Coming up this Shabbat at Ben David

April 6 - Message by Doug Friedman:sermon

Title:

“How Suffering Can Actually Be a Blessing"

God wants to bless us, but He may first have to make us suffer. Of course, none of us wants to suffer, yet we all want God’s blessings. Come this Shabbat and learn how God actually can and does use sufferings in our lives for our benefit.

Simchat Torah

September 29 - 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 8 - 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 8, at 10:30am and celebrate this Biblical Holy Day and its Messianic significance.


Yom Kippur

Wednesday, September 19 - 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, September 19, for this Messianic Service at 10:30am.


Sukkot

Saturday, September 22 - 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 8 - 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"

Coming up at Ben David

January 19 - Guest Speaker, David Rubin: guest

Former Mayor of Shiloh, Israel,
founder of "Shiloh Israel Children's Fund."

Weekly Scripture Commentary
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Shabbat HaGadol, the Great Shabbat

In the previous Parashah we are introduced to an affliction called “tzaraat.” The sages believed that this affliction was the manifestation in the body of a sinful attitude of gossip, false oaths, pride, selfishness and slander. This week’s Parashah describes what it should be done to the metzora, the person afflicted by tzaraat, under the Mosaic system. The following verses describe what the metzora needs to do if he is cleansed from the affliction.

Vayikra 14:2-8: “This shall be the Torah of the metzora in the day of his cleansing; He shall be brought to the kohen; and the kohen shall go out of the camp; and the kohen shall look, and, behold, if the disease of tzaraat is healed from the metzora, then the kohen shall command to take for him who is to be cleansed two birds alive and clean, and cedar wood, and scarlet, and hyssop. And the kohen shall command that one of the birds be killed in an earthen utensil over running water. As for the living bird, he shall take it, and the cedar wood, and the scarlet, and the hyssop, and shall dip them and the living bird in the blood of the bird that was killed over the running water. And he shall sprinkle upon him who is to be cleansed from the tzaraat seven times, and shall pronounce him clean, and shall let the living bird loose in the open field. And he who is to be cleansed shall wash his clothes, and shave all his hair, and wash himself in water, that he may be clean; and after that he shall come into the camp.”

The Tanakh records only two instances of cleansing from tzaraat. The significance of those two instances was that the cleansing was done and the metzora was declared clean not by the priests but by the prophets. Moshe’s sister Miriam was struck with tzaraat because she slandered Moshe (Numbers 12), but Moshe prayed for her and she was cleansed (after staying seven days outside the camp). Elisha the prophet, who received double of the spirit of Elijah, cleansed Naaman, the captain of the army of the king of Aram (II Kings 5). We are not told why Naaman received the affliction but his cleansing was a testimony for Israel’s lack of faith, moral degradation and the treatment of its own prophets, as reiterated later by our Messiah: "And there were many metzorayim in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian" (Luke 4:27).

Yeshua was also not treated well by His own people, even though they were the only people who received godly instructions and, thus, they should have known better. He encountered opposition and lack of faith just as the prophets of old were. By the time of His coming, the tzaraat affliction was as incurable under the Mosaic system as any other sin. But Yeshua changed that because He came with power from the Father to forgive sin. Healing from a physical affliction was a sign of that spiritual cleansing, for we read in Mark 1:40-45: “And a metzora comes to Him begging Him and kneeling down and saying, ‘If You are willing, You are able to make me clean.’ And being filled with compassion, stretching out His hand, He touches the man and says to him, ‘I am willing. Be made clean.’ And immediately the metzora was made clean. And having sternly warned him, immediately He sent him away. And He says to him, ‘See that you say nothing to anyone, but rather go show yourself to the kohen and offer the korban for the purification of you which Moshe gave commandment, for a testimony to them. But the one having gone out began to proclaim many things and to spread the news, so that no longer was Yeshua able to openly enter into town, but He was outside in desolate places. And they were coming to Him from every direction.”

The fact that this metzora did not go to the kohen tells something about the people’s trust in their spiritual leaders. Only those who were willing to repent were cleansed and, in spite of their spiritual leaders, many came to believe in Yeshua; their hearts were ready for the truth.

The Parashah further discusses the body cleanliness and, again, Yeshua, as a testimony to the lack of faith of their religious leaders, gives us the proper interpretation of this Torah through an incident in the Brit Chadashah in which a broken and repentant heart had nowhere else to turn but to the Great Physician: Mark 5:25-34: “And there was a woman having a flow of blood for twelve years. And having suffered much by many physicians and having spent everything she had, instead of recovering, her condition deteriorated. And having heard about Yeshua, she came up behind Him in the multitude, and touched His garment. For she was saying, ‘If I may touch even the garment of Him, I will be saved.’ And immediately, the flow of her blood was dried up and she felt in her body that she has been given healing from the affliction. And immediately Yeshua, having perceived within Himself that power had gone forth from Him, turned around in the crowd and said, ‘Who touched My garments?’ But His talmidim were saying to Him, ‘You see the multitude pressing against You, and You say, Who touched Me?’ And He was looking around to see the one having done this. Now the woman with fear and trembling, aware of what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the truth. And He said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has brought you healing. Go in shalom and receive healing from your affliction.’”

Yeshua removed the condemnation of the Mosaic system. Today we do not see the external effects of tzaraat but the effects of slandering God’s people are seen in the moral degradation that it is happening throughout the world. Only a sincere and repentant heart could be cleansed from the spiritual tzaraat and healing could only come through the atoning shed blood of Yeshua, the Passover Lamb of God.

— Shabbat HaGadol

The Shabbat which precedes Passover is called Shabbat HaGadol, the Great Shabbat, to commemorate the many miracles that God performed for the people of Israel.

So, is your heart ready for Passover?

“And when the hour had come He (Yeshua) reclined at the table and the Moshiach's Shluchim (His apostles) were with Him. And He said to them, "With great longing I have desired to eat this Pesach with you before I suffer. For I say to you that I may by no means eat it until it is fulfilled in the Malchut Yehovah." And having taken the Cup of Redemption, having made the bracha, He said, "Take this and share it among yourselves, for I say to you that from now on by no means shall I drink from the pri hagafen until the Malchut Yehovah comes." And having taken the Afikomen and having made the haMotzi, He broke the matzah and gave it to them, saying, "This is My body being given for you; this do in remembrance of Me." And He took the cup similarly after they ate, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in My blood, being shed for you." - Luke 22:14-20

One thing Yeshua asks us to do. That is to remember the Passover. Yeshua said, 'Do this in remembrance of Me' and that “this” means partake of the elements of Passover - symbols of His body. He said, 'Until I come observe the Passover in remembrance of Me,' because after He comes He will have fulfilled Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot, then we will observe those in remembrance of Him. But until He comes again what we will do in remembrance of Him is to observe Passover, or the Lord's last Seder. Because that is what He had fulfilled for us, as the sacrificial Lamb of God. Therefore, Yeshua only asks us to do one thing until He comes, and that is to proclaim His death through the Passover observance.

Now in order to prepare for the observance of Passover we have to search for "chometz," for leaven in our hearts and to get it out of our lives. Leaven in Scripture is always symbolic of sin; sin that needs to be searched for and eliminated from our hearts. We have our hearts clean but maybe we overlook the little crumbs in dark corners. Why is sin associated with leaven? Because just as a little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough, so, too, a little sin can spread and ruin our lives. Leaven makes the dough rise, therefore it can be said that arrogance, to be puffed up, to be self-centered, is the worst sin of all.

That was the case in Corinth, so Rav Shaul (apostle Paul) says in the first letter to the Corinthians chapter 5, verse 7: “Clean out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened [in God's eyes]. For Messiah our Passover [Lamb] also has been sacrificed.“ What he is saying to us is: search for chometz, clean out the old sin from your life because Messiah our Passover Lamb has been sacrificed and now you are a new creation, and he continues in verse 8: ”Let us therefore celebrate the feast not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread [the matzah] of sincerity and truth.“

Let's search for chometz in our lives, let's clean our hearts and be clean, and may this Passover feast be celebrated with a true Messianic spirit and joy.

Shabbat joy, peace, and blessings! Shabbat Shalom!

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