hacodesh living inside me. I am so glad He came.

What's funny about being a Messianic Jewish believer is that sometimes Hanukkah comes before Christmas, and then sometimes it's just the opposite.  So, mostly, we celebrate all month long -  that Yeshua was born and that He was the Light of the World.  We put up blue and white lights and listen to Hanukkah music as well as songs of Christmas that celebrate our Savior's birth.  We make special foods and fellowship with friends.  Yes, I do give gifts, but they are quite minimal.  No more pushing myself to keep up with the Christmas machine.  I play music, and go to free concerts that focus on Yeshua.  I ride around and look at the lights and worship my Savior.  My heart is so full of gratitude and worship.

This video is so wonderful.  I hope you'll watch it, and stand up with me and praise and worship Yeshua - the King of Kings and L-rd of Lords.   Halelu-jah!  (a great Hebrew word that means Praise G-d!).To learn more about Hanukkah, please enjoy: Yeshua is the Light

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Wisdom Wednesday #6

This week, our study of Proverbs 31 brings us to:

ז 16 She considers a field, then buys it,
        and from her earnings she plants a vineyard.
ח 17 She gathers her strength around her
        and throws herself into her work.
ט 18 She sees that her business affairs go well;
        her lamp stays lit at night.

Can you see the industriousness of this woman?  She scouts out a good piece of property and buys it.  She has money, which she uses to plant a vineyard.  Oh, but look, she does even more:

י 19 She puts her hands to the staff with the flax;
        her fingers hold the spinning rod.
כ 20 She reaches out to embrace the poor
        and opens her arms to the needy.
ל 21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
        since all of them are doubly clothed.
מ 22 She makes her own quilts;
        she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
ס 24 She makes linen garments and sells them;
        she supplies the merchants with sashes.
She not only spins yarn, and makes the fabric, but makes clothing and items for her home. and then sells her sewing creations.  What a business woman!  

Also, note in verse twenty, that she helps the poor with her sewing arts.  She's not just thinking of herself and her family, but also of others' needs.

I love that she has home-based ways to make money for her family, don't you?  This passage was my inspiration many years ago for finding ways to make money for the extras my children needed when they were at home.  I had quite an array of home-based businesses during my twenty-seven years as a stay-at-home mom:
  • arts and crafts which I sold at craft fairs 
  • canvas painting on commission
  • secretarial work
  • house cleaning
  • bread baking
  • Mary Kay cosmetics sales (I even earned a free car as a sales director)
Last, but not least, and everyone's favorite - I had a ice cream truck!  This was a good business, too.  You'd be amazed by the mark-up on ice cream, and the low overhead of that business if you work it with wisdom.

I tell this to encourage young women, as well as the more mature, that you can find a way to have home-based businesses.  It can really help the budget and also gives an outlet for creativity.  There are so many resources for home-based businesses via the internet today, such as Etsy, Amazon, E-bay, and Facebook. I'm starting to want to begin another business just thinking about it all!
I love verse eighteen, that says, "her lamp doesn't go out at night".  This woman really is a hard worker, and she doesn't waste a minute of her day.  I'm inspired by her example, aren't you?

 I'm sharing this post with:

Let's Get Social Sunday

A Wise Woman Builds

Thought Provoking Thursday
Hearts for Home
Favorite Things 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Wisdom Wednesday #5 - Jerusalem

Psalm 137:5-6 

If I forget you, Yerushalayim,
may my right hand wither away!
May my tongue stick to the roof of my mouth
if I fail to remember you,
if I fail to count Yerushalayim
the greatest of all my joys.
(from the Complete Jewish Bible)

Being in Jerusalem was an answered prayer, and a dream come true.

My trip to Israel went well, and I arrived home very late Saturday night.  I will post pics and stories within the next few days.  I praise and thank Hashem that I did get to visit the kotel.  As promised, I took all my dear Gail-Friends names to the wall, and prayed for you and your families.

Please pray for my mama. The dementia is progressing, and she has been having very bad days over the last few months.  Yesterday was heart-breaking for me.  Also pray for me, as I have been ill since returning from the trip. 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Wisdom Wednesday #4

This post is very, very special.  The L-rd willing, I am in Israel this week.  I wrote this post prior to leaving for my trip, since I am not sure if I will have access to the internet at that time.

The thing I'm most excited about is visiting and praying at the kotel - the only remaining wall of the Temple in Jerusalem.  When I visited there in 1996, I did not get to go to the wall because of a last-minute change of plans that day.  The tunnels under the Temple were newly opened and we had the opportunity to go through them.  Our tour guide made that choice, and I was terribly disappointed, although the tunnels were a wonderful experience, too. 

I had a friend who visited Israel in 1994, and she placed my name in the wall at that time.  I was very impressed with this, and it meant a great deal to me.  I had no interest in going to Israel at that time, but G-d had great plans for me related to Israel and Judaism. 

Every one of your names, my dear Gail-Friends, will be placed in the wall during my visit, L-rd willing. My prayer is that you will know and do His will in your lives.

I covet your prayers for us during this week.

The Wailing Wall in Jerusalem

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Hanukkah and Yeshua

Last night, at sundown, we lit the first light on our Hanukkah menorah.  If my plans go through, and Hashem wills it to be so, I will celebrate Hanukkah in Israel this year.  I love this holiday, and look forward to celebrating Yeshua as the Light of the World.

(You can learn more about the history of the holiday here on my blog.  You can learn more about how we celebrate during this season by clicking on the label Hanukkah on the left of my blog.)

As Messianic Jews, we see and celebrate Yeshua in all of the Feasts and Festivals becuase they are pictures of Him.  We celebrate and we remember, because remembering is important.  I challenge you to do a search in your Bible for that word.  G-d tells us over and over again to remember.  He also says there is a penalty / consequence when we don't remember.

Most believers in Yeshua don't remember Hanukkah, and they are missing out on a great blessing.  Yeshua, himself, remembered and observed the holiday, as recorded in John 10.  He also declared himself to be "the Light of the world" in John 9:5.  Don't you think it is appropriate to celebrate as He did? 

Recently, I did a study about Yeshua as related to the Feasts and Festivals, and discovered it is possible, and most probable, that He was conceived during Hanukkah. The history recorded in Luke 1, tell of Yeshua's conception, and also the conception and birth of John the Baptist to Zacharias, a priest, and his wife Elizabeth, who was Mary's cousin.

Writings by rabbis during that time show that a division of Abijah served as priest during that time period, and Zacharias was in that division.  The Abijah division served during the second half of the fourth month on the Jewish calendar.  Elizabeth conceived in late June.

Luke 1:24-26 tells us that Mary conceived Yeshua in the sixth month of Elizabeth's pregnancy, which would have been Kislev, or December on the Jewish calendar.  So, if Yeshua was born nine months later, he would have been born during the High Holy Days, most likely during the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot).

So, we will light the candles during Hanukkah in remembrance of the Light that lasted eight days, and of Yeshua who is that Light of the world.  All through the month of December, we celebrate His coming and remember that we are to let His light shine through our words and actions.

*** L-rd willing, I leave for Israel tomorrow, so please pray for me, and my friend Shelby as we make aliyah. 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Wisdom Wednesday #3

This week, we continue our study of Proverbs 31 with these verses:
ד 13 She procures a supply of wool and flax
        and works with willing hands.
ה 14 She is like those merchant vessels,
        bringing her food from far away.
ו 15 It’s still dark when she rises to give food to her household
        and orders to the young women serving her.

I have to laugh at the part about the servant girl.  We wish, right?  But their is still much to glean from these verses.

Verse thirteen teaches us that the virtuous woman is not lazy.  She works with willing hands.  I like that picture of a woman who desires something and works for it.  Sadly, we live in a day of hand-outs (entitlements).  Free phones, free food, free housing, free you name it.  This goes against the teaching of Torah.  The New Testament also teaches this with, "If a man will not work, don't let him eat."

The Torah teaches helping the poor, don't get me wrong.  It teaches us "to glean the fields and leave the corners for the poor."  It doesn't teach us to pick it up and hand deliver it to the poor.  They have to get off their couches and pick it up themselves.  In the process, they recognize the fact that they could have their own field if they work for it.  

The welfare state in America is wrong because it destroys initiative and character.  It causes dependency on others, and thus destroys self-esteem.  I believe it is a kind of slavary. 

Let's look at verse fourteen.  This verse teaches that a virtuous woman goes to great lengths to have a home that reflects Adonai.  She doesn't do the minimum.  She does the maximum.  She doesn't sweep the dirt under the rug, she vacuums and cleans in, around, and under the rug.  She takes pride in her home, because she know it is a reflection of her self, her husband, and of Adonai. 

Verse fifteen says she rises early.  No sleeping in for the accomplished woman.  This brings back such memories.  When I first learned about the Virtuous Woman, I was excited about everything but this verse.  I was quite the night owl back then.  I loved to stay up late after the children went to bed at around 9:00 pm, and of course I was dead tired in the morning.  With G-d's help, I started new patterns.  I went to bed by 11:00 pm, and got up an hour before my children, so that I could have quiet time with G-d to start my day.  I still had the same amount of time for myself, but it was re-arranged in a better way.  I also grew to love seeing the sun rise, and the quiet of early morning.  

Note that the Virtuous Woman prepares breakfast (verse fifteen).  G-d knows what is best for our lives, even about our bodies.  He knows that a good breakfast helps us throughout the whole day.  This is another area I had to change in my life.  I was more of a pop-tart/donut/cereal kind of girl, and led my children along that same path.  One reason I didn't cook was that I was too dead-tired to cook breakfast.

After taking this verse to heart, I changed to a protein-based breakfast, which helped all of us.  This was thirty years ago, and all nutritionists will advise adults and children to start the day with a protein-based breakfast.  They say a good breakfast revs your metabolism and also boosts brain function.  See how wise the Scriptures are?  

I hope you won't be intimidated by these insights on this passage.  I've been working to be a virtuous woman for about forty years now, and I'm certainly not perfect.  I am, however, a better woman, wife, mother, homemaker, and neighbor than when I started because of the mentor I found in this passage.

I'd love to hear how using this passage as a model has affected your life. 

I'm sharing this post with:

Let's Get Social Sunday

A Wise Woman Builds

Thought Provoking Thursday
Hearts for Home
Favorite Things
Faith Filled Friday
Friendship Friday

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Hanukkah Recipe

This is an easy-peasy recipe for your Hanukkah celebration, and it will really wow your guests. 

2 containers of whipped cream cheese
1 cup ground pecans or almonds
fresh asparagus (lightly steamed)
red peppers in a can or bottle (or if the olives are stuffed with red peppers, you can use those)

Mix the cream cheese with half of the nuts, and spread on a plate in a circle shape.
Sprinkle remaining nuts on top of the cheese
Place the lightly steamed asparagus in the shape of a menorah as pictured
Cut the peppers in strips and place around the tips of the asparagus as pictured
Surround the circle with olives.

Serve your choice of crackers or toasted pita pieces for dipping. 

Enjoy, and Happy Hanukkah to you all.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Wisdom Wednesday #2

I found an interesting note in a Hebrew commentary this week related to a verse touched on in  last week's Wisdom Wednesday.  Verse 10 says:
א 10 Who can find an accomplished woman?
        Her value is far beyond that of pearls.

"The Hebrew word for accomplished (I use virtuous here on my blog) means valor, but much more than that; it includes the possession of whatever attributes are needed to carry out the task at hand." **

Doesn't that give you comfort?  It assures me that Hashem will show me what to do in this age and time.  How to deal with the crazy, busy, internet, electronically driven culture of today.  He will show me, and you, what to do if we seek His face.  He is not taken by surprise by today's culture.  His wisdom applies to all generations and all situations.

"The passage also begins an alphabetical acrostic as a further allusion to her all-encompassing virtues.  This passage has been interpreted as a metaphor for the Shechinah (Divine Presence), the Sabbath, the Torah, and the soul." **

You will note, when I quote the verses, there is a Hebrew letter at the beginning of the verse.  This is the alphabetical acrostic spoken of in the quote above.  My husband explained it this way, "She is a woman who possesses everything of G-dly character - from a to z (or aleph to tav in the Hebrew alefbet).

I want you to think about how blessed we are to have access to the Word of G-d in this day and time.  No other generation has been blessed as we are.  I can pull up a passage of Scripture and read it within seconds here on my computer.  I can listen to it on an MP3 or cd player.   People in years past had to go to a synagogue to hear it.  They did not have Torah scrolls in their homes.   The Bible was not even printed until the invention of the printing press in the 1600's.  A Bible in the home was not common place until the 1800's.  Those were large books, unlike the small sizes we can carry around today.

Realize what a special time we live in.  We are without excuse, beloved.  If we do not seek G-d's truth in this day, we can blame no one for our ignorance of the Scriptures.  I beseech you, again, to seek His wisdom - not a church's, a preacher's, a religion's or a denomination's.

Get a copy of the Scripture written from the Hebrew, so that you are not reading a watered-down, perverted version that will lead you astray.  The Complete Jewish Bible is available on Bible .  When I started doing this, I was shocked at the differences I found from the version I was reading.

Read the New Testament through the lens of the Torah so that you can see this truth:  G-d did not establish a new religion.  Yeshua was a Jew and He followed and obeyed the Torah.  He preached teshuva (repent and turn to Torah).  He didn't change the Sabbath.  He observed the Feasts and Festivals.  Once you study Torah, and apply it to your life, you will see big changes in your self, your home and your family.  His ways are Life!  When we follow His ways, we will be prepared for anything.

** quotations are from the Stone Edition of the Tanach

I'm sharing this post with:
Spiritual Sundays

Let's Get Social Sunday

A Wise Woman Builds

Thought Provoking Thursday
Hearts for Home
Favorite Things
Faith Filled Friday
Friendship Friday

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Wisdom Wednesday

Proverbs 31 is the focus again today, with emphasis on these verses:
א 10 Who can find a capable wife?
        Her value is far beyond that of pearls.
ב 11 Her husband trusts her from his heart,
        and she will prove a great asset to him.

As I said in last week's post, I aspire to be a Proverbs 31 woman.  She is my model of a good homemaker, wife, mother, and neighbor.

Verse ten calls her "a capable wife"  in the Complete Jewish Bible.  I grew up calling her the "virtuous" woman.   Either way, she's the kind of woman Lemuel's (aka Solomon) mother advises him to marry.

Even when this advice was penned, a woman of this type was rare.  She is said to be very valuable.  Her value is above that of pearls.  I love that, don't you?  Today, pearls can be bought in any department or jewelry store.  Some of the real thing, but many are simulated (or farm manufactured).  During the time of this writing, however, the pearl was very, very rare as well as very valuable. 

If you are following Hashem, seeking His righteousness, and obeying Him, you are indeed rare.  You are valuable.  When you look in the mirror, you are looking at a rare treasure.  That is very self-esteem building, right? 

I met a young woman recently who is a woman like the one described in Proverbs 31.  She is a G-dly young woman.  She doesn't follow the ways of the world in her thoughts, attitudes or actions.  Just being in her presence is refreshing.  The way she dresses, and the way she carries herself tells me she is special.  Her beauty is refreshing because it comes from within. 

(As I thought about this, I remembered that my husband, Rabbi Jem, said that is what attracted him to me.  He said I had an air about me that was different from the other girls he'd met, and he says he fell in love with me at first sight.  I love hearing him tell that story.) 

Verse eleven says a husband will trust this kind of woman completely.  He has no worries about what she might do.  He knows she will do the right thing in every situation.  He can trust her because of the character traits he sees revealed in the remainder of the chapter. He sees her actions and her reactions.  Those reveal her heart, and she is a great asset to him.

This quote is so true:  What you do speaks so loudly, I can't hear what you're saying.
Another way of saying this is, actions speak louder than words. 

I can say I love my husband, but do my actions prove it?  

I can say I love my home, but do my actions prove it?

This chapter will be very telling and will reveal if we are just talking and not walking.  It will reveal if we are an asset to our husbands.  I hope you'll think about these things and ask yourself these questions.  

Am I a capable / virtuous woman?

Does my husband trust me completely?

Does he consider me a valuable asset / treasure?


I'm sharing this post with:
Spiritual Sundays

Let's Get Social Sunday

A Wise Woman Builds

Thought Provoking Thursday
Hearts for Home
Favorite Things
Faith Filled Friday

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Wisdom Wednesdays

Today, will be the first installment in my new series Wisdom Wednesdays.  As promised last week, this post will be about Proverbs 31.

As a young woman, I was introduced to this chapter of Proverbs during a workshop at my church.  I still remember sitting in that room, listening to an older woman teach us younger women how to be good wives, mothers, and homemakers.  Miss Bernice inspired me to make this my model for success.  I am thankful for her teaching, as well as her example.

Now that I am an older woman myself, I aspire to be an example to the younger women my life touches.  I have learned much wisdom since I began my journey and I hope some of what I've learned will be an inspiration to you, dear Gail-Friends.

As an introduction, this chapter was written by Lemuel's (Solomon) mother.  He was the king, and she wrote these words to disciple him.  In verse two, the Hebrew says:

"What is it, my son?  And what is it, O son of my womb?  
And what is it, O son of my vows?"

The implication of her statement is:  

"I raised you, I bore you, and loved you so much
 that all my vows were dedicated to you."  

If you have children, you know the depth of that statement.  This mother has her son's best interest at heart, and we are to do the same with our children.  Like Lemuel's mother, the focus of my life, for the most part, has been on and for my children.

I longed to be a mother from the time I was five years old.  When I married, I prayed for children for four years before I bore my first child.  I had a miscarriage before she was conceived.   Then I prayed another six years for my second, and last, one.  I wanted more children, but it was not to be.   Becoming a mother was a dream come true for me.  Becoming a grandmother was another dream realized.  Both taught me a whole new level of love, and wisdom. 

Since the day I bore my first child, there has not been one day I have not thought about my children.  I was a stay-at-home mom and only worked outside the home part time for twenty-seven years.  I don't regret those years.  My philosophy was, and is now, that there will be plenty of time to develop a career once children are gone from the home.

Lemuel's mother is counseling him according to the Scriptures.  This is what we are to do with our children.  We are to teach them G-d's holy ways, not the ways of the world or some denomination or church.  If their teachings do not line up with Scripture, we are sinning against them and against G-d by remaining in that place. 

Is it your heart's desire to be a good mother, wife, and homemaker?  If so, G-d will hear that vow, and He will help you keep it.  He gave us this chapter, and many others to guide us as women, whether we are single or married. 

My heart is always toward my home, husband and children.  I hope some of the things I've learned along the way will help and inspire you, whether you are single or married.  I hope you'll come back next week to learn more about this chapter, especially the Hebrew perspective and insights I will share. Some of them might surprise you. 

Friday, November 1, 2013

My Art

This month, I've been following Emily's blog Chatting at the Sky.  Her posts on art and creativity have inspired me to indulge my creative spirit more, so I'd like to show you how my art is expressed.

Of course my blog, Gail-Friends is one way to express my art, through writing, poetry, and photography:
Leading the music and dancing at the synagogue are others ways to worship and express what is in my heart.  I also play the piano and the harp  (but not at the synagogue). 

The picture above also shows another way I can be creative - through cooking.  I love to cook.  Food is art,  and food is love, right?  The pic above shows my homemade kugel, and the one below shows some hamentaschen I made for Purim.  They didn't turn out picture-perfect like I wanted, but they sure tasted good. 

The decorations in my home are reflection of my heart.

The sewing arts are my least favorite, but I do cross-stitch, crochet, and like to make items for the synagogue.  This is the arc cover I made for the High Holy Days:

Drawing, painting, calligraphy and crafts are the most neglected of my creative expressions, and Emily has inspired me to get back to those. 

This pic above is of my mama, and a piece I created for her.  It says, "The heart that gives, gathers".  She is in a nursing home now, and I try to be creative in making her life more pleasant, through music, art, and any other way I can since she is very limited in activity now.

My clothing is an art expression.  I love hats and wear them often.

Our marriage is creative, too.  My husband and I both make an effort every day to show love and appreciation to each other.  Our love and marriage is a work of art.

I've enjoyed Emily's series, and am grateful for her inspiration this month.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

31 Days of His Wisdom - Day 31 - A Virtuous Woman

Our dear friend, Barbara, who makes the challah for us each Sabbath
Doesn't Barbara look like the perfect Proverbs 31 woman? (Kind of reminds you of Martha Stewart, right?)   She is a very good example of a what the chapter talks about. She loves the L-rd, her family, and her she has her own business on top of all that.  

My favorite chapter of Proverbs ends this 31-day series.  Proverbs 31 describes a capable wife.  There is so much in this chapter, but this part is my focus for today:

ע 25 Clothed with strength and dignity,
        she can laugh at the days to come.
פ 26When she opens her mouth, she speaks wisely;
        on her tongue is loving instruction.
צ 27 She watches how things go in her house,
        not eating the bread of idleness.
ק 28 Her children arise; they make her happy;
        her husband too, as he praises her:
ר 29 “Many women have done wonderful things,
        but you surpass them all!”
ש 30 Charm can lie, beauty can vanish,
        but a woman who fears Adonai should be praised.
ת 31 Give her a share in what she produces;
        let her works speak her praises at the city gates.

As a young woman in my twenties, I attended a workshop about this chapter.  All the things a wife should do for her home, husband, children, and community seemed overwhelming at first, but since that day, I have aspired to become this kind of woman.

A year ago, I lost a dear friend, who I think was the epitomy of the Proverbs 31 woman.  I still can't think of her without crying. She was a joy and an inspiration to everyone who knew her. We were kindred spirits in the desire of our hearts.  This is her quote: "I am very focused... on my home and family...children and grandchildren.  The desire of my heart is multi-generational faithfulness to G-d, that they would know Him and walk in His ways." ~clb.  The words on her grave are her legacy:

Every morning when I wake up, my husband says, "Good morning, gorgeous!"  I love that he thinks I'm beautiful, but as verse thirty says, "beauty can vanish".  I know that the most important thing is to fear ADONAI (obey Him).  My prayer is that I would be remembered, not for my beauty, but for my life lived for His glory.  Like my friend, Cheryl, I also pray for future generations to follow Him. 

 If you've never read this chapter, I pray you will study it verse by verse and think about whether or not you are doing what the verse describes. 

Next week, in my Wisdom Wednesday feature, I will do a more in-depth explanation of how the chapter can guide us in today's world. 


Quotations are from The Complete Jewish Bible
Each time I read through Proverbs, something different jumps out at me.  This is ADONAI quickening His Word to my heart.  

As I go through this month of studying Proverbs, I hope you'll join me and read the chapter, too.  I'll share what stands out to me for that day.  

I'd love for you to share something He shows you through the day's reading. 
I'll be linking these posts to the 31 Days event at The Nester

This 31 day series will focus on the things I learned from Proverbs, as well as some things from Torah study, and will add in a sprinkling of what I've learned from Judaism. 

I will be posting daily through October 31.  To read the posts, just go to the Labels section on the left, and click on "31 Days of His Wisdom".


I'm sharing this post with:
Spiritual Sundays

Let's Get Social Sunday

A Wise Woman Builds

Thought Provoking Thursday
Hearts for Home
Favorite Things
Faith Filled Friday

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

31 Days of His Wisdom - Day 30 - Which Bible Version?

source Microsoft

5 Every word of G-d’s is pure;
    He shields those taking refuge in Him.
Don’t add anything to His words;
    or He will rebuke you, and you be found a liar.

In Judaism, the Torah is the basis of all teaching. I said yesterday that reading the Scriptures, especially the New Testament, through the lens of the Torah aids in understanding.   I'd like to give some background on why this is so important.

The Torah contains the first five books of the Old Testament.  These were given to Moses by G-d .  These words have been preserved through thousands of years with great meticulous care.  

The Hebrew language is more than just a language.  It contains the mind of ADONAI.  Each letter teaches a lesson.  The way the lines are set up is important.  The spacing is important.  All of these things combine to make a source of wisdom unseen in the volumes most people hold in their hands today.

A sefer is someone who has gone to school for many years to learn how to write Hebrew and the Torah so that no mistakes can be made.  Torah scrolls have been written the same way for thousands of years.  This is very important so that the message is not changed or diluted in any way.

Can you see what a difference there is between the Torah and the modern-day translations we use?  So many things have been changed to reflect present culture. For instance, I learned recently about a new translation that is gender neutral.  That is wrong. 

I've also seen translations that remove the words related to homosexuality because that would offend those who are homosexual.  This is definitely wrong.  

The Roman Catholic Church destroyed original manuscripts of the New Testament documents, so who knows what the originals had to say?  We know that they stripped all Jewishness from their church, changed the Sabbath, and replaced G-d's Feasts and Festivals with pagan holidays.

We do know that the disciples were Jews, and they would not have written in Greek.  Yet, how often have you heard preachers refer to the Greek translation for the meaning of a passage?

Trust me on this point:  The Jews did not then, and do not now, think from a Greek point of view.  So, I am not interested in the Greek.  I want to know the Jewish perspective.  I think that would be more accurate, don't you?  
When my husband, Rabbi Jem, and I got married, we read Proverbs together daily.  I read from the King James Version, while he read from the Hebrew.  I was amazed at the difference in many passages.  This made me realize the in-fallibility of that version. I had to conclude that the closer I got to the Hebrew, the better.

I am sure that thinking along this line is disconcerting to you if you have been brought up in the Greek mindset, following the pagan customs of the Christian church.  It was frightening to me at first.  I grew up with a preacher telling me that the King James Version was the infallible word of the L-rd.  It is not.  It is a translation and it contains many instances of wrong translation.  

This is why a study of the Torah enables one to understand the New Testament.  It helps one understand Yeshua's words and actions.  He did not say or do anything that contradicts the Torah.  He even said, "I have not come to do away with the Torah, but to fulfill it."  He showed us how to live in obedience to it.  He did not abandon Judaism, and He did not start a new religion. 

I'm sure I've given you something to think about, and I hope and pray you will consider this and seek G-d's face on these points.


Quotations are from The Complete Jewish Bible

Each time I read through Proverbs, something different jumps out at me.  This is ADONAI quickening His Word to my heart.  

As I go through this month of studying Proverbs, I hope you'll join me and read the chapter, too.  I'll share what stands out to me for that day.  

I'd love for you to share something He shows you through the day's reading. 
I'll be linking these posts to the 31 Days event at The Nester

This 31 day series will focus on the things I learned from Proverbs, as well as some things from Torah study, and will add in a sprinkling of what I've learned from Judaism. 

I will be posting daily through October 31.  To read the posts, just go to the Labels section on the left, and click on "31 Days of His Wisdom".