The Torah Reading this next Shabbat is Tazria (She will have seed) – Leviticus 12:1 – 13:59. From the prophets, the reading is from 2 Kings 4:42-5:19, and the reading from the New Testament is from Mark 15:1-16.

The reading starts with the following:

“Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, ‘Speak to the children of Israel, saying: “If a woman has conceived, and borne a male child, then she shall be unclean seven days; as in the days of her customary impurity she shall be unclean. And on the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised. She shall then continue in the blood of her purification thirty-three days. She shall not touch any hallowed thing, nor come into the sanctuary until the days of her purification are fulfilled.”’” (Leviticus 12:1-4)

The two commandments in the text of Leviticus 12 are to circumcise a male child on the eighth day, and the mother will be unclean for 33 days and after these 33 days she shall be purified in the temple.

Luke in his Gospel refers to this text:

“And when eight days were completed for the circumcision of the Child, His name was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb. Now when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were completed, they brought Him to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord (as it is written in the law of the Lord, ‘Every male who opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord), and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the law of the Lord, ‘A pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.’” (Luke 2:21–24 NKJV)

Luke makes it totally clear that baby Yeshua was circumcised on the eight day as the Torah demands and the name Yeshua was given to him after the circumcision. This same custom is still the way things are done in every Jewish Community in the world. The name of the boy is given during the circumcision ceremony, and not before.

The second thing that Luke tells us is that Miriam, Yeshua’s mother, went to the temple in Jerusalem, “when the days of her purification according to the Law of Moses were completed, they brought Him to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord (as it is written in the Law of the Lord), and to offer sacrifice according to what is said in the Law of the Lord.”

All was done as it is written in the Law of the Lord. This means that Miriam waited 33 days in her impurity before the baby Yeshua could be taken to the Temple to be presented before the Lord.

What does all this mean? Yes, first of all it means that Yeshua is a Jewish baby that His family is raising Him strictly as it is commanded in the Law of the Lord, i.e. in the Torah. It is clear from this text in Luke that Miriam and Joseph are raising this baby according to the Torah.

It is also clear that Joseph and Miriam were not the poorest of the poor, but they were also not a rich family. They brought to the Temple, “A pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.”

In Leviticus, we learn that people who could not bring a bull or a sheep as a sacrifice would bring two turtledoves or two pigeons. If they would have been even poorer, they could have brought a handful of grain anointed with oil.

From this we must learn a very important lesson. God does not look at us in absolute terms. God looks and sees us relative to who we are, how rich we are, how gifted and blessed we are. The principle that Yeshua spells so clearly is the way God looks at us as His children.

“And that servant who knew his master’s will but did not get ready nor act according to his will, will receive a severe beating. But the one who did not know, and did what deserved a beating, will receive a light beating. Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more.” (Luke 12:47-48)

The whole sacrificial system of the Torah is relative to who the sinner is, and whether he is rich or poor, and what the sin committed is in relationship to the place and time in which that sin is committed.

This principle of the Torah and of Yeshua is of great importance for every community of believers in God and disciples of Yeshua in the world. Because what I have seen in the years of my walking with Yeshua and observing churches and congregations around the whole world is that many of the leaders don’t know this very important Torah principle and judge every brother and sisters with the same cookie cutter.

This cookie-cutter approach to every problem and situation in the congregation has created much injustice, pain, and destruction in the body of the Messiah. Leaders, put yourselves in the place of the brother or sister who has sinned and then take the principle of relative sin and relative atonement and relative price for this sin.

This is what the character of God demands, and this is what the grace of God dictates. We must all remember that the love of God is much greater and more powerful than His wrath and anger against His children.

Always consider who the sinner is, what should be expected of him, what he can do as his repentance and confession, and how much potential this person has to corrected and be restored. For almost every law and rule in the Torah there is at least one exception that the Bible gives us.

We must remember that the Lord is not a legalist. He judges each of us as individuals and tailor makes us a suite of love and grace, and at times when there is no other option, serves us with some hardship and punishment as in some of the most difficult stories in the Bible in which God seems cruel and harsh: like the flood in the days of Noah or the death of the sons of Aaron, Nadav and Abihu, who brought the strange fire to the altar and were devoured by fire from heaven.

In six days, Israel is going to vote in a general election. April 9th, next Tuesday, this election will take place all over the land of Israel. The election campaign in this round has been one of the most difficult, dirty and nasty campaigns.

The personal attacks as they say in Israel are “below the belt.” There is not one champion of these calumnies and false accusations against each other. In this election, everyone is at everyone else’s throat. This is one of the most bitter election campaigns in Israel’s history. For this reason, I ask you to pray this next week for all of Israel.

Pray that God’s choice will win this election and lead Israel through the very big challenges that Israel faces in the world. Pray for the challenge of Israel with Iran and their evil intent against Israel, and with Hamas in Gaza and their unceasing terrorist actions against Israel.

israel-election-2019

All the prayers and actions and contributions for Israel must have only one goal in focus – the promise of God that all Israel shall be saved. If your goal in prayers and support of Israel is the establishment of your church and your denomination to aggrandize your sectarian aspirations but ignore God’s promises – please rethink your motivation.

There is no future for Christian denominations and missionary efforts in Israel. Israel is God’s chosen nation, and Israel will never become a part of any Christian denomination. Just as Peter, Paul, John, Luke, Matthew and Jacob (James in English) were Jews and remained Jews and never said that they are Christians, much less members of some denomination that has its headquarters in Indiana, or Toronto, Canada, Oklahoma, California, or some place in Europe or Taiwan, so also the Jewish nation will receive Yeshua and crown Him as the Jewish Messiah and Savior promised by the prophets.

Please continue to pray for Netivyah, the Roeh Israel Congregation and the Teaching from Zion Ministry, as well as for our brothers and sisters in Brazil, the Har Zion Congregation, and the Abrajin non-profit organization.

We are all working very hard for the restoration of the Latin hidden Jews, or lost Jews, that are victims of the Spanish and Portuguese inquisitions. Please pray for the conference that will be held in the middle of the month of May in Castelo de Vide, Portugal.

We need your support in prayer and your material support to make this conference what God wants it to be. Please also keep in prayer the congregations in Vitoria, Curitiba, and in so many other places in Brazil.

I especially appeal to brothers and sisters in Europe to join this conference, because the Catholic Inquisition was generally-speaking a European problem. We need our brothers from Italy, Spain, Germany, Finland, and Holland to make a major effort to come to Castelo de Vide and be a part of this effort to restore the Marrano/Anussim Jews back to their identity and back to Israel.

For information on how to attend this conference, please contact Daniel at Netivyah here.

Below is a nice flier prepared by the municipality of Castelo de Vide:

We have a very dear family living in Sweden that are faithful prayer partners for Israel and for Netivyah.  Pray for the Lucca family in Sweden. This precious family has been praying and standing with Israel for many years, and now several members of this family have some health challenges and need our prayers.

Our dear sister Ruby Little in Oklahoma is suffering from the aftermath of the chemotherapy.  Ruby has to decide now if she will continue with more chemotherapy or defer this option.

Eli Levi is in Cincinnati with his two sons and is continuing with more chemotherapy to conquer the cancer in his body. Please keep Eli in your prayers.

Please don’t forget to pray for my family and especially for Marcia my dear wife, and Danah and Noaam and all those on this prayer list – that God will be glorified in their lives and in their healing. Keep Barry our son and his family in your prayers. It is so very important for the Shulam family to be under the wings of God’s grace and stay firm in the faith and raise their children in the Lord.

Our dear brother Efim passed from this world to be with the saints eternally. His widow has no access to any funds until all the paper work is processed. This could take a few months. Efim our dear brother did not make the necessary steps to take care of these mundane and logistical needs. Our congregation and Netivyah will have care for the widow until the legal issues are resolved.  Please pray for Elena Litvak, Efim’s widow. It is our God-given duty.

Eddi Santoro is also in urgent need for prayer. He is one of the leaders of Revive Israel congregations in Jerusalem. He has been dealing with cancer in the brain and had two surgeries but now the cancer has returned, and the only possible help has to come from the Lord Himself.

Netivyah is receiving so many messages of gratitude and thanks from the over 200 soldiers who are serving in the Israeli Defense Forces.

We appreciate so much the contributions for the purchase of the van for Netivyah. The generosity of so many brothers from around the world has been wonderful, but we are now only halfway of what is needed to replace the Netivyah van.

Please continue to pray for Netivyah and the van that is needed so much for the work of feeding the poor of Jerusalem, serving the youth, the shopping every week for the HaMotzi food program, and for so many other very important services that are needed by both the congregation and Netivyah.

Please remember our dear brother Jacob Damkani in your prayers.

Dr. M. Song, from Korea, and his whole family needs our prayers. Dr. M. Song is one of the real knights of God’s Kingdom in this century. He and his family need our prayers. There is no one in the world that I know that is such a prayer warrior for Israel and for the Jewish Disciples of Yeshua in this land like Dr. Song and his family.

Keep a dear sister in the Lord named Courtney in your prayers.

I am adding two very important prayer requests: Amir the son of Amira has also died. We are continuing to pray for Amir’s grandmother Um Abu-Eid. She is the wife of one of the finest Arab gentlemen and a God-fearing man and the mother of one of my dearest friends in Jerusalem.

Please continue praying for baby Lion from the Huch family in DFW. Little Lion is doing better, but still far from being out of the woods.

Please continue to pray for our Jewish brother Hillel from Helsinki, and Keijo and Salme in Nokia, and for Tim Tucker, Anne-Mirjami, Satu-Maria and Anna-Majia, Sinni Tuuli, Erki and Sirpa, Keijo and Salme, Evelina, and Eva H.

Pray for Patty, Andrea, and Tineke – all are in the Netherlands and need healing from God.

Continue to pray for Julia and Victor, our dear sister and brother in Jerusalem. Both need healing and God’s help.

Please add a dear sister that is suffering from prejudice in Switzerland. Her name is Paula and she needs a divine breakthrough.

Please keep praying for a dear sister named Zhou WenriIan living in China.

There is a dear brother, Pastor Isaac in Chenai, India, who has a deep love for the Lord and for Israel. He is sick with kidney problems and needs a dialysis treatment several times per week. Please pray for a medical miracle for Pastor Isaac and pray for his ministry in the Kingdom of God.

I am also asking you to pray for a dear sister in China who is doing so much for the Kingdom of God – her name is Ema! She has a big burden for a big school that needs the Lord to bless it and open up all the avenues of blessing and enable success both in the physical and spiritual realm.

I am adding another dear and important leader in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community who is ill with a serious disabling illness. He is a sincere truth seeker and a student of the entire scriptures. Pray for his healing and protection and for the Holy Spirit of God to guide and lead this precious and sanctified leader.

Margareta is a dear woman who is orthodox Jewish, please keep her in your prayers. I can report that Margareta has received grace from the Lord and her terrible situation has improved dramatically. We just need to keep praying for her and for her family.

In our congregation please lift in your prayers the following brothers and sisters who need the Lord’s gracious touch of healing: George, Gary, Melanie, and Aharon (Nancy and Don’s son), Sarit, David S., Gabriela, Ahuva, Leah, Ilana, Yehuda H., Hannah, Gabriela the young, Zvi D. and his dear wife, and especially Nancy.

Nancy is recovering from a CVA (stroke).  The Lord was merciful, and Nancy will fully recover from this stroke with God’s help.

These brothers and sisters from around the world who need your prayer and your intercession and healing. Paulo, and Noami. Marcelo’s parents, Curita Sensei, the Abe family, Toru, Takeo Sensei, Daisuke Sensei, Tomoko San, Yumi, and her father and family.

Please pray for sister Oksanen. They need prayer for illness. Please pray for Louisa and Tony in Hong Kong.

I have special concern for our dear brother Goh and his family, and for Sister Christy, Sister Laurel, and for Brother Michael Knezevich.

These are all people for whom you are praying, but I want you to know that these are also people who pray for Israel and for Netivyah and stand and support both Israel and Netivyah.

I want to add a brother from Brazil who is living in Portugal now and is having some serious family problems. His name is Ismael Alves.

There is a messianic congregation in Kenya. The leader of this congregation is Asher Gabriel.  This congregation and their leader Asher Gabriel need our prayers. They need prayer for just about everything. Although we don’t know them personally, we do know one very dear sister from that congregation spent several months with us in Jerusalem.

I wish all of you, who stand with Israel and who pray for Jerusalem, the best of the Lord’s blessings and the fulfillment of all His promises to His faithful children. For the Lord is gracious and longsuffering and good to all, but especially to those who have faith and hear His word and do it.

Those who hear God and do His will are the ones who are called wise! Those who only hear His word and don’t do it are called foolish! Let us all strive to be wise and never foolish! The best is yet to come! Israel will be saved!

Thank you all and know that we in Jerusalem love and appreciate you!

Joseph Shulam