Thursday, April 26, 2018

Ponderings of the Perkei Avot 3:1


RaYBaSH’s Ponderings of the Perkei Avot
Chapter 3:1
By: Yehudah ben Shomeyr


3:1. Akavia the son of Mahalalel would say: Reflect upon three things and you will not come to the hands of transgression. Know from where you came, where you are going, and before whom you are destined to give a judgment and accounting. From where you came--from a putrid drop; where you are going--to a place of dust, maggots and worms; and before whom you are destined to give a judgment and accounting--before the supreme King of Kings, the Holy One, blessed be He.

Numbers 16:1-3 Now Korah, the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, and Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, and On, the son of Peleth, sons of Reuben, took men: And they rose up before Moses, with certain of the children of Israel, two hundred and fifty princes of the assembly, famous in the congregation, men of renown: And they gathered themselves together against Moses and against Aaron, and said unto them, Ye take too much upon you, seeing all the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the LORD is among them: wherefore then lift ye up yourselves above the congregation of the LORD?


·       From where you came--from a putrid drop;


The putrid drop obviously alluding to the seed of the man.


Korach (Korah), acted just as Miriam and Aharon (Aaron) did at one time; “Aren’t we prophets too? Does God only speak to Moshe (Moses)? Doesn’t He speak to us too?”

·       Where you are going--to a place of dust, maggots and worms;


Numbers 16: 28-35And Moses said, Hereby ye shall know that the LORD hath sent me to do all these works; for I have not done them of mine own mind. If these men die the common death of all men, or if they be visited after the visitation of all men; then the LORD hath not sent me. But if the LORD make a new thing, and the earth open her mouth, and swallow them up, with all that appertain unto them, and they go down quick into the pit; then ye shall understand that these men have provoked the LORD. And it came to pass, as he had made an end of speaking all these words, that the ground clave asunder that was under them: And the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up, and their houses, and all the men that appertained unto Korah, and all their goods. They, and all that appertained to them, went down alive into the pit, and the earth closed upon them: and they perished from among the congregation. And all Israel that were round about them fled at the cry of them: for they said, Lest the earth swallow us up also. And there came out a fire from the LORD, and consumed the two hundred and fifty men that offered incense.


·       And before whom you are destined to give a judgment and accounting--before the supreme King of Kings, the Holy One, blessed be He.


Numbers 16:20-21 And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying, Separate yourselves from among this congregation, that I may consume them in a moment.


 Revelation 20:12-15 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.


·       Whence you came – Mankind
·       Whither you go – The grave, to the Great White Throne, to the Lake of Fire if not right with God
·       Before whom you will give justification and reckoning – Before ADONAI on Judgment Day.

Shalom,
-- Yehudah ben Shomeyr

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Ponderings of the Perkei Avot 2:17-21


RaYBaSH’s Ponderings of the Perkei Avot
Chapter 2:17-21
By: Yehudah ben Shomeyr


v.17c “Let all your deeds be for the sake of Heaven.


I Cor. 10:31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.


v.18a “Be diligent in the study of Torah and know what to answer a heretic.”


I Peter 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:


Titus 3:9-11 But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain. A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject;  Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself.



v.20 “Rabbi Tarfon would say: The day is short, the work is much, the workers are lazy, the reward is great, and the Master is pressing.”

Matt. 9:37-38 Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.

v.21a (Rabbi Tarfon) He would also say: It is not incumbent upon you to finish the task, but neither are you free to absolve yourself from it.


Heb. 11:13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.

John 8:56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.

Luke 9:62 And Jesus (YESHUA) said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.


Much of what we do in life we will never see the end result, for it is really for the ones who come after us. Like the oak tree you planted a few years back; you may never see it as the mighty oak it will be 50 years, but your children and grandchildren will. Much of what we do here and now paves the way for the coming generations. It’s the whole “Olympic passing the torch” thing; run like you are the one who will/must finish it.

Shalom,
-- Yehudah ben Shomeyr




Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Ponderings of the Perkei Avot 2:10-13


RaYBaSH’s Ponderings of the Perkei Avot
Chapter 2:10-13
By: Yehudah ben Shomeyr

"Rabban Yochanan the son of Zakkai had five disciples: Rabbi Eliezer the son of Hurkenus, Rabbi Joshua the son of Chananya, Rabbi Yossei the Kohen, Rabbi Shimon the son of Nethanel, and Rabbi Elazar the son of Arach. He would recount their praises: Rabbi Eliezer the son of Hurkenus is a cemented cistern that loses not a drop; Rabbi Joshua the son of Chananya---fortunate is she who gave birth to him; Rabbi Yossei the Kohen---a chassid (pious one); Rabbi Shimon the son of Nethanel fears sin; Rabbi Elazar ben Arach is as an ever-increasing wellspring.[Rabbi Yochanan] used to say: If all the sages of Israel were to be in one cup of a balance-scale, and Eliezer the son of Hurkenus were in the other, he would outweigh them all. Abba Shaul said in his name: If all the sages of Israel were to be in one cup of a balance-scale, Eliezer the son of Hurkenus included, and Elazar the son of Arach were in the other, he would outweigh them all.[Rabbi Yochanan] said to them: Go and see which is the best trait for a person to acquire. Said Rabbi Eliezer: A good eye. Said Rabbi Joshua: A good friend. Said Rabbi Yossei: A good neighbor. Said Rabbi Shimon: To see what is born [out of ones actions]. Said Rabbi Elazar: A good heart. Said He to them: I prefer the words of Elazar the son of Arach to yours, for his words include all of yours.He said to them: Go and see which is the worst trait, the one that a person should most distance himself from. Said Rabbi Eliezer: An evil eye. Said Rabbi Joshua: An evil friend. Said Rabbi Yossei: An evil neighbor. Said Rabbi Shimon: To borrow and not to repay; for one who borrows from man is as one who borrows from the Almighty, as is stated, ``The wicked man borrows and does not repay; but the righteous one is benevolent and gives'' (Psalms 37:21). Said Rabbi Elazar: An evil heart. Said He to them: I prefer the word of Elazar the son of Arach to yours, for his words include all of yours."

Yeshua had talmidim too and praise them for their traits and encouraged them to admire and strive for the traits others have mastered for themselves.


John 1:47   Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!

Matt. 16:16-20   And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living GodAnd Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed [it] unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.  And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ.


Shalom,
-- Yehudah ben Shomeyr



Monday, April 23, 2018

Ponderings of the Perkei Avot 2:8-9


RaYBaSH’s Ponderings of the Perkei Avot
Chapter 2:8-9
By: Yehudah ben Shomeyr


2:8. Rabban Yochanan the son of Zakkai received the tradition from Hillel and Shammai. He would say: If you have learned much Torah, do not take credit for yourself---it is for this that you have been formed.


Our obedience to God does not deserve any special accolades. It is what we were created to do.  Rabbi Yochannan ben Zachai said, “If you have learned much Torah, do not claim credit for yourself, because for such a purpose you were created.”


There is a tradition that states that when you were conceived that and Angel was assigned to you in the womb to teach your Torah for 9 months. And then it was time for you to be born the angel put his finger on your lips and said “Shhh.” Hence the indentation under our nose that helps form our lips. This is why we enter the world screaming because we immediately forgot the Torah we were taught in the womb. So the meaning and purpose for our life is to re-discover, re-learn what we already know. It’s one thing to know it in your head, and it is another to learn it and have it in your heart.


Here is the answer to the age old question; “What is the meaning of Life?”


Ecc.12:13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.


 James 2:14-18 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.


People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.


I Cor. 8:1b Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth.


Much Torah knowledge without living it out, applying it in daily life will make one prideful.


You may know the cure for a deadly disease, but if you don’t transfer it from the realm of thought to the realm of action it means nothing, it is worthless.

1 Corinthians 13:1-8 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth:


Shalom,
-- Yehudah ben Shomeyr



Sunday, April 22, 2018

Ponderings of the Perkei Avot 2:6-7


RaYBaSH’s Ponderings of the Perkei Avot
Chapter 2:6-7
By: Yehudah ben Shomeyr


“He would also say: A boor cannot be sin-fearing, an ignoramus cannot be pious, a bashful one cannot learn, a short-tempered person cannot teach, nor does anyone who does much business grow wise. In a place where there are no men, strive to be a man.”


Much of this is pretty self explanatory. The thrust of this passage is to be diligent in Torah study and be ready to apply what you have learned and do not be afraid to ask questions for this is how we learn.


I love the last sentence. It is EVERY Jews responsibility to be a leader when called upon or when the situation demands it. There is no such thing as a sideline, bench warming Jew. Jew is a VERB. It’s more than what we are; it’s what we do that defines us in the eyes of the world.


“He also saw a skull floating upon the water. Said he to it: Because you drowned others, you were drowned; and those who drowned you, will themselves be drowned.”



Matt. 26:52   Then said Yeshua unto him (Kefa/Peter), Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.



Yes, there is such a thing as Jewish Karma:


“Do to others as you would have them do to you” – Yeshua, Matthew 7:1


Matt. 7:1-2 Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.


Watch out, they way you judge someone else will come back to bite you in the tuchas, so be careful what you say about others.


Shalom,
-- Yehudah ben Shomeyr

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Ponderings of the Perkei Avot 2:5


RaYBaSH’s Ponderings of the Perkei Avot
Chapter 2:5
By: Yehudah ben Shomeyr


“Hillel would say: Do not separate yourself from the community. Do not believe in yourself until the day you die. Do not judge your fellow until you have stood in his place. Do not say something that is not readily understood in the belief that it will ultimately be understood [or: Do not say something that ought not to be heard even in the strictest confidence, for ultimately it will be heard]. And do not say "When I free myself of my concerns, I will study,'' for perhaps you will never free yourself.”


Maybe this is where the famous saying comes from, “Don’t judge a man until you’ve walked a mile in his shoes.” And maybe this was partially what Yeshua was thinking when He said:


Matt. 5:37 But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.


This was further reiterated by His half-brother Ya’akov (James):


James 5:12 But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and [your] nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation.


Lastly excuses and procrastination is dealt with. Just as one has a fixed time to eat, sleep, shower, and work, even moreso one must have fixed time to study Torah. There are no excuses for not doing so. If you say you are to busy, then you are to busy and you need to let something in your life go so as to fit in Torah study. Torah study is like our food and sleep combined! It is of the utmost importance to the soul.


Shalom,
-- Yehudah ben Shomeyr

Friday, April 20, 2018

Ponderings of the Perkei Avot 2:4, 15, 17


RaYBaSH’s Ponderings of the Perkei Avot
Chapter 2:4, 15, 17
By: Yehudah ben Shomeyr


He (Rav Gamliel) would also say: Make that His will should be your will, so that He should make your will to be as His will. Nullify your will before His will, so that He should nullify the will of others before your will.”


“Rabbi Eliezer would say: The honor of your fellow should be as precious to you as your own...”


“Rabbi Yossei would say: The property of your fellow should be as precious to you as your own. Perfect yourself for the study of Torah, for it is not an inheritance to you. And all your deeds should be for the sake of Heaven.”


This reminds me of Yeshua when we told us to deny ourselves take up our mode execution (cross) of self and follow Him (Matt. 16:24), meaning His Halacha (way of living) of the Torah.


Rav Sha’ul, Rav Gamliel’s star pupil had this to say:


1Cor. 10:31-33 “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God: Even as I please all [men] in all [things], not seeking mine own profit, but the [profit] of many, that they may be saved.”


The Rabbi’s say of 2:4 “Devote as much time and money to mitzvot as to your own loves. In return, God will you beyond all expectations.”


We all have dreams, righteous dreams and when we sacrifice them for the universal, overall will of God he will raise our dreams like a phoenix from the ashes of our sacrificed dreams. When they resurrect we will find our righteous dream has been intensified and blessed by God. When we make Torah Study, Prayers, and Selfless Chesed (Loving-kindness) to others, when we make God’s will our own, He will make our will His own, such as a dream of doing something great for God. We have plans for God, imperfect plans for God and when we give them up for God HE will give them back to us perfected and ready to be fulfilled in His time.


Shalom,
- Yehudah ben Shomeyr