As we near the 50th anniversary of the Six-Day War, you can experience history on the big screen with IN OUR HANDS: The Battle For Jerusalem. In select theaters Tuesday, May 23 only, you can get tickets NOW for this powerful retelling of how Israel’s history changed forever over the course of six days in June, 1967.

In order to take advantage of this one night showing, we will cancel class and meet at the theater. Right now it looks like that will be the Phillips Place theater…

Shalom!

Yosef ben Yosef

We have the latest study guide updated to include the second lesson in Galatians now. This will be the last lesson in this part of our study. Part 3 will pick up with Acts 17 and move from there…

Some folks never seem to wonder, “How did they know the Master was with them for 40 days after he was resurrected?” The answer is simplicity itself. The apostles were following the commandments, counting the days of the Omer from Passover to Pentecost.

Today is 20 days of the Omer.

May the Compassionate One return for us the service of the Temple to its place, speedily in our days. Amen. Selah!

Shalom,

Yosef ben Yosef

Our Lesson 21, on Acts 15 is crucial to our study. Given that some of the men are participating in a second-night Seder, we will cancel class tonight and have a full compliment of men to review this lesson next week.

I pray that you feel as though you were personally redeemed from Egypt this year, and that your gratefulness to HaShem for the miracles wrought on your behalf lead to a life of righteousness and commitment. May we all sense this obligation from now until the coming of Messiah – may it be soon and in our days!

Chag semeach Pesach!

Yosef ben Yosef

I recently read an article by the brilliant Ben Shapiro, in response to Vice President Pence’s habits with regard to women. Since I share the Vice President’s habits in this area, I thought more men should read Ben’s analysis. Read the entire article at The Daily Wire. Here’s a portion, with some highlights to get your attention.

This week, the Washington Post published a long form piece about Vice President Mike Pence, which included a little tidbit that said, “In 2002, Mike Pence told the Hill that he never eats alone with a woman other than his wife and that he won’t attend events featuring alcohol without her by his side, either.” The left — and some elements of the secular-minded right — lost its ever-loving mind.

Never mind that there’s no evidence whatsoever of employment discrimination by Pence against women. Never mind that Pence’s 30-plus year marriage is good evidence that his standards have worked for him and his wife in preserving their marriage. Pence is bad, and his standards are bad. What’s more, they’re theocratic insanity that wouldn’t be out of place in countries ruled by Shariah.

What absolute horse pucky.

Pence isn’t saying that every dinner with a woman potentially ends in the boudoir. He’s saying that human beings are fallible, that they become particularly fallible away from their spouses in the wee hours, and that they become even more fallible than that around alcohol.

But this is one of the great foolish myths propagated by the left and now humored by even some on the right: that risk assessment by individual human beings, examining their own hearts, amounts to discrimination; that those who want to guard themselves from situations in which they are more likely to sin are somehow propagating societal myths.

It isn’t true. Human beings sin. They sin because they are tempted. And they are tempted because they refuse to perform an honest assessment of their own hearts. Not all personal situations are created equal. A late-night dinner involving alcohol with a work colleague of the sex to which you could be attracted obviously carries more risk than working in the office with that same person in the middle of the day. Even leftists understand this, which is why there are significant restrictions on campus regarding male professors alone with female students and student-professor dating. As Damon Linker of The Week states: “What if morality requires social and cultural supports that limit individual freedom and that secular liberals are unwilling to forgo? … Perhaps Pence’s more morally traditional outlook has something in its favor — namely, realism.

I applaud the Vice President, and encourage all of you to evaluate the risk assessments in your lives.

The Passover is upon us! Be sure the leaven is out of the house – and the leaven of sin is out of your lives. May G-d send the Mashiach, soon and in our days!

Chag sameach Pesach!

ben Yosef

One of the most misunderstood portions of the Apostolic Writings is Acts 15. Next week, April 11, as the first day of Unleavened Bread comes to a close, and we count Day One of the Omer, we will step back and take a long look at this famous passage.

What was the problem? Paul and Barnabas are described as being in great dissension and debate with these men from Judea, before being appointed to go up to Jerusalem about “this question” What was the question??

If the question is the validity of, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved,” then we understand why Paul and Barnabas argued so vehemently (the Greek translated “dissension” is often translated as “insurrection!” against this doctrine.

As we discuss the halachah for non-Jews, the question before the Jerusalem Council has little to do with our study. However, some of the believing Pharisees (yes, Martha, there were a LOT of Pharisees who believed Yeshua was the Messiah) said these believing non-Jews had to be circumcised and ordered to keep the law of Moses. That question is very much a part of our study.

Stay tuned!

Next Monday evening is the Passover. I pray that, as the Sages taught, you will have a sense of being personally redeemed from Egypt, as you walk through the Seder haggadah.

Chag semeach Pesach!

Yosef ben Yosef

By way of reminder… there is NO class tonight
14 March 2017

Spend the time studying references to kahal and ecclēsia and their respective English translations in the Tanakh and Apostolic Scriptures. Please take the time to examine other versions, checking for differences.

Is, or was, there a deliberate translation bias to avoid providing continuity between the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures? Did the translators choose to create a new “entity” with a new name, instead of maintaining the assembly phrasing?

I’m anxious to hear your thoughts.

Shalom,

Yosef

We have finished the Gospels. I was surprised we didn’t find more halachic references that included or addressed non-Jews. Let’s see what the Acts of the Apostles has in store for us.

I am grateful to Joshua and Gregory for preparing and teaching lessons. I’m hoping more of the men will do so. It’s a great blessing for me to sit in the audience!

The graphics in Lesson Zero made the study guide unwieldy for many students, so the study guide is now in two parts. Links are available to both parts on the Resource page. Part 1 is The Gospels, and Part 2 is The Acts & The Epistles.

This Tuesday we will review Lesson 13, available in study guide Part 2.

The President “shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.”

U.S. Constitution, Article II, Section 3, Clause 1

The newly elected President normally doesn’t give a State of the Union address. He would usually wait until the January or February following his taking office. U.S. President Donald Trump will give the 95th in-person State of the Union address to our country at some point, but I would not be surprised if he takes advantage of the opportunity sooner, than later.

Rather than believe that former President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee was stolen, we should reflect on the fact that the design of our government’s checks and balances worked. Now, Justice Gorsuch will be approved by Congress to fill a too-long vacant seat on our nation’s highest court. I hope President Trump’s advisors will encourage him to increase the size of the court, in order to bring balance to the poor decisions made over the past 50 years.

Time will tell, but the pendulum appears to be swinging back a bit. It’s time for all Torah bound citizens to be on their best behavior, as we set the tone – and example – for the nation.

Shalom,

Yosef ben Yosef

Our study of the Apostolic Scriptures has been great so far. Last night’s discussion was excellent – and I appreciate all of you who participated.

THERE IS NO CLASS NEXT WEEK, January 10

The last lesson in the Gospels, Lesson 10, will be on January 17 at 7:30pm, at The Residence. This will give you two weeks to study and research two questions posed at the end of the lesson.

First, when Peter hauled in such a large catch of large fish, he actually counted them. Why did he do so, and what is the significance of the 153 count?

Second, Peter was asked three questions by Yeshua that are seemingly identical (in English,) but a look at the Greek brings some differences to light. What was the Master teaching Peter?

Lesson 11 will be taught by Joshua on January 24, as he reviews what we’ve seen of the Holy Spirit in the Gospels, and prepare us for further revelation in the Epistles.

Lesson 12 will be a taught by Gregory on January 31, as he recaps all the halachah we’ve seen in the Gospels as it may pertain to non-Jews.

February will have us jump into the Acts of the Apostles. Invite some men to join you on Tuesday nights. It will be life-changing.

I’m grateful to each of these men for their leadership and willingness to step up.

This Sunday is the last of the four traditional fast days described in the Prophets.

And the word of the LORD of hosts came to me, saying,“Thus says the L-RD of hosts: The fast of the fourth month and the fast of the fifth and the fast of the seventh and the fast of the tenth shall be to the house of Judah seasons of joy and gladness and cheerful feasts. Therefore love truth and peace.

(Zechariah 8:18–19 ESV)

And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and pleas for mercy, so that, when they look on Me, on Him Whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over Him, as one weeps over a firstborn.

(Zechariah 12:10 ESV)

Fast with me this Sunday as we show the world that we are indeed waiting and hoping for the coming of Messiah, looking forward and hastening the day that will turn our mourning into gladness, our fasting to feasting!

Come quickly, L-RD Yeshua!

Yosef ben Yosef

This just in from The Founder’s Bible (which I love, by the way):

All parties agree:  Education without Christianity is “repugnant”–so says the Supreme Court!  Rather surprising wouldn’t you say?  The notion that Christianity, actively teaching and promoting Biblical principles, would be allowed within a government-run school is ridiculous, right?  “That’s not constitutional!” … “It’s a violation of the separation of Church and State!”  Think again!  We may have that completely wrong.

In 1844, a very unique case reached the U.S. Supreme Court involving the estate of Frenchman Stephen Girard ( Vidal v. Girard’s Executors ). He had arrived in America before the Declaration of Independence, where he settled in Philadelphia and lived there until his death in 1831.   He bequeathed his estate (valued at over $7 million) to the city, with the condition that it construct for orphans between the ages of six and eighteen a “college” to be named after him, in which he specifically stipulated:

“no ecclesiastic, missionary, or minister of any denomination whatsoever, shall ever hold or exercise any station or duty whatever in the said college—nor shall any such person ever be admitted for any purpose, or as a visitor within the premises.”

The requirement to exclude clergy and religious teachings from a school to be established under the government’s authority was unprecedented. You will be utterly shocked by the courts’ ruling.

The unanimous opinion of the Supreme Court ruled that
Christianity could NOT be excluded from the school.

Many legal controversies had marked the case, but on the issue of Christian teachings in this government-run school, all parties had agreed:  the plaintiff’s lawyers had said that education without Christianity was “repugnant”; the city’s lawyers had declared it “obnoxious”; and the Supreme Court said that it couldn’t be permitted—that Biblical and Christian principles must be taught in schools. A far and inconceivable cry from where we are today.

This in from Truth Revolt:

According to a new report by the Center for Studies on New Religions, Christians were the most persecuted religious group in the world in 2016.

Figures show that over 90,000 Christians were slaughtered last year and thirty percent of the murders were carried out by radical Islamists. A full report is expected to be released next month by the Italian research group, states Fox News.

Meanwhile, the Obama administration largely ignored the stunning rate at which Christians were being killed around the world in favor of searching out and condemning so-called Islamophobia around the world.

Newsweek also reported on the study in more detail. In addition to the 90,000 deaths, actually down from 105,000 in 2015, between 500 and 600 million Christians were barred from freely practicing their faith in 2016.

The report also noted that outside of Africa, Christians and Muslims were killed at similar rates; however, Muslims are mostly responsible for killing other Muslims.

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