In our desire to provide you with the teaching of Messiah Yeshua in a Jewish context, we provide in-depth teachings of the weekly Torah portions throughout the year. Below are various perspectives from various teachers and staff members from Netivyah Bible Instruction ministry.

Joseph Shulam: 7 Lessons From the Story of Joseph [2020]

This Shabbat we are in the middle of the story of Joseph and His brothers! I should say, Joseph and his coat of many colors! This Broadway show has a very interesting name. I received an enlightened view of the story of Joseph in the Bible from the title of this Broadway operetta.

This Shabbat we are reading from the Torah: Genesis 41:1-44:17, from the prophets: Zechariah 2:14-4:7, and from the New Testament: Luke 24:13-29.

The reading from the Torah starts with the following words:

“Then it came to pass, at the end of two full years, that Pharaoh had a dream; and behold, he stood by the river.” – Genesis 41:1 [NKJV]

What kind of statement is this: “Then it came to pass…”? A statement like this can only have meaning if there is predetermined activity! Something expected, programmed, for example, the director gives the word, the cameras start rolling, the actors enter the stage, and the action begins… The story of Joseph is a classic lesson for every human being and for all times.

Joseph starts out at the top: he is loved by his father. Let’s forget about Joseph and put ourselves in his place. You are pampered by your father and mother! You have been given the best that your family has to offer!
You’re not concerned about those around you. You see everything from your own personal perspective! What a wonderful world you are experiencing in your father’s house! You have forgotten that there are others living with you in the same house. They don’t have a coat of many colors!

Winter is coming and your “brothers” might not have a coat of any color, no coats at all! On top of it all you goad your brothers and make them jealous with your visions of grandeur; “I will be the Sun and you my brothers will dance around me,” you have forgotten that you are just an actor who happens to have the lead in the show. Your brothers and parents are also only actors in the same show!

We should not forget the words of William Shakespeare, in “As You Like it!” Act II, Scene VII:

Jaques to Duke Senior

All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first, the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms.
Then the whining schoolboy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress’ eyebrow. Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honor, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon’s mouth. And then the justice,
In fair round belly with good capon lined,
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slippered pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side;
His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank, and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.

The essence of the biblical story of Joseph is that the forces that drive history, our own private history and the history of empires like Egypt and Rome and all forces in His world, God’s world, are beyond us. We are not helpless, we are not robots, we have a free will to decide our own destiny, but beyond our own destiny there is the destiny of God’s world.

That destiny that was predetermined before the creation of the world will not change. This world was created with a beginning and with an end. Like all the worlds, and galaxies throughout space, our own galaxy will one day form a nova and the next day become a “black hole”. Yes, you can find this theory in the Bible, both the old and new testaments!

We might not like it that there is “someone” who controls our planet, and our solar system! I apologize, I cannot do anything about this, and neither can you, nor the president, or the prime minister, or any of the governments of every nation and people on the face of this earth.

The best part about the story of Joseph is the end of His story and the most important part! He makes peace with his brothers and there is reconciliation and restoration of relationships the family is reunited and for nearly 200 years, will enjoy the wealth of Egypt and the plentiful provision of the Lord in the land of Goshen!

Let me continue and zoom in at a higher resolution to examine the story of Joseph. From the very beginning of the story of Joseph, from his birth, Joseph is special. He is born to Jacob’s wife Rachel who was not able to have children for a long time.

Finally, Rachel has a son, Joseph! This is the son that Rachel had been waiting for! Joseph is the son that Jacob had wished for.

Jacob had always wanted to have a son from his beloved wife. From the wife for which he had worked 14 years and to whom he had been married for more than 20 years before Joseph was born. Leah, Rachel’s older sister had seven children before Rachel had Joseph.

It’s no wonder that Jacob considered Joseph to be special. He was Jacob’s son from his beloved wife, Rachel. This great advantage, the special love that Jacob had for Joseph, became Joseph’s greatest challenge. What added to Joseph’s challenge was the special place and destiny that God had for him. It was God who gave Joseph his visions of greatness over his brothers and even over his father and mother.

This extraordinary position in the grand scheme of redemption for Israel and the world was placed on a very young man, who was pampered by his father and favored over his 10 other brothers Here is a lesson for each of us! With every cloud comes a silver lining and after every silver lining comes another cloud!

With every blessing with which the Lord blesses us comes responsibilities and challenges, tests and examinations to see if we know how to use justly and righteously the gifts and talents that God gives us. For some people who are exceedingly blessed and don’t want or chose to exercise the gifts and the calling of God rightly – the blessings turn into a detriment.

The next important lesson to learn from Joseph’s story in our Torah reading is this: Learn to appreciate and to always know how to make lemons into lemonade! In all of life’s circumstances, in the well that your brothers put you down, as a slave in the house of Potiphar the Priest of On, remember who you are and remember to maintain your high moral values.

Even in the palace of the great Pharaoh, lifted up from the prison to the palace, from rags to riches, don’t forget who you are and under whose authority you must function. Joseph’s greatness was exactly this quality. He never forgot who he was, and what God had promised him.

We all have promises from God! We might not get them in a dream or a vision directly from God, but we have the promises that God gave His children, the redeemed of the Lord, you and I, between the covers of the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation. If we will take God’s promises seriously and put our faith and our hope and our energy into appropriating these promises, our lives will be so much more fulfilled.

If we accept the fulfillment of God’s promises in our own lives, by our faith and hope and love of the Lord, without regard to what our job is, and where we live, and what possessions, or lack of possessions we have, we too would see the Joseph story being played out in our own lives.

The last lesson that we must learn from the story of Joseph is that at the same time that we are experiencing God’s grace in our lives and are enjoying our greatness, we must also remember our goals and stay humble and always place the Lord first in our lives. Never forget who you are, where you came from, who your ultimate authority is and what is your ultimate goal in life.

If I were to summarize what I learned from Joseph’s story, it would be:

  1. Always trust God and His word more than you trust your own brothers and sisters!
  2. Accept your good fortune today and do your best to benefit from it, because tomorrow it might change. Nothing is certain in this world, except God’s promises! The history of Israel is the greatest proof of this.
  3. Dance to the music that is being played! Follow the conductor when the music is playing and don’t try to play by your own tune. You are just one of the musicians; you have the music in front of you, so learn to follow the notes. If you are a dancer learn to dance with the music! Remember the music can change at the wave of the conductor’s baton.
  4. Forgive and don’t hold a grudge against your brothers even if they act like pigs and hurt you! Never say that you will never forgive your enemies either from within or from without. Always seek peace with everyone but if you find yourself at war, always fight to win!
  5. Being in the right is the source of your strength! Joseph, even when he was lying in a damp, dark Egyptian prison, never used his suffering as an excuse to do evil to others. He always looked for opportunities to do good, even when he was in the prison!
  6. The Lord will vindicate His servants. The wheel is turning and never stops! Those who are on top today might be on the bottom tomorrow. For this reason, do right today, be generous, humble, gracious, and faithful today, so that tomorrow you will not experience a lack of those willing to be kind to you. While a prisoner, Joseph learned that it not only pays to always be a servant of God, but to also be a faithful servant to others, to Pharaoh’s baker and butler as well as to his other fellow prisoners, all of whom enjoyed Joseph’s best even though he too was imprisoned, which in the end, caused them to remember Joseph’s kindness.
  7. Don’t do your family laundry in front of strangers, especially not Egyptian strangers!

The Lord is always the same and His actions in the world never change! He lifts up and brings down! He gives life and takes it! He rewards the faithful and punishes the unfaithful. His rewards are eternal, and His blessings, punishments and tests in this life are always temporary.

All glory and honor and praise are due to the Lord eternally!

Joseph Shulam: Receive Everything With Joy [2019]

This is the last Shabbat of 2019, the reading is from Parashat Miketz. Miketz is from Genesis 41:1-44:17. This is the heart of the story of Joseph in Egypt. There are so many important lessons to be learned in this reading.

The reading from the prophets this Shabbat is from 1 Kings 3:15-4:1. From the New Covenant, the reading is from Romans 10:1-13.

The reading of the Torah starts with verse 1 of chapter 41 of Genesis, with the following words:

“Then it came to pass, at the end of two full years, that Pharaoh had a dream; and behold, he stood by the river.” – Genesis 41:1 [NKJV]

The first question that we must ask is what does the word “then” refer to? “Then” is a time word. The verse says that two full years had passed from the “then”.

You see, this word “then” forms an organic unit with the preceding chapter. Two full years had passed from the time that Joseph interpreted the dreams of his two fellow prisoners, the chief baker and the chief cupbearer.

Netivyah | Parashat Miketz | Joseph in Prison, Musée Bossuet, Meaux (1733)
Joseph in Prison, Musée Bossuet, Meaux (1733)

This is the same story, not two stories, one story connected and leading from one detail to the next. What happened two years before in the prison didn’t end in the prison. The prison was the preparation for the interpretation of Pharaoh’s dreams. What can we learn from this prologue to Joseph’s greatness in Egypt?

There are many important lessons to be learned from this Torah reading of Miketz. Here is a short list of the lessons from this reading:

  1. What might seem to us as a horrible and terrible event, brothers who hate their younger brother so much that they can’t say “shalom” to him, all because he had a dream (a revelation) from God that promised him greatness, turns out to be a providential move of God to set up the cards on the table for the preprogrammed outcome. For Joseph it was a painful and hard thing to suffer. The family turns against him. Joseph is sure that he had a dream from God. He never doubted his dreams. He stood by the revelation that he received. Joseph didn’t hate his brothers, and he obeyed his father when he sent him alone to look for his brothers and bring news from them.
  2. The brothers are also like clay in the hands of the potter. God can use even the hate of brothers to play an important role for the accomplishment of His plans.
  3. The murderous intents of the brothers, and Yehuda’s business interests, cause the brothers to want to sell Joseph as a slave. God has already prepared the right people to take Joseph out of the well, and sell Joseph to the right Egyptian master, who had the right type of wife for the story to follow God’s program.
  4. Potiphar’s wife liked the handsome young Israelite servant, and tried to tempt him to go to bed with her. Joseph has principles, and although he is a slave and a servant of the house of Potiphar, he has honor, and he runs from the “lady” of the house. He is falsely accused and put in prison.
  5. One event drags into the next, and they are all connected with a silver thread of God’s program, and every detail works wonders to bring Joseph into Pharaoh’s presence.
  6. It is God who gives the dreams to Pharaoh, and it is God who gives the interpretation of these dreams to Joseph.

You see this, brothers and sisters? This lesson is so simple that most of us don’t want to learn it.

If we would learn this lesson and learn to take the hard moments of our lives – illness, hardships, and persecution, as training and preparation for the most important moments of our lives – we would be able to receive even the hardships of our lives with joy.

This is a great Orthodox Jewish Hasidic teaching and principle: receive everything with joy! Know that the Lord is your Father, and He loves you, and, like a father, corrects and educate his sons.

The Lord is the master of history, and He knows and plans everything before it happens. To us, things in our lives, and the history of our people and nation, might look like a disaster and a horror. For the Lord, what happens is just another chapter in the preparation of the world for its redemption. For us, every hardship is a disaster, for the Lord, all things work tougher for the good of those who love the Lord.

The story of Joseph is one of the most complete novels in all of scripture. It has a beginning that is dark and hard, a middle that is exciting and difficult, and an end that is glorious and dramatic. Finally, it has a happy end for everyone – the Egyptians, the sons of Jacob, and the history of salvation!

Please read the story of Joseph from Genesis 37 until the end of Genesis. If you read it in one sitting you will see in this story every element of a great novel, and the lesson and the moral of the story is most important for all of us!

If some of you think that I am teaching Calvinism and predestination, please don’t think this at all. I don’t believe in predestination of our individual souls to be saved or damned. No, God is the master of history, but not the dictator of our salvation. Salvation is a result of God’s grace and the Messiah’s sacrifice, and our participation and obedience of faith to God’s commands and faithfulness.

You always need to ask – why did Jewish tradition chose the correlating passage from the prophets? Well, just in the beginning of 1 Kings chapter 3, it tells us why they chose to read the story of Solomon building his house.

Solomon married Pharaoh’s daughter, and kept her until he finished the building of his house. Why is this detail important? It is important because Solomon didn’t use Egyptian workers to build his house and the house of the Lord in Jerusalem.

Solomon used workers and engineers from Tyre, and made a treaty with Hiram the king of Tyre, and not with the Egyptian Pharaoh. For this reason Solomon married Pharaoh’s daughter, to show respect and good relations with Egypt. The two readings are connected by with the relationship between Israel and Egypt to do the work of the Lord.

Joseph Shulam: Jacob’s Prophetic Gift Explains Why He Loved Joseph More Than His Brothers [2018]

This Shabbat the reading in all synagogues is going to be from Genesis 41:1 – 44:17 – Parashat Miketz. This reading starts with Pharaoh’s dreams. The two dreams that are actually one dream, as Joseph said to Pharaoh.

Pharaoh’s dreams are prophetic, and God gave this pagan ruler these dreams so that Joseph would be released from prison and raise to a prominent position in Egypt, that would prepare a refuge and salvation for his father Jacob and his family, including the same brothers that wanted to kill him and than sell him as a slave.

This story of Joseph and his brothers is a real novella, with all the elements of intrigue and plotting and sex and “from rags to riches” that any good novella would have.

There is an additional character in this story that is mentioned very little, but He is the main actor, mover and shaker – the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. “Elohim” – “God” – is mentioned only 13 times in this text and the proper name of God “The Tetragrammaton” (the four letters) is not mentioned at all.

11 of these places that “Elohim” is mentioned are in the mouth of Joseph himself, twice Pharaoh acknowledges that Joseph is speaking and doing God’s will and receiving revelation from God. One time Judah confesses that what the brothers did was discovered by God, and now He is presenting His own will, that of the brothers of Joseph to be Joseph’s slaves.

In Judaism, Joseph is a type of a Messiah, and is attributed Messianic characteristics:

  1. He is despised and rejected by his brothers.
  2. He is delivered to the gentiles.
  3. His brothers first want to kill him.
  4. Joseph raises to greatness and honor among the gentiles.
  5. Joseph is considered a savior amount the Egyptians (gentiles).
  6. His brothers are afraid of Joseph, and suspect that he wants to harm them.
  7. Joseph showed mercy and forgiveness to his brothers who sold him to the gentiles. (In Joseph’s opinion.)
  8. Joseph saves his brothers and his family from the hunger in the land of Canaan.

This is the reason why, in rabbinical tradition, Joseph is considered a Messiah who dies and saves: Here is a Talmudic text (Sukkah 52a) that describes the death of the Messianic Joseph (not the historical Joseph from Egypt, but the Messiah son of Joseph):

“And the land shall mourn, every family apart; the family of the house of David apart, and their wives apart.” (Zechariah 12:10-14)

Is it not, they said, an a fortiori argument? If in the future when they will be engaged in mourning and the Evil Inclination will have no power over them, [that is, in the Messianic era, when mankind will be delivered from the evil inclination that leads men to sin] the Torah (Zechariah 12) nevertheless says, men separately and women separately, how much more so now when they are engaged in rejoicing and the Evil Inclination has sway over them.

What is the cause of the mourning [mentioned in the last cited verse]? — R. Dosa and the Rabbis differ on this point. One explained, The cause is the slaying of Messiah the son of Joseph, and the other explained, The cause is the slaying of the Evil Inclination.

It is well according to him who explains that the cause is the slaying of Messiah the son of Joseph, since that well agrees with the Scriptural verse,

“And they shall look upon me because they have thrust him through, and they shall mourn for him as one mourners for his only son;” (Zechariah 12:10-12)

but according to him who explains the cause to be the slaying of the Evil Inclination, is this [it may be objected] an occasion for mourning? Is it not rather an occasion for rejoicing? Why then should they weep? — [The explanation is] as R. Judah expounded:

In the time to come the Holy One, blessed be He, will bring the Evil Inclination and slay it in the presence of the righteous and the wicked. To the righteous it will have the appearance of a towering hill, and to the wicked it will have the appearance of a hair thread. Both the former and the latter will weep; the righteous will weep saying, “How were we able to overcome such a towering hill!” The wicked also will weep saying, “How is it that we were unable to conquer this hair thread!” And the Holy One, blessed be He, will also marvel together with them, as it is said, “Thus saith the Lord of Hosts, If it be marvelous in the eyes of the remnant of this people in those days, it shall also be marvelous in My eyes.”

There are some important discoveries in this Rabbinical text.

  1. These Rabbis acknowledge that Zechariah 12:10,11 is talking about the Messiah. This is of great significance, since in polemic discussions this is denied. So this text ought to b remembered.
  2. The Joseph Messiah dies to deliver mankind from the Evil Inclination (the human force that leads to sin). The idea that there is a Messiah who dies to deliver humanity from sin is also normally denied by Jewish polemicists. Here you have a clear and present answer.
  3. The issue of separation between men and women in the synagogue finds in this text a sort of proof to justify this custom.

Probably the most important point in this text is that the pattern of salvation in the Messiah is set on firm rabbinical tradition through the story of Joseph. The Messiah is rejected by His own business brothers, He is threatened to death, He is delivered to the gentiles.

I am puzzled by this simple text. What was the real reason that Joseph’s brothers hated him so much that they could not even say “shalom” to their brother Joseph. This is the description of a very deep hate, a hate that is not even to say “shalom” to their brother. There are two reasons given by the scriptures why the brothers hated Joseph with such a deep hate.

  1. Joseph brought a bad report against his brothers. In other words, Joseph was a snitch, a person who was reporting to his father what his older brothers were doing.
  2. His father loved him more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age! Probably also because he was the son of Rachel – Jacob’s beloved wife.

No one likes a snitch. A snitch is a person who can’t be trusted and you can’t share a secret with a snitch. He will spread it faster than lighting.

In society, people who can’t be trusted with a secret or will go gossiping behind people’s backs and telling everything to everyone of what the others did in the party, are generally-speaking not liked and not included.

The second reason why the brothers hated Joseph was because of Jacob. Note in this verse it does not say Jacob loved Joseph more than his other brothers, but it says, “Israel loved Joseph more than all his children.”

This use of “Israel” in a context of a chapter that is telling the history of Jacob is of great significance. When the Word of God uses “Jacob”, it refers to Jacob’s old nature, who was a kind of a shifty character. “Israel” is the name that God gave to Jacob after contending with the angel at the river Yabok.

The Jacob that loved Joseph more than his other sons was not the shifty character that took the inheritance from his brother Esau, but the Jacob who contended with God and came out winning the blessing, and the change of name from Jacob to Israel. The is the right Jacob/Israel who loves Joseph more.

The reason for this extra love for Joseph is not clear in the beginning of the story, but by the middle of the story, after Joseph’s brothers go down to Egypt to gather food, we find the nobility and humility and love of Joseph for his brothers.

Joseph is an all-powerful man in Egypt of Pharaoh. Joseph is the one person that all of Egypt eats from his hand, and he could have accused his brothers with criminal activity and put them in jail for life.

It is not right for a father to demonstrate love for one of his children above the other of his children. So, how is it that Jacob loved Joseph more than his brothers?

Jacob has the gift of prophecy. We see this in the end of the book of Genesis in Jacob’s blessing of his sons. Jacob predicts the future of the tribes and points out from which tribe the Savior will come, and many more predictions for each tribe.

Jacob’s prophetic gift is the explanation of why Jacob loved Joseph more than all his brothers. Jacob saw Joseph’s character and how Joseph will eventually save his brothers and the family from disaster.

Even though Jacob’s love for Joseph would be eventually proven and justified, the hate that the brothers developed against their younger brother was also predictable, and it played a part in the ultimate salvation of all the Abrahamic family, and the fulfillment of God’s promises to Abraham and the salvation of the world.

In the same way goes the rejection of Yeshua by the majority of His race, the Jewish people. God gave revelation to the prophets of Israel that the Messiah will be rejected and despised, will be killed and buried in the grave of a rich man, will come to Jerusalem on a donkey, and will save his all the nations. The process of salvation required that Israel will fall and go to exile and God would restore Israel back to the land that He gave to Abraham and his seed forever (see Genesis 13:14,15).

Please don’t be surprised that God is faithful to keep His promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and their seed, forever. Stand with Israel, and with your brothers and sisters in Israel. Pray for the salvation of Israel and the peace of Jerusalem. This is a mandate and an instruction of God in His word.

Yehuda Bachana: You are the Light of the World [2017]

Read the teaching below, or watch a video of the teaching by Yehuda Bachana.

“Let there be light…”

Shabbat Shalom and Happy Holidays, this week we study the weekly Torah portion, “Parashat Miketz,” and we also are celebrating Hanukkah. First of all, I want to talk about light. Hanukkah is a holiday that focuses on light, it is about triumphing over darkness and of victory for the weak over the strong. In fact, light was the first element created in the world, as it is written:

And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light. God saw that the light was good… – Genesis 1:3,4a [NIV]

Light is typically thought of as a pleasant and enjoyable notion. It represents wisdom and enlightenment, beauty and love, joy, holiness, and sanctity. Light is also a tangible means of expression to mark the positive and good aspect of life; it points to an essence that has quality.

An example of this can be seen with Shabbat candles, which symbolize family peace and unity. In the Bible, the light is used as a symbol of grace, goodwill, and of a welcoming countenance, which can be found in the following verse:

…the Lord make his face shine on you… – Numbers 6:25a [NIV]

The Torah is also correlated to light:

For this command is a lamp, this teaching is a light… – Proverbs 6:23a [NIV]

The light of the Torah is found in its moral and social values.

The Hanukkah candles that we light on the windowsill remind us of the miracles of God, and by their merit alone we stand here as the people of Israel in the Promised Land.

Joseph Was a Light in the Darkness

Yeshua commanded us to produce light, that our lives and actions will illuminate our surroundings. Now I’d like to discuss Joseph who remained in Egypt and illuminated his environment with the help of his faith.

It is very noticeable throughout Joseph’s story that he repeatedly mentions God, who was always standing beside him, directing his way and his morality.

We already saw this at the end of last week’s Torah portion – Potiphar’s wife tried to seduce him and he refused. He could control himself because he was afraid to sin before God:

…How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God? – Genesis 39:9b [NIV]

Before that occurred, Potiphar himself bore witness to the fact that Joseph was a believer, and that his strong faith made him a successful person.

The Lord was with Joseph so that he prospered, and he lived in the house of his Egyptian master. When his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord gave him success in everything he did… – Genesis 39:2,3 [NIV]

Verse 3 emphasizes to us that Potiphar sees the faith and the success of Joseph.

Later on, Joseph was thrown into the Egyptian prison. However, even then he continued to brighten his surroundings. He found favor with the guards and the prisoners around him.

Now we come to our parasha, “Miketz”, that begins with Pharaoh’s dream. Joseph is brought out from prison and must stand before the king of the empire, who was the world superpower. At that moment, Joseph did not forget his faith, he declared to Pharaoh:

‘I cannot do it,’ Joseph replied to Pharaoh, ‘but God will give Pharaoh the answer he desires.’ – Genesis 41:16 [NIV]

Further, during the interpretation of the dream, Joseph repeatedly said:

…God has revealed to Pharaoh what he is about to do. – Genesis 41:25b [NIV]

My point is that Joseph emphasized in front of everyone that God was the one who was at work within him – to the extent that Pharaoh himself said before his people:

…Can we find anyone like this man, one in whom is the spirit of God? – Genesis 41:38b [NIV]

After that he said to Joseph:

…Since God has made all this known to you, there is no one so discerning and wise as you. – Genesis 41:39 [NIV]

In the course of the parasha, Joseph met with his brothers, and before them he also declared:

…for I fear God… – Genesis 42:18 [NIV]

Our faith in Yeshua as Messiah makes us a lamp and servant of Yeshua. We serve as a menorah, where we sit on the windowsill and shine our light to the world. This is so we can show that there is hope, a way, a truth, and a light.

You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. – Matthew 5:14-16 [NIV]

In conclusion

In order for illumination to take place, a ray of light must reflect off of a surface.

In other words, we can not illuminate an empty space at night if we simply aim our flashlight at the sky, the flashlight will not succeed in lighting our way. However, if a flashlight shines on a surface, like a wall, the rays of light will bounce off of it and brighten the way for us.

So too Yeshua calls us to be reflectors, that the light of the Torah and gospel will reflect off of us, so that we can light up the highway of the King. With this thought I would like to invite you to light the Hanukkah candles.

Click here to download a pdf version of this teaching.