Tag Archives: Giving of the Torah

Time to sit still or to pass on

The first week of the Summer holiday is already nearly gone. It goes so fast, perhaps before we know the three weeks shall be over and the roads in Flanders shall again pile up with pepole going to do their daily business, their worldly duties.

You would think they could have now some more time to take rest but also to spend more time reading in the Set Apart Scriptures.
These weeks people love it to find their work-life coming to a stand still. I wonder if they would remember how perhaps a whole world was like coming to a complete silent standstill. In the words of the Midrash about the Matan Torah:

When God revealed Torah at Mount Sinai, no bird sang, no cow mooed, no bad of grass rustled in the wind. (Shemot Rabbah29:9)

God giving the Torah on Mount Sinai

What God had to say was so important everything was like coming to a standstill. (Figuratively.)

There at Mount Sinai the Torah was given to the Am kadosh God’s People. though in fact it was not only for the Hebrews, but to all the nations of the world that God provided His Word. All should have to come to hear His Voice. God’s People should know the importance of it for them but also for the others around them. Though for those who call themselves People of God it can be a Hard Word.

God lifts Mount Sinai and holds it over the heads of the assembled Children of Israel.  Then God says,

either you accept and pledge to observe my Torah or I shall drop the mountain on top of you. (B. Shabbat 88A and B. Avodah Zarah 2B)

Would we like the world falling on our head? Are we getting God’s messages He gives throughout the many ages? Not many do!
It is all about bringing the Message of God further into the world. We may not forget the purpose of our people, to be teachers and examples of the ideals of Torah to the world. Indeed by adherence to these ideals we become in the words of the Prophet Isaiah;

“A light to the nations’ (Isaiah 49:6)

a worthy example for all. If we are not willing to accept the responsibility of adhering to the Torah’s ideals, there is no good reason for us to continue to exist.

Israel’s willingness to accept Torah was so important to God that the Almighty threatened to break the promise made after the flood never to destroy the world again unless Israel agrees to embrace the Torah and its ideals (B. Shabbat 88A).

So we should not fear to find the world coming to an end that way, but we may not forget that the Elohim warned us also for a terrible war going to come. Our eyes should be directed to those incredible difficult times, when there would be more natural disasters, children getting cross with their parents, people having no respect any more for each other nor keeping to ethic values, religion fighting against religion, nations against nations. It all shall end by a disastrous World War.

But before that time shall be so near that it would be to late to warn others, the people of God should spread the Good News and warn people to be ready.

We should show others how we as People of God want to be an example and demonstrate to God that we are worthy to receive His Torah.

When God asks us to offer guarantors of our worthiness, we offer the deeds of our patriarchs and our prophets but God finds neither of these acceptable.  Only when we pledge the loyalty of our children to God’s teachings does God reveal the Torah to our people. (Shir Ha ShirimRabbah, Chapter 1, Section 4, Midrash 1)

When we are free from daily work, having our Summer-holiday we should take time to tell others about that Word of God which might bring light and life for so many. Living in the hope (tikvah) that one day more people shall come to see and understand the Voice of God and be willing to go with us to the corners of the world.

“Thus says ADONAI-Tzva’ot, “In those days it will come to pass that ten men from every language of the nations will grasp the corner of the garment of a Jew saying, ‘Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.’ ””
(Zechariah 8:23 TLV)

 

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Preceding articles

An uncovering book to explore

2016 Summer holiday

Holiday time reading time

Allow yourself a chill-out day

Shabbat Mevarchim opening to the Summer-holiday period

Summer holiday time to knock and ask, and time to share

Christians remaining hidden not sharing the gospel

Witnesses of Christ and of his gospel

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Additional articles to read

  1. Why think that (4) … God would reveal himself in words
  2. Why think that (5) … the Bible is the word of God
  3. How to Read the Bible (sequel 6) an after thought
  4. Bible Reading: is it worthwhile?
  5. God’s forgotten Word 2 Lost Lawbook 1 Who has still interest
  6. Today’s thought “Let’s be examples of disciples who spread the word about their Master” (May 17)
  7. Daily thought for July the 8th and the Summer months
  8. I can’t believe that … (4) God’s word would be so violent
  9. ….a powerful way to put the universe on notice….
  10. Making time for prayer in Summerholiday
  11. Holiday tolerance
  12. Will There Ever be Peace on Earth?

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Further related

  1. Leisure: Family friendly activities not to miss this summer
  2. Summer reality and summer dreams
  3. Podcasts for Summer
  4. Our Summer Trip: My Top 10 Favourite Things
  5. Mallorca – My Summer Holiday Highlights!
  6. Which books to read this summer: 5 tips!
  7. Moshe, Dovid, and What the Other Nations Rejected
  8. Yitro – The question of freedom of choice
  9. Shavuot: Now That’s The Spirit! 5779
  10. Rav Avigdor Miller on The Avos and Matan Torah
  11. Rav Avigdor Miller on The Nations Reject the Torah
  12. Rav Avigdor Miller on The Nations Reject the Torah
  13. Shavuot – The meaning of Har Sina
  14. Preparing to Accept The Torah: Part One
  15. Too busy?
  16. Being an Example; November 27, 2018
  17. A Living Example
  18. Pelted for the Gospel
  19. Who Follows You?

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Looking at the time when the Torah was given

Ruth in Boaz's Field

Ruth in Boaz’s Field (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

At nightfall tonight, we spend the entire first night of Shavuot studying Torah.
The traditional Tikkun Leil Shavout (“Rectification for Shavuot Night”) study program includes the opening and closing verses of each book of the Written Torah (Tanach), as well as of each Parshah; the entire Book of Ruth; the opening and closing sections of each tractate of the Talmud; a list of the 613 mitzvot; and selected readings from the Zohar and other Kabbalistic works.

On this day, Moses made a covenant with the Jewish people at the foot of Mount Sinai at which the people declared,

“All that God has spoken, we shall do and hear” (Exodus 24:7)

committing themselves to observe the Torah’s commandments (“do”) and strive to comprehend them (“hear”), while pledging to “do” also before they “hear.”

Remembering that on the 6th Sivan of the year 2448 from creation (1313 BCE), seven weeks after the Exodus, mankind was blessed by the Elohim revealing Himself on Mount Sinai and wanting to give the Words of Guidance.

Taken the day of Erev Shavuot of 2008 at Valle...

Taken the day of Erev Shavuot of 2008 at Valley Beth Shalom’s main sanctuary (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The entire people of Israel (600,000 heads of households and their families), as well as the souls of all future generations of Jews, heard God declare the first two of the Ten Commandments and witnessed God’s communication of the other eight through Moses. Following the revelation, Moses ascended the mountain for 40 days, to receive the remainder of the Torah from God.

The Torah itself does not explicitly mention the connection of this day with the the giving of the Torah on Sinai (Matan Torah). It merely says,

“You shall count fifty days (from the second day of Pesach)… and you shall proclaim on that selfsame day: It shall be a holy convocation unto you.”

Now although we know that the Torah was given on the 6th of Sivan, during the time when the calendar was fixed by eyewitnesses to the new moon, the fiftieth day — Shavuot — could fall on the 5th, 6th, or 7th of Sivan. Therefore I would love to mention this today and call to you for remembering the set apart moment of the elohim coming closer to His People, giving them something precious to hold on, so that they could be sure to please their Most High Maker.

Nonetheless, now that the calendar is no longer variable, Shavuot always coincides with the 6th. And there is also a Biblical allusion to the significance of Shavuot in the fact that unlike the other festivals, the word “sin” is not mentioned in connection with the special sacrifices for Shavuot, and this is related to the Israelites’ acceptance of the Torah, which gave them the special merit of being forgiven their sins.

Within the diversity of the world we as lovers of God do have to come in unity with the divine Maker. When we look at the world around us, there are enough things which reveal the Master Hand of the Divine Creator. This should give us confidence that the Most High is always active, omnipresent and that it is on Him we should rely.

In the month of Nisan we remembered how God’s People “fled” from Egypt, both literally and metaphorically — fled from the knowledge of the world and were filled only with the revelation from above. Their unity was of the world-denying kind. The elohim for them was One because they knew only one thing, because the world had ceased to have being in their eyes.

Iyar, the second month, is the month wholly taken up with the Counting of the Omer, and preparing ourselves for the coming events at Sinai. The divine Creator wants each of us to be aware of ourselves and likes to see that we can have our world as something apart from God which has to be suppressed.

Now in the third month, Sivan, we look up at the time when the Torah was given, when God and the world became one thing.

This was the moment of genuine unity, when what had seemed two things became a third, including and going beyond both. {Jewish saying}

We must look at ourselves and recognise that we are still far off from being really totally “one with God”. We are not yet at one with the Eternal Most High Elohim Hashem Jehovah. Many still even do not dare to come close to Him pronouncing His titles or to enunciate His Divine Name.

We should be aware that first of all there has to be a willingness to come close to God. The best way to do that is by studying the Word God Himself has delivered to mankind. Today nobody really has an excuse that he or she would not have been able to hear God’s Word. Nearly everywhere in the world the Word of God is available in oral form, printed form with Bible translations in lots of languages so that people always could find one or an other language they can read and understand.

The ultimate unity with the Most High comes only through (learning) Torah, when the mind of man and the will of God interfuse.

Tomorrow I’ll look at two other events which occurred on Shavuot

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Preceding articles

Elul Observances

9 Adar and bickering or loving followers of the Torah preparing for Pesach

Next

To turn the world into a “vessel” receptive of God

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Additional reading

  1. Why Sabbaths or Sabbath plural “shabbatot”
  2. The Advent of the saviour to Roman oppression
  3. Tongues a sign of authenticity or divine backing

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9 Adar and bickering or loving followers of the Torah preparing for Pesach

The Catholics may have started their Lenten Season and try to lessen what they normally would eat and cut in entertainment activities. When we look around us we may find a few people who want to take the time to go over to a willing abstinence or reduction from some or all food, drink, or both, for a period of time.

Many religious observances have fasting in their program.

You should know that it is not bad to have every year some cleaning of the body and mind. Also in the house many may do a Spring cleaning. Abstinence from food or drink or both may be done for health, ritualistic, religious, or ethical purposes. All over the world we can find peoples taking abstention which may be complete or partial, lengthy, of short duration, or intermittent. Fasting has been promoted and practised from antiquity worldwide by physicians, by the founders and followers of many religions, by culturally designated individuals (e.g., hunters or candidates for initiation rites), and by individuals or groups as an expression of protest against what they believe are violations of social, ethical, or political principles.

Since at least the 5th century bce fasting has been used therapeutically. The ancient Greek physician who lived during Greece’s Classical period and is traditionally regarded as the father of medicine, Hippocrates recommended abstinence from food or drink for patients who exhibited certain symptoms of illness.

Beit Hillel is located in Israel

Northern district, Mevo’ot HaHermon council, moshav Beit Hillel

Detail of the Knesset Menorah, Jerusalem: Hillel the Elder teaching a man the meaning of the whole Torah while he stands on one foot

In almost every rabbinic book we can find mention of 9 Adar as a fast day. Though we must admit that during the last 2,000 years, not many Jews actually observed it. According to tradition, 9 Adar was the day on which initially peaceful and constructive disagreements between Beit Hillel and Beit Shammai, the two great schools of thought during the Mishnaic period, erupted into a violent conflict over 18 points of law. The 1st century Jewish scholar Shammai was the most eminent contemporary, an important figure in Judaism‘s core work of rabbinic literature, the Mishnah, and the halakhic opponent of Hillel, the highest authority among the Pharisees (predecessors to Rabbinic Judaism), founder of the House of Hillel school for Tannaïm (Sages of the Mishnah) and the founder of a dynasty of Sages who stood at the head of the Jews living in the Land of Israel until roughly the fifth century of the Common Era.

Hillel was the head of the great school, at first associated with Menahem the Essene, who might be the same Menahem the Essene as the one mentioned by Flavius Josephus in relation to King Herod, afterward with Shammai, Hillel’s peer in the teaching of Jewish Law. The family of Jesus Christ also belonged to the Essenes.

Hillel and his Torah colleague Shammai were both disciples of Shemaya and Avtalyon as well as the last of the Zugos. (The five generations of Zugos were Jose ben Joezer and Jose ben Jochanan, Joshua ben Perachiah and Nitai HaArbeli, Judah ben Tabbai and Shimon ben Shatach, Shemaya and Avtalyon, and Hillel and Shammai.) Both were fearless upholders of the Torah’s honour, standing up to Herod and brooking no mockery of Judaism.

Due to increased Roman persecution, Hillel and Shammai their disciples were unable to analyze new situations as deeply as Jewish scholars once could. As a result, the emerging scholars broke off into two schools of thought, known as Bais Shammai and Bais Hillel or Beit Hillel and Beit Shammai, and wound up disputing more than 300 cases. This beginning of large-scale argumentation (machlokes) is viewed by the Talmud as a sad diminution in Torah scholarship, which, due to the lack of clarity, had drastic results for the Jewish people.

At first the scholars personally treated each other with great love and respect. But according to various sources 9 Adar was the day on which initially peaceful and constructive disagreements between Beit Hillel and Beit Shammai, erupted into a violent conflict over 18 points of law, killing as many as 3,000 students in the fighting which should have been avoided.

We can take 9 Adar as a cautionary tale. There is a timely and pressing need to examine how the model of machloket l’shem shamayim (dispute for the sake of Heaven) between Beit Hillel, which produced 14 generations of great leaders, spanning nearly 400 years, and guiding the Jewish people through some of their most difficult times, and Beit Shammai devolved into a Jewish civil war. The lesson from that occasion is that

if we don’t work to resolve conflict peaceably and in a way in which everyone walks out stronger and the community is strengthened,

notes Nurit Bachrach, director of Mosaica: The Center for Consensual Conflict Resolution.

9Adar9 Adar, may be looked at as a day we should recognize the urgency to impart skills for constructive conflict to future Jewish leaders and therefore the Pardes Center for Judaism and Conflict Resolution has therefore chosen this day to be the international Jewish Day of Constructive Conflict (machloket l’shem shamayim), dedicated to both the study and practice of Judaism and conflict resolution.

People need to have their minds open for different thoughts. They should always try to negotiate with those of other opinions and should always remember that all people are creations of the Most High, in His image, which we should show respect.

As in any community there may be different thoughts or different schools. All created in the image of God should respect the others around them. We also should know that nobody can know everything, but God. We as fallible human beings shall have to try to work things out. God has given us time to do that. He also has given His Word and His Law, which we remembered this last weekend. That Torah or Written Law should be our guide. We should follow those instructions.

There are 18 ways you or your organization can participate in your home, workplace, synagogue, school and community, recalling the 18 matters over which the conflict erupted.

Traditional Fast Day Customs (Minhagim)

  1. Fast (ta’anit)
  2. Fast from destructive speech (ta’anit dibbur)
  3. Contribute (tzedakah)
  4. Self-reflect (teshuvah)
  5. Pray (tefilah)
  6. Cook/eat (se’udah)

 

Learn/Teach (Talmud Torah)

  1. Write
  2. Study/Read/listen
  3. Give a dvar torah (words of Torah)
  4. Teach
  5. Announce/share/tell
  6. Create

 

Be a Rodef Shalom for the Day

  1. Sign/Create a Rodef Shalom Agreement (Haskamah)
  2. Greet others as a rodef shalom
  3. Be a rodef shalom in your own conflicts
  4. Be a rodef shalom for others in conflict
  5. Be a rodef shalom by facilitating a constructive conversation
  6. Invite a professional rodef shalom

 

On this day it is also important that we do think about the reason why we received the Torah and how we should use it as a guide to construct our life. If we want to be a Child of God we should behave like one. As children of God we do have to feel like brothers and sisters of each other, respecting and loving each other, trying together to please our heavenly Father.

When we treasure our friendship with the Most High Elohim Hashem Jehovah, we should strive to please Him in every aspect of our life, including our thoughts. Preparing ourselves for the coming period, living up to Erev Pesach or 14 Nisan on Monday April the 10th in 2017 and hoping to have a joyful Pesach the next two days days, we may take the coming days to think how we can better our life and cleanse our inner soul. Fasting, or trying not to be tempted by certain things we so love, is a good way to train our self.

Everybody has to work at himself or herself to come to have “a pure heart”. This has to happen by focusing our minds on what is chaste, virtuous, and praiseworthy. (Ps. 24:3, 4; 51:6; Phil. 4:8) Granted, Jehovah makes allowances for our imperfect nature. He knows that we are prone to improper desires. But we do have to recognize that it saddens Him when we nurture wrong thoughts instead of doing all we can to reject them. (Gen. 6:5, 6) Therefore let us remember those squabbling studious Jewish followers of Hillel and his Torah colleague Shammai, and make sure that we do not fall in the trap of discussing so much smaller things that they grow above our head into something which would bring us to fight and do something against the Will of the Most High.

Going up to the days of Pesach we can take time to meditate on the Word of God plus His Works and to reflect on our way of living. It can be a good thing to avoid being tempted to eat or drink certain things we love, and to stand still by those who were going day in day out through the desert, hoping to find the promised Holy Land soon. We too still have our hopes on the Holy Land and look forward to see it coming to a time of peace. We therefore should take enough time to consider what it is what God wants and to come to accept that Jews, Christians and Muslims should all be partakers of that Holy Land. In the end all the world should know that the Kingdom of God shall be the place for all lovers of God, no matter from which school they came of from which denomination they were part of. Jerusalem shall be the capital of God’s Kingdom here on earth and there shall be place enough for all those who want to do the Will of God.

Doing the Will of God should be our aim. To do that Will of God we may only worship One True God and keep ourselves away form all sorts of heathen rites and traditions. So, if you want to fast, do it, but do it with a pure heart, not mixing with pagan traditions and keep your thoughts chaste or spotless. An important way to show our complete reliance on Jehovah is by making our fight against unclean thoughts and staying restraint a matter of prayer. When we draw close to Jehovah in prayer, he draws close to us. He generously gives us his holy spirit, thus strengthening our resolve to resist immoral thoughts and remain chaste. Let us these days remember that and let peace grow in our hearts and share it with others around us.

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Preceding articles

Happy First Day of Spring: Spring Cleaning!

From the Ramadan into the eid

Your Future

7 Ways To Become A Better Christian

Reactions against those of the other sex

Glimlach raam naar je ziel

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Additional reading

  1. People Seeking for God 3 Laws and directions
  2. Seeing or not seeing and willingness to find God
  3. Gone astray, away from God
  4. Creation of the earth and man #3 Of the Sabbath day #1 the Seventh day
  5. First mention of a solution against death 7 Human sacrifice
  6. Hanukkahgiving or Thanksgivvukah
  7. Displeasures and Actions of the Almighty God
  8. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #10 Prayer #8 Condition
  9. Lenten Season and our minds and hearts the spiritual temple in which God seeks to live

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  2. A Moment of Bliss
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  4. Day 0 – The Preparation, The Mission
  5. Catholic-Judeo Spirituality of Fasting: It’s all about squealing with joy
  6. Why Catholics Observe Lent Uniquely
  7. Daily Mass: Fasting for God. Catholic Inspiration
  8. Lent is Here and I’m Late Posting This!
  9. Five Reasons Not to Observe Lent*
  10. What Did You Give Up For Lent?
  11. Fasting For… (3.4.2017)
  12. Meditation on Lent: Good Gifts
  13. Lent – An Invitation to Joy
  14. Facebook Fast
  15. Soul Food: Lent Temptation cakes
  16. Begone, Satan!
  17. Why is Fasting So Difficult For Me?
  18. Day 3 Fasting & Abstinence: Good Read
  19. Lent Day 4: 3/4/2017
  20. Day 4 Fasting: Day of Temptations
  21. Taking the Other Seriously
  22. What Does God Really Want From Us this Lent?
  23. The Unbiblical Nature of the Lenten Season!
  24. March 2017 Fasting Log
  25. “Why Do You Fast?”
  26. My Fast is Finished but God’s Not
  27. It is well with my soul
  28. Lent Day 5: 3/5/2017
  29. Day 5 Fasting & Abstinence: Blessed Sunday
  30. Healing crisis
  31. Fasting Opens Us Up
  32. slob days
  33. Fasting Echoes Joy
  34. Lent 6 ~ Fasting to Repair and Restore
  35. Lent Day 6: 3/6/2017
  36. Day 6 Fasting: Adjustment Over
  37. 1029
  38. 100 days to Ramadan
  39. Aiming for an outstanding Ramadan The holy month of Ramadan this year is going to start at the end of May.
  40. Targets for Ramadan
  41. Daily News Egypt: Twitter reveals increase of users’ activities in Ramadan
  42. Fasting Tips for New Muslims
  43. When Is Laylatul Qadr?
  44. Praying Maghrib and Esha in Jamaat in The Last 10 Nights of Ramadaan
  45. Prolonged Du’a in Sujood and Tashahud in The Last 10 Nights of Ramadaan
  46. Doing Good Deeds in The Last 10 Blessed Days of Ramadaan
  47. Tips for The Last 10 Nights of Ramadaan
  48. “Better Than:” The Spirit of Fasting
  49. Detox

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Elul Observances

For the Jewish community it is the last month of the year. We also are at the turning point having the Summer Holiday being the end of the time to repose and to go into a new school- or academic year and into a new church year.

By the Chosen People of God prior to the Exile the months were designated partly by names and partly by numbers.

Elul (Hebrew: אֱלוּל, StandardElulTiberianʾĔlûl) is the twelfth month of the Jewish civil year and the sixth month of the ecclesiastical year on the Hebrew calendar. It is a summer month of 29 days. Elul usually occurs in August–September on the Gregorian calendar. {Wikipedia}

Shofar (by Alphonse Lévy) Caption says: "...

Shofar (by Alphonse Lévy) Caption says: “To a good year” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The name of the month (spelled Alef-Lamed-Vav-Lamed) is said to be an acronym of “Ani l’dodi v’dodi li,” “I am my Beloved’s and my Beloved is mine,” a quote from Song of Songs 6:3, where the Beloved is the Most High divine Creator of heaven and earth and the “I” is the Jewish people. In Aramaic (the vernacular of the Jewish people at the time that the month names were adopted), the word “Elul” meaning “search,” which is appropriate, because at the end of a period (weak/season/ year) it is not bad to take some time free to think about what happened in the past. At the turn over of the season or year it is time to search our hearts and to seriously have an introspection and stocktaking — a time to review one’s deeds and spiritual progress over the past year and prepare for the upcoming Yamim Nora’im or “Days of Awe” of Rosh Hashanah and Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur.

According to tradition, the month of Elul is the time that Moses spent on Mount Sinai, forty days and forty nights, neither eating bread, nor drinking water, preparing the second set of tablets after the incident of the golden calf (Exodus 32; 34:27-28). He had ascended on Rosh Chodesh Elul, the 1st of Elul of the year 2448 from creation (1313 BCE).

Moses was seen by Jehovah as a righteous person, finding beauty in God His eyes. It was to him that God wanted to make all His function cross over upon his face and willing to show beauty, having compassion to whom God will have compassion. Though God cannot be seen, people can feel His presence. Moses, with Christ Jesus, was the only human being ever coming to know God this way. Jehovah taught him the secret of His “Thirteen Attributes of Mercy” (Exodus 33:18-34:8).

Exo 33:17-23 NHEBJE  Jehovah said to Moses, “I will do this thing also that you have spoken; for you have found favor in my sight, and I know you by name.”  (18)  He said, “Please show me your glory.”  (19)  He said, “I will make all my goodness pass before you, and will proclaim the name of Jehovah before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy.”  (20)  He said, “You cannot see my face, for man may not see me and live.”  (21)  Jehovah also said, “Behold, there is a place by me, and you shall stand on the rock.  (22)  It will happen, while my glory passes by, that I will put you in a cleft of the rock, and will cover you with my hand until I have passed by;  (23)  then I will take away my hand, and you will see my back; but my face shall not be seen.”

Exo 34:1-8 NHEBJE  Jehovah said to Moses, “Chisel two stone tablets like the first: and I will write on the tablets the words that were on the first tablets, which you broke.  (2)  Be ready by the morning, and come up in the morning to Mount Sinai, and present yourself there to me on the top of the mountain.  (3)  No one shall come up with you; neither let anyone be seen throughout all the mountain; neither let the flocks nor herds feed before that mountain.”  (4)  He chiseled two tablets of stone like the first; and Moses rose up early in the morning, and went up to Mount Sinai, as Jehovah had commanded him, and took in his hand two stone tablets.  (5)  Jehovah descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of Jehovah.  (6)  Jehovah passed by before him, and proclaimed, “Jehovah, Jehovah, a merciful and gracious God, slow to anger, and abundant in loving kindness and truth,  (7)  keeping loving kindness for thousands, forgiving iniquity and disobedience and sin; and that will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, and on the children’s children, on the third and on the fourth generation.”  (8)  Moses hurried and bowed his head toward the earth, and worshiped.

Moses remained on the mountain for 40 days, until the 10th of Tishrei (Yom Kippur), during which time He obtained God’s whole-hearted forgiveness and reconciliation with the people of Israel following their betrayal of the covenant between them with their worship of the Golden Calf. This was the third of Moses’ three 40-day periods on Mount Sinai in connection with the Giving of the Torah. Ever since, the month of Elul serves as the “month of Divine mercy and forgiveness.”

When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the testimony in Moses’ hand, on the 10th of Tishri, at the end of Yom Kippur, Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone by reason of his speaking with him, as a sign that his repentance was complete.
Other sources say that Elul is the beginning of a period of 40 days that Moses prayed for God to forgive the people after the Golden Calf incident, after which the commandment to prepare the second set of tablets was given.

As the month of Divine Mercy and Forgiveness it is a most opportune time for teshuvah, the “return” to God, where we try to come even closer than in other times. This coming closer has to be done by getting in a closer relationship with God by spending enough time in conversation with Him, by prayer. for the Jews it is also a time where they show love for each other. That increased Ahavat Yisrael (love for a fellow Jew) has to happen in the quest for self-improvement and coming closer to God.

Schneur Zalman of Liadi

Schneur Zalman of Liadi (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Chassidic master Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi likens the month of Elul to a time when “the king is in the field” and, in contrast to when he is in the royal palace,

“everyone who so desires is permitted to meet him, and he receives them all with a cheerful countenance and shows a smiling face to them all.”

Is that not a lovely thought that we are given the opportunity to meet that King over the king of kings? From the Hebrew writings we may understand that Jehovah God is willing to listen to everybody who is willing to search for Him.

As we pass through life, we are invariably coarsened and sullied by our errors and misjudgements, or simply by the travails of physical life; but our innermost self, the soul which is created in the “image of God” and should be a “veritable part of God” should be ready to come in front of God. Last year the Christadelphians and Bible Students in Belgium focused on our communication with God. This coming season we are going to look at our being, which has the nephesh or nefesh (flesh) and (psyche), a soul which can only exist because God allows it to exist.

The Jews may bind the small black leather cubes containing parchment scrolls inscribed with the Shema and other biblical passages, around the arm (“hand Tefillin“) and head (“Head Tefillin“) of adult men during weekday morning prayers. But we should not have such touchable symbols to wrap around us to have the connection with the Word of God. The Mitzvah (precepts and commandments as commanded by God) binds us spiritually with our hearts and deeds with the Holy Spirit. Our mind (psyche) or soul which we give into the Hands of God, in these days of ‘turn over’ or ‘turning point’, should now get some interest from us to cleanse and purify it, so that we can come to a daily reunification within ourselves and with God.

The term mitzvah has also come to express an act of human kindness. In these days of passage, going from baby into toddler, toddler going from kindergarten to the lower and later to the junior and higher school. As adult going into a new academic year. It is God Who allows us to climb higher on the ladder, getting more knowledge and wisdom.

Specific Elul customs include the daily sounding of the shofar (ram’s horn) as a call to repentance. The Baal Shem Tov instituted the custom of reciting three additional chapters of Psalms each day, from the 1st of Elul until Yom Kippur (on Yom Kippur the remaining 36 chapters are recited, thereby completing the entire book of Psalms). (Chapter 22 Chapter 23 Chapter 24)

In this world there is a lot of distraction, so much noise we often do not hear the right sounds. There is so much that keeps us busy in the time of year we often do not find enough time to have pleasure time for the own family and even less time to spend time together with brothers and sisters of the same faith. How much time do you find to spend with others thinking about the Word of God and discussing what can be found and understood from Bible reading?

Let us take time to repent and to think about what we have done last year and how we are going to enter the new church year. We look forward to enter a new church-year full of enthusiasm, looking for ways to get to know the human soul better and to bring more people to better insight in the Holy Scriptures, in the hope that they may find God and shall be willing to get baptised and to join one of our communities.

Are we willing to let our soul be formed by the almighty God and to be looking forward to the Teshuvah, the God-given ability to access and reconnect to that untouched self, re-establishing our lives upon its foundation, and even redefine a negative past in its purifying light?

We may not overlook the most important aspect of Elul which is to make a plan for your life. Because when the “Big Day”, the Last Day of this time-system comes it shall be too late to make preparations. Everything has to happen before that day, like the marriage arrangements have to be taken before the day of marriage. It is Now that we do have to prepare ourselves to be ready to come before the Judge of the Endtimes. You may be sure that it will be so much easier when you prepare yourself for that day with others; Together the work shall be so much lighter and it will be much easier for each of the meeting to find the right way. Now is the time to prepare yourself for making a good start going into the right direction and finding like-minded people who are willing to unite in the name of Christ, willing to do, like him, the Will of God and not of ourselves or of the world.

Let us hear the trumpet of God and follow His Guidance into a new stadium, preparing ourselves to enter that promised New World, the Kingdom of God, as children of God.

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Find also to read:

  1. Our openness to being approachable
  2. A new school-, academic and church year
  3. The sin of partiality
  4. Let us not fret or worry about next season
  5. Atonement And Fellowship 1/8
  6. Following a Compassionate Lord
  7. Wishing to do the will of God
  8. A Living Faith #7 Prayer
  9. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #8 Prayer #6 Communication and manifestation
  10. The soul
  11. Is there an Immortal soul
  12. Science, belief, denial and visibility 2
  13. I Only hope we find GOD again before it is too late !
  14. What I Hope For Is What You Hope For
  15. Forgiveness is a blessing for the one who forgives
  16. The thought of losing rekindles the joy of having
  17. Courage is fear that has said its prayers

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  • #BlogElul A time to reflect (otir.wordpress.com)
    The month of Elul is starting tonight.
    Which meansRoshHashanah is in one month.As we prepare for the holiday of Passover in the spring, with spring cleaning among other things, we do prepare for the High Holy Days with a thorough soul cleaning!
  • Elul/Vav (workofheartandsoul.wordpress.com)
    Many Jews also visit the graves of loved ones throughout the month in order to remember and honor those people in our past who inspire us to live more fully in the future. {They leave a pebble or stone on top of the grave!}
  • ABC’s of Elul (jewishpress.com)
    If youhad an important court date scheduled – one that woulddetermine your financial future, or even your very life – you’d be sure to prepare for weeks beforehand.On Rosh Hashanah, each individual is judged on the merit of his deeds. Whether he will live out the year or not. Whether he will have financial success or ruin. Whether he will be healthy or ill. All of these are determined on Rosh Hashanah.Elul – the month preceding Rosh Hashanah – begins a period of intensive introspection, of clarifying life’s goals, and of coming closer to God. It is a time for realizing purpose in life – rather than perfunctorily going through the motions of living by amassing money and seeking gratification. It is a time when we step back and look at ourselves critically and honestly, as Jews have from time immemorial, with the intention of improving.
  • No Spiritual Home – Elul 5775 (lightwavejourney.wordpress.com)
    As a professional Jew, I havepreviously had communities that were easier for meto be a part of spiritually, but I have rarely felt uncomfortable in a community I have worked.  Only one time, I heard a rabbi give a sermon onYomKippurin which he said that Tisha B’Av should be disregarded.  It was the one and only time I almost walked out of High Holy Day services with my family.Judaism is a part of my essence.  I love how it fits into my life, pushes me to think, and creates a cocoon where I can live.I am a God-Wrestler.  I question, I pray, I hope, I vision and I wrestle.  And on the days that I don’t quite know how God fits into my practice of Judaism, I let go and trust the universe.  And throughout it all, I try to live a life of Godliness.  Every place I walk is a sanctuary, so why in this moment should I feel like I have no spiritual home.  The mountains and the desert are seriously my sanctuary.  I love the earth; I love so many special spaces that exude God-like energy.  I used to have a yoga studio that felt like God’s sanctuary.  Today, there is no space that is calling me for the Rosh HaShanah, yet I have to take my kids to services for the High Holy Days.
  • Getting Clean During Elul (beittshuvah.wordpress.com)
    This month is when we traditionally do our inventories of the past year. We set up a balance sheet, listing the things we have done well and the areas where we “missed” the mark.
    +The Big Lie–Elul #8
    While there is a great deal to be sad about: loss, death, disappointment, our own errors, the hurts of others, etc; we have to keep this sadness in proper measure. When sadness is out of proper measure, we descend into despair. Rabbi Nachman calls this type of sadness the worst sin. Sadness/despair allows us to be hopeless and become victims. This sadness and despair allows us to tolerate the darkness that we and others bring into the world. It gives reason to our inactivity, our passivity and our engaging in negativity. This is the sadness that says “nothing will change” “why bother” “I don’t matter”, etc. It allows us to stay stuck and believe that we are powerless and doomed!
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    The Lies I Tell Myself-Elul #7
    in our age of “not taking responsibility, we can acknowledge the feelings another person has of our betrayal while not confessing to our betrayal.
  • #BlogElul 1: Prepare (velveteenrabbi.blogs.com)
    The full moon of Av (on the Jewish calendar), the full moon of Ramadan (on the Muslim calendar), has been steadily shrinking. As surely as waves roll out and then roll back in again, now it’s time for the moon to start growing. Today is new moon, Rosh Chodesh Elul. One month until the Days of Awe.
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    it’s always possible to start paying attention, to become mindful, to dive in, wherever we are. Maybe you haven’t been counting the seven weeks between Tisha b’Av and Rosh Hashanah — nu, no big deal; start now, four weeks before the new year! You can always begin to prepare. It’s always open to you. Start now, as the moon begins to wax, and when it wanes — as it will inevitably do — feel your heart and soul quicken with the approaching Days of Awe.
  • When the King is in the Field (acmsrabbiblog.wordpress.com)
    God has divided time into the holy and mundane.  Sabbath and the feasts are considered holy times, while the rest of the week is mundane where we engage in the normal activities of work and life.  Elul is seen as a time when the holy and mundane merge.  Every day of Elul is a little like Shabbat in the sense that because the “King is in the field”, we are to be more sensitive to the things that we do that keep us from putting God first in our lives. It is a time to restore the sense of awe toward the Holy One. We are to spend extra time in prayer, especially for personal repentance, reflection and renewal, and study of the Word.
  • Ninth of Av (amapofcalifornia.wordpress.com)
    The fast day always fell during summer vacation, so I had to watch for it on the calendar in order to avoid missing the date.  I was aware that it was a day of obligation and that I was expected to fast.
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    The destruction of the Second Temple and the razing of Jerusalem irrevocably changed the face of Jewish life, ushering in the exile (known in Hebrew as the galut) to the Diaspora that continues to this day.  Where we once were unified in the Holy Land given to us by God, our misdeeds resulted in nothing but sorrow and tragedy as we were scattered al arbah kanfot ha’aretz, to the four corners of the earth.
  • The Month Of Elul (A Time To Reflect On Yeshua Our Betrothed Beloved One) (paradoxparables.wordpress.com)
    During the Days of Awe is a good time to do Ritual Mikvah’s of repentance and dedication, of cleansing, in living streams of water, albeit a river or a shower if you can’t avail yourself to a river of moving fresh water. Repent that the times of refreshing may come, Acts 3:19.

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    Do you need a Shofar blast to awaken your spirits and inspire you to begin searching your soul to prepare yourself to come into G-ds presence? If so splash your face with some water, turn on some good worship music and seek His face.
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    Repenting of ones sins, seeking inspiration to live righteously is a just way to live. It would be good to remember those who have inspired us to come this far and continue to move forward.
  • Elul, All, Nothing, or Something (mymorningmeditations.com)
    There is a misconception that many people have about Judaism, what I call “the all or nothing” syndrome. With 613 mitzvot in the Torah, things can seem a bit overwhelming.

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