Itâ€™s summertime once again, and there are some big announcements ahead.
In this edition of Shalom Life, weâ€™ll take a look at the happenings this summer. Be on the lookout for a special edition which will cover the High Holidays.
But first, this author would like to convey a word of congratulations to all the women who became a Bat Mitzvah. May you continue in your studies and never cease in your pursuit of what is good and right before God.
â€œAn accomplished woman who can find? Her value is far beyond rubiesâ€¦ Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears Adonai will be praised.â€ Proverbs 31:10 & 30 (TLV)
Early in the morning of Sunday, June 25th, Chesed Women embarked on a journey to New Smyrna Beach for a beautiful time of fellowship and prayer.
In preparation for their Bat Mitzvah, the women also took this time to have a mikveh in the gentle waters of the Atlantic ocean.
All women of the congregation are also welcome to join in the zoom prayer meetings held every Thursday from 8 – 8:30 PM. Instructions and meeting links can be found in the Chesed Womenâ€™s Ministry group in the church center app under â€œEventsâ€.
Temple Study Part 2
If you enjoyed Moreh Cortesâ€™s presentation last month, you wonâ€™t want to miss this. Moreh Rico Cortes is returning to Yeshua Bread of Life for the second part of his in-depth study of the Temple. In case you missed part one, Moreh Cortes discussed the Temple in Jerusalem in its historical context, its significance in ancient Israel and how it functioned. In continuation, he will walk us through the Temple, virtually recreated using Biblical, historical, and archaeological evidence in his app, which is considered one of the most accurate representations of the Second Temple. Join us on Sunday, July 16th, at 10am for another engaging session.
To attend, you must register in the church center app under â€œEventsâ€. There will be no livestream for this event. Lunch will be provided for a fee or you may bring your own, and a tzedakah is strongly encouraged. Proceeds will go towards the congregationâ€™s building fund. For more information, please call our office at 689-239-8054.
Moreh Ricoâ€™s website: https://wisdomintorah.com/
The High Holidays are approaching with Yom Teruah starting September 15th. Please stay tuned for updates concerning our service dates and times. In the meanwhile, feel free to read about the upcoming feasts here.
Are you interested in learning about the foundations of our faith? If so, consider joining HaYesod: The Foundation class. In this ten week course youâ€™ll understand the Bible through a Jewish lens and discover the Jewishness of Yeshua (Jesus) which will transform you in your walk. Classes will start July 8th at 10:30am at the shul. Check the church center app to register. Please see Roâ€™eh Tom or Myriam for details.
â€œWhat great nation is there that has statutes and ordinances that are righteousâ€”like all of this Torah that I am setting before you today?â€ Deut. 4:8
Why do we follow the Torah?
This is a rather complex issue; one which will be explored in multiple parts from different angles. A simple answer to this would be because God says so. God states throughout the Torah that these commands are eternal mitzvot to be kept throughout your generations. Upon reading just Deuteronomy, youâ€™ll see this repeated several times along with the reward for obeying and the punishment for disobedience. God makes it quite clear that He wants His people to follow the instructions set out for them.
An argument commonly made against this is the belief that Yeshuaâ€™s sacrifice on the tree made the commandments null and void; however, this belief creates many problems. This idea stems from the writings of Paul, particularly in Romans 3 and Galatians 2 & 3, where Paul writes that it is not by our deeds through the Torah but rather through trusting Messiah that we are saved. Yet Paul adds this to the end of Romans 3 in verse 31: â€œDo we then nullify the Torah through faithfulness? May it never be! On the contrary, we uphold the Torah.â€
Firstly, Yeshua himself said that he did not come to abolish Torah but to fulfill (Matt. 5:17). To believe that Yeshua did away with Torah, how would you be able to accept Yeshua as Godâ€™s promised Messiah without calling God a hypocrite? God has and will remain the same throughout eternity. He does not change His mind, and He is a clear communicator. He will not go against His word. If God did not mean for His laws to be followed from generation to generation for all eternity, then He would have said so and clearly. The point then of Yeshuaâ€™s sacrifice was not to abolish Torah, but to fulfill the prophecies written of him. It was not to remove the law but rather to provide a means by which the debt created by breaking the law can be forgiven.
Another problem this belief creates is that if Torah was abolished, how then are we, Godâ€™s people, supposed to live? The Torah creates a precedent for how we are to serve God and distinguish ourselves as His people. Itâ€™s a moral code for how to live as a holy people unto God. But if Yeshua did away with Torah or somehow redefined it, how are we to behave? Are we simply supposed to be loving people? Would that then mean that every loving person is one of Godâ€™s people even if they serve another god? One could cite the Ten Commandments as being our only laws, but wouldnâ€™t that be taking away several parts of Scripture? What about keeping the feasts? Purity laws? Kosher?
This is not to say that following Torah alone brings us salvation, but rather through obeying Godâ€™s instructions and repenting when we break them, seeking forgiveness through Yeshua, that we can be saved. We follow Torah because it was established as the terms of the contract by which we worship and serve God.
â€œNow then, if you listen closely to My voice, and keep My covenant, then you will be My own treasure from among all people, for all the earth is Mine. So as for you, you will be to Me a kingdom of kohanim and a holy nation.â€™ These are the words which you are to speak to Bnei-Yisrael.â€ Exo. 19:5-6
Please be sure to follow us on our Church Center app to stay tuned for upcoming announcements, events, and details.
If you have any ideas or suggestions to include in the next newsletter (Oct.-Dec.), please feel free to email me at [email protected].
Until next time, Shalom!