Monday, October 22, 2012


Scripturally correct food

 One of the first decisions we face as Returning Israel is whether we are going to obey the Biblical commands regarding food. This is often a confusing process since we are not used to examining the products we purchase to be sure there are not any non-food ingredients. It takes a little time to learn that there are a lot of things that can be/and are eaten which are not “food”.
Yahweh tells us in Bereshit (Genesis) 1:29 that He has given us the plants, fruits and nuts for food.

Gen 1:29  And Elohim said, “See, I have given you every plant that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed, to you it is for food.

 The criteria for meat that can be considered food are revealed to us in Leviticus chapter 11. Any flesh that does not meet those criteria cannot be Scripturally considered food. As we begin to try to eat Kashrut, we will find that many things we have been eating all our lives really are not food. For example, those delicious shrimp and that lobster that you relish are not food. It is really the carcass of a salt water scavenger. Every creation has a purpose in Yahweh’s great plan and these non-fin creatures of the sea are the sewage system of the sea and not for eating.
The frustrating thing is that the world system has been deluded into believing that we can eat anything we desire. Much of this belief comes from “food” accepted by pagan societies and those having no understanding of Scriptures. Many ingredients of foreign “food” are not really food but are things created for another purpose. Here in America, the most prominent meat used for breakfast is pork. A pig is not created to be a food item in any manner and is specifically named in the Bible as an exclusion from food. Yet because of a lack of understanding Hebraic thought, many have come to believe that Messiah Yahshua made ‘all things clean’ and OK to eat.

It is amazing how we can read His words regarding Torah being forever with absolutely no changes and then state that we do not have to obey Torah because Messiah has changed it. Most of us coming out of the church system really struggle with the question pertaining to food. We are so indoctrinated into believing that Yahshua spoke out of both sides of His mouth that we can justify almost anything we do.  Others decide that Peter’s vision regarding all the unclean animals and beasts means that all meat is now edible. The only problem with that is the vision pertained to people, not food. Peter even explained the vision a few verses later, yet men still grasp the interpretation we desire and call it truth.
Please remember to check on any food you are bringing to Oneg. If you have any doubts regarding an item, please call in advance and I can help you.

Be blessed and eat well.


Monday, October 15, 2012

Daily Personal Prayer

Shalom my brother and sister in Messiah

Many of us are facing physical, financial or emotional crisis in our lives and the adversary has been successful in causing us to be depressed and feel defeated. Even if we understand in our head what emuna really is, we have not taken this knowledge to heart.

Emuna is the understanding that Yahweh is in total charge of everything that happens in our lives and that whatever we are facing is for our best. The Father always knows what is best for us in moving closer to His presence. Each challenge is to strengthen us spiritually and cause us to understand that we must rely upon Yahweh in all areas of our lives. This emuna leads us to understand the need for personal prayer. Only by dedicated and persistent personal prayer can a person obtain the necessary wisdom and blessings from Yahweh. All throughout the Scriptures we are told that Yahweh desires to give us everything we need to dwell in peace and harmony with both Yahweh and our fellow Believer. That peace requires us to walk in health and financial stability.

Over the next few days, I would like for us to look at the importance of a dedicated hour of personal prayer each day. The Hebrew word for such an hour is “hitbodedut”. We will examine the teaching of Rabbi Nachman of Breslev and his student Rabbi Shalom Arush from the translation into English by Rabbi Laser Brody of Rabbi Arush’s  book “In Forest Fields”. For deeper study of this subject I would encourage each of you to secure a personal copy of the book and read it extensively.

We need to come to the realization that our personal situation is the result of our relationship with Yahweh and His assistance in helping us to become the person we should be to best serve Him. Each of us has some personal weaknesses and traits that are keeping us from moving into the presence of His holy place.  Only through prayer can we become strong and address the bad habits and traits in our lives. By taking time each day to do teshuva and seek the help and guidance of Yahweh can we continue to grow spiritually.

Let’s begin by looking at the need to daily seek purification in our lives.

The one true purpose in our lives is to make everything we do serve the Master of the Universe. Prayer is the key to both our personal redemption and to the collective redemption of the all of Israel. In Hebrew, the letters that spell “Moshiach” are the same letters that spell “Mesiach”, meaning “one who converses”. Remember that Yochanan tells us that Yahshua is “The Word”. Words are used to converse with each other. We communicate with Yahweh through personal prayer. We need to understand that “redemption” is synonymous with “prayer”.

Hitbodedut is a prime indication of emuna. One who believes in Yahweh will speak to Yahweh and vice versa. (In Forest Fields, p-30) The classic book of Jewish ethics “Duties of the Heart” says that one can trust only in Yahweh, for only Yahweh can fulfill the seven conditions of trust, as follows:

1.       Yahweh has compassion on you;

2.       Yahweh doesn’t ignore your needs, nor does His constant Divine Providence ever neglect you;

3.       He is strong and invincible, and no one can stop Him from fulfilling your request;

4.       He knows all your needs, even the ones that you are not aware of;

5.       His Divine Providence never leaves you; from your first day on earth through your last day, He is with you.

6.       He alone determines your fate, and no one other than Yahweh can help you or hurt you.

7.       His generosity and loving-kindness knows no bounds, both for the deserving and for the undeserving. (In Forest Fields p 31)


This is just how simple it is. The Creator made you and is with you all the time. Any time you feel the need to talk to Him, He is near. He listens and heeds every word you say. Just by taking time to talk to Yahweh in your own words is a real declaration of faith that surpasses all logic, intellectual arguments, proofs, and explanations.

This weekend I took time to watch several sessions of the majesty of the universe in what we call outer space of our solar system and beyond. The scientists on the programs kept emphasizing the many unknowns as to why such power and beauty exists. They are trying to understand how it all came to be and what power keeps it in control. With everything moving and releasing unbelievable surges of power, how does it not create chaos? I kept trying to tell them to read the Torah for all the answers to their questions.

Just as this immense universe remains under the absolute control of its Creator, so does your life. He truly holds you in the palm of His hand. His desire is that each of us become pure according to His instructions in order that we might be able to walk with Him in the cool of the evening. He wants you ever near Him so that you and He can communicate regarding your every need and care.

I encourage you to begin to spend an hour each day talking with Yahweh. Be aware that the adversary does not want that to happen so you will have to ask Yahweh to give you the strength to make that hour happen. Through that hour of personal communication with Yahweh, you can change every aspect of your life because He hears and answers our prayers.

May Yahweh be blessed by your life and your relationship with His people, Israel.

Sunday, October 14, 2012


Shalom and welcome to Rabbi Trails

The hope for this blog is that I can provide some food for thought to those who seek a more intimate relationship with Yahweh. The coming times prophesied throughout the Scriptures tell us that we have only one place of safety, in His holy presence; ie, “in the shelter of His arms”. Yahweh has provided instruction regarding entering that holy place. The requirements are not that hard but they are very demanding of us as a people.

There are several areas of our lives in which Yahweh wants total surrender to His Ruach. First and foremost He wants us to surrender our tongue to guidance of His Word.   In my opinion, the greatest damage to the restoration of Returning Israel, is the rampant Lashon Hara being expressed each day.  Messianic Synagogues, home study groups, and even family Bible studies are being ripped apart by ill spoken words. I know, many times the guilty parties argue that what is said is “the truth” as if that is the only criteria required by Torah. The creation of strife is considered an abomination by Yahweh, yet oftentimes the people will not consider the consequences of their words in creating such strife.

Over many years of study, I have come to believe that there are some things that a Believer can do to help avoid the sin of Lashon Hara. Over the next few weeks I will be addressing those areas that we as Believers need to examine regarding our personal lives and also the relationship we have with our fellow Israelites.

I will emphatically state that there is absolutely no way a person can come into the holy presence of Yahweh if he is creating strife among the brethren, regardless of the reason. We are commanded to be a light, not a lightning rod. The Adversary is working full time to destroy the Messianic gathering of Yahweh’s people and their return to the Torah lifestyle. On a regular basis we are hearing of splits among the Assemblies caused by some individual (s)  pride or a desire to have a few minutes of personal glory.

The purpose of the blog will be to challenge each of us to examine our lives daily to make sure that we have subjected ourselves to the guidance of the Ruach HaKodesh. Rather than be a tool to make you feel good, I hope to often make you very uncomfortable spiritually. Having said that, I hope you will stick with me as we examine our need to do teshuva, commit to a time of daily personal prayer, set aside time each day for liturgy as well as Scripture reading and study.

If Yahweh is calling you back to His Torah, He has a task for you in the restoration He is starting. We must seek His glory rather than our personal glory. He demands a lot of His people but the blessings are beyond comprehension if we will simply submit to His Word.

Join me as the Rabbi Trail attempts to lead us to the Narrow Path of the Master.