Well, it seems that being a tzadik is all the rave these days… Those listening from afar have actually shutdown the DropBox server, overwhelming it with traffic. Go team!

In our last class, we reviewed three of Matthew’s quotes from the nevi’im (prophets). These were:

  • Micah 5 – Shepherd from Bethlehem, and the midrashic merge with 2 Samuel 5
  • Hosea 11 – Egypt, and the mystical merging of Israel and Messiah
  • Jeremiah 31 – Rachel, and the midrashic merge of Benjamin and Yeshua

Hats off to Joshua and Joshua for checking that Hebrew! The concept presented was that Matthew used the “singular” sense of the “children” being no more – and alluding to the actual Hebrew (which differs from our English bibles – and Tanach [curious]) which says “he” is no more.

From this lesson, you should have a strong appreciation for the rabbinic method of midrashic exegesis – and Matthews employment of this method. Further, you should be coveting a copy of the Yalkut Shimoni, which evidently has not been published in English to date.

Where does the Torah speak about Messiah?
As it is written in Exodus 4:22, “Israel is My son, My firstborn.”

Where in the decrees of the Prophets?
It is written in Isaiah 52:13, “Behold, My servant will prosper,” and nearby that passage it says in Isaiah 42:1, “Behold, My servant, whom I uphold.”

And where in the Writings?
Psalm 110:1 says, “Hashem says to my L-rd, “Sit at My right hand…” and Psalm 2:7 says, “He said to me, ‘You are My son.'”  – Yalkut Shimoni

And there you have it… the sages have said that Psalm 2, and these others, speak of Messiah. It’s not a “church” decision after all.

In our second hour, we did NOT watch our beloved Roger Magnuson (because I can’t find the DVD). Instead we reviewed two holidays – and our response to each.

  1. Chanukah – Besides being a dress rehearsal for the acts and restrictions of the anti-Torah man in the last days, this holiday proclaims our stand against a G-d hating culture that has accepted secular humanism as its religious preference. We should dedicate ourselves anew to the commands of the Holy One, blessed is He, and teach others in the faith to do the same. Our Master proclaims that He is the Light of the World – and then announces that we are that same light…
  2. Christmas – Far from being a secular, man-made travesty celebrating the birth of the Jewish Messiah, it is a holy convocation for most of the visible church. As such, we are foolish to let it slide by without pointing out several salient issues from the Holy Scriptures:
    1. Jeremiah speaks to trees being brought into the home.
    2. The theology of 90% of the visible church is founded on Christmas cards and holiday jingles.
    3. Reviewing the specifics of the birth narratives in Matthew and Luke with members of the visible church provides a perfect opportunity to go back to the Tanach. Can this really be a bad thing?
    4. The festival of Sukkot may be when the Master was born – and as Greg Upham shared, this would mean He was conceived during Chanukah!
    5. If the Master was born on the first day of Sukkot – then His circumcision was performed on Simchat Torah!
    6. The concept of a family heritage is born out in Joseph’s trip to Bethlehem. This concept is mostly lost in a culture that no longer has a “home town,” let alone a multi-generational location.

I pointed you to two resources. First, the Chanukah audio class available at Bella Torah; second the veritable Christmas Quiz 2010.

Next week is our tzitzit tying class! Rick Hergenreter had the excellent idea of having you watch a YouTube video of an orthodox Jew tying his tzitzit before coming to class. This is a great idea! In fact, my plan was to show a video like this during class. If you can take the time to watch the video a few times before coming next week, that would be VERY helpful.

Our goal of the class is that you learn how to tie tzitzit. If your goal is to get your tzitzit tied with techelet, then learn to tie tzitzit first, then tie those bad boys.

We will have practice strings for you to learn and practice with. You will be paired with someone who has tied tzitzit as a coach, until you feel ready to solo.

If you want to tie YOUR tzitzit, be sure to bring them – and your techelet, if you want to add it.

May Hashem richly bless your rest on Shabbat this week. May His Ruach (Spirit) lead you to fascinating insights in His Torah.

Don’t forget to study your Hebrew alephbet and vowels – and do Lesson One of 1 John.

Shalom,

Joseph

PS: The audio and handouts for this class are available here.

PPS: If you have our copy of the Roger Magnuson video – or A Stranger Among Us, please let me know.

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