Coming up this Shabbat at Ben David

May 25 - Message by Doug Friedman:sermon

Title:

“Here Comes the Judge"

Paul’s “2nd” letter to the Corinthians is filled with arguments calling for changed behavior on the part of the Corinthian Congregation. Now, in the final chapter, Paul switches from arguments to warnings. But his summation reveals something else entirely. Come and hear the heart of a true Apostle!

Simchat Torah

October 19 - Simchat Torahtorah
The Joy of the Torah - Morning Service
Concluding the annual Torah reading and beginning anew.
Join us celebrating God's word.

Rosh HaShanah

Saturday, September 28 - Rosh HaShanah Messianic Service at 10:30am.

rosh

Rosh HaShanah, also known as the Jewish New Year, is called in the Bible the Feast of Trumpets, or, in Hebrew, Zicharon Teruah, the Day of Memorial of Blowing.
Rosh HaShanah (literally, Head of the Year) occurs on the first day of the Jewish month of Tishrei.
Please join us for the morning service on Saturday, September 28, at 10:30am and celebrate this Biblical Holy Day and its Messianic significance.


Yom Kippur

Wednesday, October 9 - Yom Kippur Messianic Service at 10:30am:

ykippur

Yom Kippur, or the Day of Atonement, occurs on the tenth of Tishrei, it is to be a "Shabbat of solemn rest."
Please join us for the morning service on Wednesday, October 9, for this Messianic Service at 10:30am.


Sukkot

Saturday, October 12 - Sukkot Service at 10:30am:

sukkot

Join us for a Sukkot celebration.
- Morning Service followed by Oneg in the Sukkah.


Shabbat Zachor, the Shabbat of Remembrance

On the Shabbat before Purim, Jews throughout the world will turn their attention to two special readings in Deuteronomy and Samuel, describing how the ancient nation of Amalek attacked our ancestors in the desert. These readings come before Purim because Haman was the descendent of Agag, King of Amalek.

Deuteronomy 25:17-19: “Remember what Amalek did to you by the way, when you came out of Egypt. How he met you by the way, and struck at your rear, all who were feeble behind you, when you were faint and weary; and he did not fear God. Therefore it shall be, when the Lord your God has given you rest from all your enemies around, in the land which the Lord your God gives you for an inheritance to possess, that you shall blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven; you shall not forget it.”

Not only was the attack unprovoked, but it came at a time when the people were faint and weary. Shabbat Zachor - the Sabbath of Remembrance - is so named because we are commanded to remember the heinous deeds committed by Amalek. Our memories as victims of violence and persecution are a two-edged sword, though. We sometimes find that many of our people have accumulated emotions of hate and vengeance against whoever belongs to a nation or group which has hurt us. We sometimes hear expressions of anger, following murderous attacks. Feelings of rage and the desire for revenge are natural and understandable in moments of crisis, and one cannot be judged in his or her moment of anguish.

But it seems that this mitzvah has a different meaning, because the Torah does not “command” us to feel that which is naturally felt. The Torah does not enjoin us to love our children, for example, we do that naturally. On the other hand, it does charge us to “love the stranger.” With this commandment to remember the deeds of Amalek, Torah seems to command us to make every effort not to be contaminated by the actions like those of Amalek and the tendency to respond to violence with violence and stain our souls and minds with violence.

Our God asked to “love your neighbor as yourself” and “love your enemies” but our mind, clouded by our sinful nature, cannot comprehend the full magnitude of this commandment, thus, at least we have to remember not to be like Amalek and darken our souls by hate. Justice is enough.

Hanukkah Celebration

December 28 - Hanukkah Celebration at 4:00pmhanukkah
Come, celebrate Hanukkah with us.
- Menorah Lighhting
- Dancing
- Children’s Activities
- Dreidel Playing
- Traditional Foods
- Latkes & Sufganiyot

PLEASE NOTE: There will be no morning service.

Coming up at Ben David - Purim

March 3 - Purim Celebration:



Join us for a fun filled Purim Celebration: costumes, parade, children's program, joyful music, insightful sermon, and an Oneg with delicious hamantaschen. Purim is the last event of the biblical calendar and symbolizes the ultimate victory over evil.

Hamantaschen Baking Contest:

Bring two dozen of your homemade hamantaschen before the service to enter the contest. Prizes will be awarded at the Oneg.

Coming up at Ben David - April 14 - Yom HaShoah

With guest speaker Rochelle Dreeben author of "One Dark Night"
Weekly Scripture Commentary
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Parshah Re'eh - “See"

"Rejoice in God's Commandments"

Moshe begins this sidra by putting the commandments of Yehovah into perspective – the choice of whether or not to accept and obey the commandments of the Torah is nothing less than the choice between blessing and curse. Man has the free choice either to accept or to reject God's commandments – there is no gray area in the Kingdom of God. “See, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse. A blessing, if you hearken the commandments of Yehovah your God, which I command you this day. And a curse, if you will not hearken the commandments of Yehovah your God, but turn aside from the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods, which you have not known” Devarim 11:26.

The Parashah starts with the word "see" (re'eh), implying that the blessing and the curse are not simply abstract promises but something tangible that people could actually see in their own lives. Most people are satisfied with mediocrity, but God urges His people to strive for great heights and should feel that the alternative is nothing less than a curse. It will come a time – it seems like we are already living in that time – when the society will move so far from God that only very few will not hunger for bread nor thirst for water – symbols of the materialistic world – but hunger to hear the word of God. The blessing will come to us on the condition that we hearken the commandments of God. “Hearken,” in this context, is a metaphor for blessing, because the only way a person can attain God’s blessing is if he has the ability to "hear" spiritually and assimilate what the Torah wants of him. Thus, the "blessing" will consist of mere the ability to pick out and hear the word of God from the flurry of competing messages with which people are inundated from the world – the Internet, TV, cell-phone, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter...

When God made the covenant with Avraham, He made it unconditional to never forsake his descendants. In the midst of the unconditional promise which God will never take back, however, for a blessed life, God put conditional portions. “The continuance of the blessings depends upon us keeping His commandments." We must remember that God's commands are His propositional statements about His character. They are not arbitrary. God has a character, and His character is the law of the universe. Torah is grace in that it reveals what the fulfilling of His character is. God was telling His people that if they lived in the light of His character - His commandments - then would come the blessing. If they failed to do this, then the blessing would stop and that it will seem like a curse, even though God will never forget the covenant made with Avraham.

We see in God’s commandments a continuity of the authority of the written Scriptures, and an emphasis on the fact that bare knowledge is not enough. It was not that the Torah gave these people knowledge, and that was the end of it. This knowledge demanded action. Similarly, once we have become believers, we have entered, by faith, by the grace of God, into the spiritual portion of the Avrahamic covenant; and the unconditional promise applies to us – we will never be lost again. While this is true, the Brit Chadashah makes it clear that for the believer there is also a conditional aspect. The moral aspect of the commandments is the expression of God's character, and we are not to set it aside when we become believers. Our obedience to it will make a difference in what happens to us both in this present life and in the believers' judgment in the future.

After warning against the temptation of idolatry and its practices, God introduces a phenomenon that could lead Israel to indulge in such practices, a false prophet. Therefore, He establishes the criteria on how to judge a prophet. If someone has been acknowledged as a prophet by doing signs and wanders, he is proven to be a false prophet if he advocates any form of idolatry, or any teaching contrary to the teachings of the Torah. “If there arises among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder, comes to pass, of which he spoke to you, saying, ‘Let us go after other gods, which you have not known, and let us serve them,’ you shall not listen to the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, for Yehovah your God tests you, to know whether you love Yehovah your God with all your heart and with all your soul. You shall walk after Yehovah your God, and fear Him, and keep His commandments, and obey His voice, and you shall serve Him, and hold fast to Him. And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he has spoken to turn you away from Yehovah your God... So shall you purge the evil away from the midst of you" Devarim 13:2.

In the Brit Chadashah, not only to show the validity and the continuation of God’s instructions, but also to reveal the specificity of the fulfillment of God’s commandments, the apostle John wrote: “Chaverim friends, do not believe every spirit. But test the spirits, if they be of Yehovah, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this we have knowledge of the Ruach haKodesh of Yehovah: every spirit which acknowledges that Yeshua haMoshiach came as a human being is of Yehovah, and every spirit which does not acknowledge Yeshua is not of Yehovah. And this is the spirit of the Anti-Moshiach, which you have heard that it is coming; and now it already is in the world. Yeladim children, you are of Yehovah, and you have overcome them, because greater is the One in you than the one in the world. They are of the world; therefore, they speak of the world, and the world pays heed to them. We are of Yehovah; the one who knows Yehovah pays heed to us; he who is not of Yehovah does not pay heed to us. This is how we distinguish the Ruach haKodesh of truth from the spirit of delusion” 1 John 4:1-6. Anyone who denies the complete duality of Yeshua’s deity and humanity is of the Anti-Moshiach’s spirit. Anything apart from this truth is idolatry. Only through the Ruach haKodesh we can declare that Yeshua haMoshiach is Lord (Philippians 2:11).

Another truth that is revealed in this Parashah is that God's intention in keeping these commandments are not for a burden but for rejoicing. “Make the Shabbat a delight,” Isaiah entreats us, a true prophet of Yehovah. All these commandments are for people's own good, thus God exhorts them to rejoice no fewer than six times in this Parashah:
— After establishing the place and practices of animal sacrifices, God wants to make sure that they enjoy the abundant result of their labor and rejoice in their offering: "You shall eat before Yehovah your God and you shall rejoice with your every undertaking" (12:7).
— They should rejoice in everything that they do, not only them, but everybody in their household: "You shall rejoice before Yehovah your God, you, your sons, your daughters, your slaves and your maidservants" (12:12).
— And just to make it clear God repeats the exhortation: "You shall rejoice before Yehovah your God in your every undertaking" (12:18).
— After establishing the laws of kashrut God tells them to rejoice in everything that He gave them to eat: "And you may spend the money for whatsoever your heart desires, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatsoever your soul wishes: and you shall eat there before Yehovah your God, and you shall rejoice, you, and your household" (14:26).
— After establishing the three pilgrimage Holy Days – Pesach, Shavuot and Sukkot, God tells them to rejoice, not by themselves and not only with their household, but with the whole community, including the less fortunate, the foreigner, the orphan, and the widow: "And you shall rejoice before Yehovah your God, you, and your son, and your daughter, and your manservant, and your maidservant, and the Levite that is within your gates, and the stranger, and the orphan, and the widow, that are among you" (16:11).
— And again God tells them to rejoice: "And you shall rejoice in your feast, you, and your son, and your daughter, and your manservant, and your maidservant, and the Levite, the stranger, and the orphan, and the widow that are within your gates" (16:14).

Is it any wonder that the apostles used this word frequently? “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!” But this rejoicing can only come from having a personal relationship with the God who gave them time and time again sustenance in spite of their shortcomings. The God who gave them, and to us, the promise of a Redeemer, Yeshua haMoshiach, who came and gave the ultimate gift, His life, for our shortcomings. Thus, an appropriate response for all the blessings that God bestows upon them, and upon us, is not to appear before Yehovah empty-handed (Devarim 16:16).

Let us rejoice in obeying God’s commandments and let us bring before Yehovah our freewill offerings and our tithes into the “storehouse,” the congregation, and "see" how God will pour out His blessings. ”Bring the whole tithe into the store-house, that there may be food in My House, and test Me now in this," says Yehovah Tzevaot, "if I will not open you the windows of heaven and pour you out a blessing that there shall not be room enough for.”

Shabbat joy, peace, and blessings! Shabbat Shalom!


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