The Torah reading this Shabbat is the portion Vayakhel (He Assembled) from Exodus 35:1-38:20. The portion of the Prophets that will be read this Shabbat is from 1 Kings 7:40-50, and we will be reading from the New Testament from Hebrews 9:1-14.

This parasha (portion) starts with a kind of shopping list that Moses gives the people of Israel in a kind of general assembly. He assembled the people, and is giving them a list of things that they ought to do: keeping the Shabbat, giving the donations (contributions) for the work of the  Lord in the Tabernacle.

A list that is almost the same was given to the officials, to Aaron and his sons the priests. Now Moses repeats the list, with minor changes, to all of Israel, the whole community. The Torah in general, and the whole Bible, is very concise and doesn’t waste words.

What can we learn from this reading?

  1. We can learn that, as leaders, we must be patient with our disciples and not assume that they understood or received the instruction. Therefore, the teacher must repeat his instruction with patience, and even repeat more than one time.
  2. We learn that the God of Israel is a God of details. If you pay attention to the text you will see that these commands (and not recommendations) are detailed. When it comes to the Lord’s demands (commands) – He is specific and detailed. The attitude of so many Christians is that God is liberal. He is a little deaf and a little blind and a little retarded. God does not care about the way that we do things as long as we have faith. Well, from this reading I learn that God does care how we do things. I see that when God gives instructions, He cares not only that we keep these instructions (commands), but how and why we keep them.
  3. The miracle is that in chapter 35, we are told that what the people brought, the gold and the silver, and the fur and expensive cloth, was enough, and Moses had to tell them to stop giving. I have not seen in any synagogue or church the leadership say, “It is enough, we don’t need more contributions.” We learn from this the following principles:
    • If the people really believe in God and understand the importance of their contribution – the people will give, and they will give with a sincere heart, and give enough.
    • If the cause is clear and the people understand the benefit that they will have, privately or communally, the people will give.
    • These are people that have just gone through the terrible ordeal of the building of the Golden Calf, and the plague and the death of thousands. They had given for the Golden Calf the jewelry right off their wives’ and daughters’ ears. Now they understand they were wrong in wanting an idol that will lead them. They understand that to correct the wrong that they did, they have to show at least the same dedication and magnanimity as they did in the building of the Golden Calf.
  4. What can we in the 21st century learn from this reading and from this list of inventory that Moses is presenting here? I learn from this that it is always easier to raise funds for physical things, like buildings or some remodeling, or something that will be visible and will give a sense of ownership to the members of a congregation. It is harder to raise money for service to the people, the poor, and the needy. One of the reasons for this is that a physical project has a beginning and an end, but the “poor will always be with us” – the need will not end.

Marcia, myself, and Daniel Stern are in Brazil for the 12th Annual Congress for the Restoration of the Church. This event is for the community to be like the biblical church, one church united in the Messiah, with visible fruit of the Holy Spirit, and visible and real exercise of the gifts of the Spirit, a powerful witness that will bring a multiplication and growth of the disciples of Yeshua.

Last night Netivyah and we were honored by the state parliament of the State of Espírito Santo in Brazil, and we received medals and certificates of appreciation for the work of Netivyah in Brazil, Israel, and around the world. It was a formal affair and the official representatives of the Jewish Community in this state were present, the leaders of the Evangelical community were present, State senators were present and gave the awards.

I am sure that Facebook and Instagram and other social media will have many photos of this event. The glory is to our God and to our Messiah for making us instruments of bringing the Good News and doing good news for the people in need.

Please pray that the influence of Netivyah will increase, as well as the honor and glory that we bring to the Kingdom of God as far as Brazil and around the world. The honor is not for us, but for the Lord God of Israel, for the nation of Israel, and for the Jewish disciples of Yeshua in the land of Israel.

Please keep Marcia, Daniel, and myself in your prayers. Without God’s mercy and His help to keep us well, strong, and healthy, we would not be able to do anything.

The time to make the reservations for the conference in Portugal is running out. If you are interested to participate in this important conference for the Restoration of the Anussim/Marrano Jews to their proper Jewish identity and to the land of Israel, you need to make your reservation for hotels in Castelo de Vide, Portugal.

The same goes if you want to join the prayer tour in four cities in Portugal that have burned and killed Jewish converts to Christianity. We will be going to four of these cities, visiting the sights, and especially praying for restoration and for remembering and for restitution of these Jews back to the flock of God’s people in the land of Israel.

You can register for the conference here – registration is free. Hotels cost money, but they are not expensive in that region of Portugal.

If you need flight tickets and if you want to join the tour for the four days you need to urgently contact Ana Mendes here.

Israel needs your prayers. Israel is going towards a national and general election. This is a time of division, manipulation, and polarization of the Israeli population. It seems like the politicians in Israel, from all ends of the political spectrum, are dividing the population and thinking mainly of themselves.

Israel as a country is in search for a vision, in search of hope for a better future, in search for a clear faith in the future and place of this nation in the space of this land of Israel.

The Prime Minister Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu is being threatened with a serious indictment by the Attorney General of Israel. I suppose that we should be praying for our Prime Minister because whatever happens will affect all of Israel for some period.

Please pray for Israel as a nation going through this election. This election is not only for the Prime Minister and for the political establishment, it is for the very platform on which the nation and the region will be redeemed.

Pray for our Brazilian brothers, especially Marcelo Guimaraes and his family, and the leadership of the Har Zion Congregation, the Teaching from Zion Ministry, and the leadership of Hesed VeEmet (Grace and Truth) congregation, and the Sar El congregation.

Our plan is to participate and teach all these three congregations and ministries. Bless them and bless their leadership. Pray for the congress that will start this week-end. We expect for this congress to be a success and to bring the Good News and the Restoration of the Body of the Messiah forward, and make disciples for the King of the Jews, Yeshua.

We need a new van for the ministry, for the “Hamotzi” food distribution program, for the youth group, and for dozens of other uses and ministry needs. Some of you our brothers and sisters have been giving generously for this van, but we are only halfway through to fill this need. I am asking those of you who want to give and haven’t done so yet, to make an effort and give soon.

Please remember our dear brother Jacob Damkani in your prayers. He is still not back to himself, but he is well enough to go home from the hospital, and that makes him much happier.

Dr. M. Song, from Korea, and his whole family have been some of the most faithful prayer warriors for Aliyah and for Israel, and for Netivyah. I ask you all to mobilize yourself, your time, your family, and your friends, and lift Dr. M. Song and his family in your prayer. Pray for healing that will come from the  Lord, and pray for strength in Dr. Song’s spirit and in 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 – he is a young man, a father and a husband, and a nephew of some of our very close Arab/Palestinian friends. Also pray for the grandmother of Amir, Um Abu-Eid – she is a dear old Arab/Palestinian.

The other family that needs healing is in Sweden – Tertu and Tapio Luca. They are true prayer warriors for Israel and for Netivyah, and they too need healing from serious health issues.

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 keep praying for Eli, my nephew, who is dealing with a very serious stage 4 cancer, and undergoing chemotherapy. Eli is finished with this round of chemotherapy but will have to continue some therapy. Ruby Little is in urgent need for a touch of the grace of God and help at home and with her eyes, and with the aftermath of the chemotherapy. Please keep Ruby in your prayers.

Please continue to pray for our Jewish brother Hillel from Helsinki.

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 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.

Margareta is a dear woman who is Orthodox Jewish, please keep her in your prayers.

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 Nancy.

These are all related to our congregation in Jerusalem and need healing and strength.

These brothers and sisters from around the world who need your prayer and your intercession and healing. Paulo, Noami, Tim Tucker, Anne-Mirjami, Satu-Maria and Anna-Majia, Sinni Tuuli, Erki and Sirpa, Keijo and Salme, Evelina, Eva H., Marcelo’s parents, Curita Sensei, the Abe family, Toru, Takeo Sensei, Daisuke Sensei, Tomoko San, Yumi, and her father and family.

Please pray Ritva Huhtala and 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.

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 of 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!

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

Joseph Shulam
Vitoria, Brazil