Coming up this Shabbat at Ben David

May 25 - Message by Doug Friedman:sermon


“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 15 - 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 24 - Rosh haShanah Messianic Service at 10:30am.


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 24, at 10:30am and celebrate this Biblical Holy Day and its Messianic significance.

Yom Kippur

Wednesday, October 5 - Yom Kippur Messianic Service at 10:30am:


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 5, for this Messianic Service at 10:30am.


Saturday, October 8 - Sukkot Service at 10:30am:


Join us for a Sukkot celebration.

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 12 - 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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Parashah VaYeilech — "And went"

The Shabbat between Rosh haShanah and Yom Kippur is called Shabbat Shuvah - The Shabbat of Return, named as such from the first word of the Haftarah (Hosea 14:2-10): "Shuvah Israel - Return, o Israel, to the LORD your God; for you have stumbled in your iniquity. Take with you words and return to the LORD; say to Him: ‘Forgive all our iniquity and receive us graciously; and let us offer the words of our lips instead of bulls.’"

Therefore, Shuvah means to return to God and to live a life for Him. As we approach Yom Kippur, The Day of Atonement, we need to understand the true meaning of this Holy Day.

As we read about the Yom Kippur service in the Torah, in the book of Leviticus chapter 16, we catch a glimpse of what the ancient service was when the Holy Temple stood in Jerusalem. We read in verse 5 concerning the kohen, the high priest: "And from the Israelite community he shall take two he-goats for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering." The ram was for himself, to cleanse for his own sins, so that he could perform the ritual of atonement for the house of Israel. The two male goats were God's requirements for forgiveness on Yom Kippur for the people. In verse 7 we read what was to be done with the two goats: "Aaron shall take the two he-goats and let them stand before the LORD at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting; and he shall place lots upon the two goats, one marked for the LORD and the other marked for Azazel." Azazel was the scapegoat and it is at the very heart and essence of Yom Kippur. Continuing reading in verse 9: "Aaron shall bring forward the goat designated by lot for the LORD, which is to be offered as a sin offering; while the goat designated by lot for Azazel shall be left standing alive before the LORD, to make atonement upon it and to send it off to the wilderness as a scapegoat."

We have two pictures here, first, a picture of the sacrifice of one goat for sin offering, and second, a picture of an innocent animal who takes the people's sins away as the high priest confesses upon it all the sins of the house of Israel.

Verse 15: "He shall then slaughter the goat of the sin offering which is for the people, bring its blood behind the curtain, and do with its blood as he has done with the blood of the bull: he shall sprinkle it over the cover of the Ark and in front of the cover." Sacrifice has to be made; blood has to be shed for the remission of sins. And after that, we are told in verse 20: "When he has finished atoning for the Holy Place, the Tent of Meeting, and the altar, the live goat shall be brought forward. Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat and confess over it all the iniquities and transgressions of the Israelites, whatever their sins, putting them on the head of the goat; and it shall be sent off to the wilderness through a designated man."

The sons of Aaron continued this practice until the Temple was destroyed in Jerusalem. This practice of transferring of sins is at the center of all religious practices in Judaism, but, by-and-large, Jewish people have forgotten what the Torah teaches, that our sins are to be transferred to a scapegoat on Yom Kippur. True, some Orthodox Jews do what they call the ceremony of kapparot, in which a woman takes a chicken and a man takes a rooster and they wave them above their heads three times and say: "May my sins be transferred to this chicken (or rooster) and may it go to its death and may I go to life." They understand that the Torah cannot be broken and that is why they are still doing it. But most of Israel does not practice it. So what do they do with this scripture? Does Israel observe a true Yom Kippur service as it is prescribed in Leviticus 16?

The concept of transferring of sins is the only thing that God ever said would bring atonement on Yom Kippur. Those who claim that now repentance, prayer, and charity avert God's severe decree have ignored Torah's teaching concerning the need for the transference of sins, thus making the Torah meaningless. It is awesome to understand that the sins are transferred, and that it is a vicarious atonement. The Torahic belief is that you do not pay for your own sins, that you have to have your sins transferred, that your sins should be forgotten, taken away and not remembered again. Torah teaches that the atonement has to be made on your behalf and not by you.

This picture is eternal, and this is what Jewish people need to understand. It is an eternal picture as it is commanded in verse 29: "And this shall be a permanent statute for you: In the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, you shall humble your souls; and you shall do no manner of work, neither the citizen nor the alien who resides among you. For on this day atonement shall be made for you to cleanse you of all your sins; you shall be clean before the LORD. It shall be a Shabbat of complete rest for you, that you may humble your souls; it is a permanent statute." Leviticus 23 has made us understand very clearly that the statutes of Yom Kippur are to be kept in all our generations. But, how can we keep this rite without the Holy Temple in Jerusalem?

One thing is clear, we cannot say that we believe in the Torah, and then disregard parts from it. We have in the traditional Judaism two movements, Reform and Conservative who both say that this is a relic of antiquity, that this is not something that God expects us to practice any more since there is no Temple that stands. They have a point there, so they throw out what God has set down as a permanent statute. But you cannot change the word of God, you cannot add to it or subtract from it, you have to deal with it, you have to understand why God gave it also for this generation, not as progressive history, but as an eternal principle. But these rabbis have substituted the sacrificial system with a system of their own saying that repentance, prayer, and charity avert God's decree. God nowhere in Scripture said that.

But what God said was that without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins. Without the forgiveness of sin we cannot appear in front of a Holy God. And so this is the requirement - there has to be blood to be offered to God for the sins, transgressions and iniquities that have been committed. Orthodoxy tries to replace it symbolically with chickens and with roosters. Do they really believe that a chicken is taking away their sins? But did we ever truly believe that a goat took away our sins? If we could have believed that a goat could take away our sins, why not a chicken? And since they can only offer a goat in the Holy of Holies, in the Holy Temple which does not stand now, it is important that they do something to fulfill what God said is required. So the Orthodox do not disregard the Scripture, they try to retain its meaning through a similar ceremony. But in so doing they also have had to change the Scripture, because the Torah said that only a goat can be sacrificed and it can only be sacrificed in the Holy of Holies.

Messianic Judaism does not do away with these Scriptures and does not change them. Messianic Judaism understands, based on other revelatory passages from Tanakh, that animals cannot take the place of human beings paying for their sins, that animals are only symbols, that the goat offered up to God and the goat which has all of the sins of Israel confessed over and sent into the wilderness, are only pictures of what the Messiah was to do for us. We understand that chickens and roosters cannot replace the ceremony, but that the two goats speak of Messiah's work on our behalf. Through these pictures we get the message that God has given us as a permanent statute and we can believe it without altering the Scripture. We believe that it was a sacrifice done for us, that our sins were transferred to that sacrifice, and that it is God Himself who made atonement for us, our people in antiquity never made atonement for themselves. These two goats always gave the picture of atonement for us.

Only believing in Messiah Yeshua, who came before the destruction of the Temple to fulfill all typologies of the mosaic sacrificial system, can keep us true to the text; without the Messiah having come, yes, it is a big problem to know what to do now that the Temple does not stand. But the Temple does not stand for a very good reason. It is because God has fulfilled the rites of the Temple through Messiah, thus the Temple is no longer needed. When we believe in Messiah we do not do away with the Scripture or changing it, but we actually see the Scriptures come to life in a Person, that this atonement actually happened through God's Anointed.

Through king David God explains the purpose of what was written in Leviticus 16. In Psalm 40 verse 6 David speaks in the spirit of prophesy and the Messiah speaks through David and says: "You gave Me to understand that You do not desire sacrifice and meal offering; You do not ask for burnt offering and sin offering. Then I said, 'See, in the scroll of the book [Torah] it is written of Me. To do what pleases You, My God, is My desire; Your Torah is within My heart.'" God never wanted animal sacrifice, they never really took away sin. He did not want meal offering because grain could never cover our iniquity. But we certainly thought so. In the Torah, which cannot be changed or altered, it is required; and yet He says it is not required because it speaks of something or someone else that is required. Verse 7 says: "It is written of Me in the scroll of the book." This person here, speaking through David, says that what we read in Leviticus 16 about the two goats was written about Him. He says, What is written in Torah concerning sacrifice, concerning sin offering is about Me, and I delight to do Your will, O God, Your Torah is within My heart. All the sacrifices of the Temple, all the rites of the Temple, all the rituals are in this person's heart and He delights to fulfill them within Himself. Messiah Himself became the sacrifice to satisfy God's requirement for remission of sin, so that all of our sins were transferred to Him. Therefore, we no longer have to make atonement year after year for sins because He did it for us once-and-for-all.

Let us be grateful that we have had atonement made for us and that Yeshua is in heaven interceding through His own blood for us. We can believe in Him, we can receive forgiveness, and we can start anew with a clean heart. All your sins, no matter how many, are forgiven you for His name sake if you will take His hand in faith right now.

Let us observe a true Yom Kippur.

Shabbat joy, peace, and blessings! Shabbat Shalom!

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