This week the Torah reading is from Parashat Chukat, Numbers 19:1-22:1, the reading from the prophets is from Judges 11:1-23, and from the New Testament from John 3:10-22. These recommendations to read from the Torah on Shabbat are not my invention. They are the recommendations of the apostles in Acts 15:21:

“For Moses has had throughout many generations those who preach him in every city, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath.” – Acts 15:21 [NKJV]

I can’t stress enough the importance of every disciple of Yeshua to read regularly, and repeat every year, the reading of God’s word from the beginning to the end. The Word of God is the road map for our lives. It is guiding us on how to live, what to do, and where history is dragging us. The balanced reading from the Torah, from the prophets, and from the New Testament is a type of personal revelation that is progressive from week to week.

The reading from Numbers in Chukat starts with a very strange and interesting command:

“Now the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, ‘This is the ordinance of the law which the Lord has commanded, saying: “Speak to the children of Israel, that they bring you a red heifer without blemish, in which there is no defect and on which a yoke has never come.”’” – Numbers 19:1–2 [NKJV]

The strange thing about this command is that Aaron and the priests had to have a red heifer, not white, nor spotted, nor brown, but red. There are such cows but they are rare.

In the Golan Heights there is a special farm that raises these red heifers. The whole cow has to be reddish/brown color. There are Orthodox Jews who are paying good money to this farmer on top of the Golan Heights to carefully breed these cows to produce the perfect red heifer.

I don’t really know why God commands the children of Israel to have such a red heifer, but the most interesting part for me is how the New Testament uses this command. In the Torah, the ashes of the red heifer were very important, because without these ashes people with leprosy could not be declared clean from the illness, and people who have touched a dead person or an animal could not be purified.

People who were not purified could not go up to the Temple to worship and offer sacrifices. It was a major thing to have the ashes of the red heifer available for all the purity laws of the Torah. However, for me the most important thing for today is how the New Testament deals with this issue and the significance of the red heifer for our relationship to God and to Yeshua Himself.

“We have an altar from which those who serve the tabernacle have no right to eat. For the bodies of those animals, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned outside the camp. Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore let us go forth to Him, outside the camp, bearing His reproach. For here we have no continuing city, but we seek the one to come. Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name. But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.” – Hebrews 13:10–16 [NKJV]

Please read the above text carefully. What is the writer of the book of Hebrews talking about?

  1. An altar from which the priests who offered the sacrifice and the person who offered it are not allowed to eat. The red heifer!
  2. The body of those animals was burned outside the camp.
  3. The high priest brought the blood of these animals that were sacrificed into the sanctuary for sin.

There is only one such a sacrifice in the Torah, the red heifer!

Now notice what the text says:

“Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered outside the gate.”

The place of the cross and the crucifixion was outside the gates of the city of Jerusalem. There is now an invitation for us, the disciples of Yeshua our Messiah and Savior, to also go outside the gate, outside the camp, in order to bear His reproach.

This teaching, my dear brothers, is so contrary to almost everything that is going on in the Christian evangelical camp. Most of the Christian camp is not seeking to bear Yeshua’s reproach or to pay the price of following Yeshua.

What most of the Christian evangelical camp is seeking is to be more like the world, to have no reproach or consequences of being a follower of Yeshua. The music, the teaching, the mental preparation is to have more of the world, more from the world, be more like the world, to be big, flashy, rich, and financially prosperous, like the best that the world has to offer, to enjoy now and instantly.

The book of Hebrews was written probably just before the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD. The Jews that received this book were on the edge of giving up hope and faith, and the writer of the book of Hebrews is writing this book to encourage them not to give up and not to drop their faith in Yeshua.

The writer’s encouragement is the opposite of what we would do today. Today the average church leader would say, “don’t worry, all will be just fine, you will regain what the locust has eaten double, shaken down, pressed down, 100% +…” The writer of the book of Hebrews says to us, “like Yeshua had to be sacrificed outside the gates of the city, so let us go out and join Him outside the gates of the city, because inside the gates there is nothing that can save us, and nothing that can forgive our sins, and no real future.”

The conclusion is:

“Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name. But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.”

Yes, today we are living in the aftermath of what happened in the year 70 AD – the fall of Jerusalem. Physical Jerusalem is built and being constantly rebuilt and growing. There are orthodox Jewish synagogues in Jerusalem, next to which the temple of Herod the Great would pale and look small. The luxury and wealth and opulence in a few of these synagogues is beyond description.

What I am praying for is that the younger rabbis will bring about a renewal and revival of the old paths and spirit of the Torah and the prophets. A spirit that will put to practice the social values of equality before the law, and care for the stranger and the foreigner.

As for Yeshua’s disciples in the land of Israel – we all need to on the one hand be willing to be outside the camp, where our salvation and forgiveness of sins is found, i.e. in Yeshua and with Yeshua. On the other hand we need to be in the middle of the camp promoting peace, equality, and charity toward all. We need to pursue peace and unity in the camp of the disciples of Yeshua in the land, and practice charity and kindness toward all, both Jews and Arabs, both secular and orthodox, and especially toward widows and orphans.

There is a strong initiative by a large group of leaders among the leadership of the Jewish disciples of Yeshua to build an old age home. It is a major need in Israel. There is only a small home for the old believers in Haifa, and it is not big enough to answer the needs of the body of the Messiah in Israel. I would like to ask you to pray for it, and for the person who is spearheading the project, Zvi Randleman. It is a blessed and much-needed service to the community of disciples in the land of Israel.

Ruby Little, for whom we have been praying, asked to include the following statement from her in this Jerusalem Prayer List, please continue to pray for Ruby’s health and total remission from cancer:

“A year ago today I was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s follicular lymphoma. Thanks to G-d that the mass has gone from 15.3 cm down to 1.7 cm. We are trying to do Rituxan to keep the mass from becoming aggressive again or spreading but my neutrophils are having a hard time with the Rituxan. I just want to express my gratitude and thank you for your prayers for me.”

We (Marcia and I) are in the USA right now. We are in Nashville, Tennessee, and will remain here until the 8th of August. I ask you to pray for both Marcia and myself during these travels and very busy times. Pray for our health and protection, and pray that the Lord can use us for the good of His Kingdom in Israel and around the world.

Our granddaughter went through surgery (tonsillectomy) and is still in need of God’s hand touching her and healing her from the surgery, and from some stress and fears. Please continue to pray for Noaam and for Danah during these days of recovery from this surgery. Please keep Marcia’s father and mother in your prayers. They are old and sick and living on the other side of Tennessee in the mountains.

Israeli politics are still the same, a total mess, and Israel needs the prayers of faithful Christians to intercede before God’s mercy seat for the fulfillment of His promises, and for the quick return of Yeshua the Messiah to Jerusalem, to set all things in order and establish His Kingdom forever! All this will be done without democratic elections! This would be the most wonderful kingdom and it will be eternal, and even without income tax and shopping. Praise the Lord of all forever!

Please keep praying for our dear sister Emma in China, and add a dear sister called Deborah Ruth who also lives in Beijing, China, to your prayers.

Eli Levi has returned to Bulgaria and is feeling much better, and feels that the cancer has been healed.

Keep Netivyah in your prayers. We have been blessed by brothers from around the world who love God, love Yeshua, and love Israel, and the funds for a new van are almost there, but almost is not enough, and we ask people who have not contributed for the van to make a little bigger effort and help Netivyah get the van.

Transportation of people and supplies for the HaMotzi food distribution program and for the youth and the elderly is essential. This is not a van for private use, and the old van was not for private use, it served the community and the food distribution program HaMotzi for more than 15 years.

Please make an effort to join Netivyah’s 40th anniversary tour and seminar in November 2019. It will be unusual and rich in content, and full of good surprises for the participants. This tour will be a celebration, not a political event. It will be an inspiration and not an entertainment show.

Yes, there will be some entertainment, and there will be some special events, and I hope some political figures, but altogether it will be special. It will be about the union and the grafting of our brothers from around the world with the seed of Abraham and the land of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

I ask all of you to mobilize your prayers to pray for the Aliyah and the return of the Anussim, both spiritually, outside of the adulterated brands of Christianity, back to the pure waters of God’s Word, and also physically, to the land of our forefathers, the land of Zion, Jerusalem.

Please don’t forget to pray for my family, and especially for Marcia my dear wife, and Danah and Noaam, and Barry, Beth, Joey, and all those on this prayer list – that God will be glorified in their lives and in their healing.

Keep Elena Litvak, Efim’s widow, in your prayers, and sister Altamiro from Belo-Horizonte. Our brother Bob Weiner is still in need of our prayers. Please remember our dear brother Jacob Damkani in your prayers.

Please pray for Dr. Song and his dear wife Dr. Kim. They are Korean brothers for whom I have the most special respect and love. Also, keep in prayer the other brothers and sisters in Korea who love God and love Israel, and work for the salvation of Israel and the Jewish people.

Please keep the whole Abu-Eid family in your prayers. Please continue praying for baby Lion from the Huch family in DFW.

Please pray a special prayer for Ann West (she is 99 years old and continues praying for the salvation of Israel daily). You can also include Ann’s dear son Roger and his family in your prayers.

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 Murto, Evelina, and Eva H., all in Finland. Pray for our dear sister Leah who is traveling to Finland this week. She is one of those volunteers from Finland who came in 1973 during the war and has served the Jewish nation as a volunteer nurse for many years. She just had her 88th birthday.

Pray for Patty, Andrea, and Tineke – and our brothers and sisters in the Netherlands that need healing from God. Continue to pray for Julia and Victor. Pray for our dear sister Paula in Switzerland who needs a divine breakthrough. I want to also add Barry and Dalia, two dear brothers who live in Tiberias and are suffering from illness and pain, and are in need of prayer and help.

Please keep praying for a dear sister named Zhou WenriIan living in China. Please intercede for Pastor Isaac in Chennai. Pastor Isaac needs healing for his kidneys.

Please lift in your prayers the following brothers and sisters who need the Lord’s gracious touch of healing: George, Gary, Melanie, and Aaron and Nancy Hook. Also, our congregation members, Sarit, David S., Gabriela, Ahuva, Leah, Ilana, Hannah, young Gabriela, Zvi D. and Batsheva, Jonathan B. and his wife Aviva. Also, our dear sisters Laurel, Orna, Sima, and Aviva.

A special prayer is needed for one of my godsons, David B.A. and his family, and especially Elhanan and Julie David’s father and mother, my dear friends and brothers. Keep the whole family in your prayers.

These are 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.

This prayer list is very special because we are not only praying for the physically sick brothers and sisters. We are praying for healthy brothers and sisters who are a blessing in God’s kingdom, but they need that extra “what do you call it” to succeed and become a bigger blessing for the Lord and His kingdom.

In Hong Kong, we pray and ask you to join us and pray for Louisa and Tony. Keep our dear brother Goh and his family in your prayers. In Korea pray for Sister Christy. Please keep Brother Michael Knezevich in prayer. Please add to your prayers Ismael Alves who lives in Portugal, and Asher Gabriel in Kenya.

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. 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!

The Lord God of Israel and the grace of Yeshua our Messiah, King, Teacher, Rabbi, and Lord be with you all!