What Constitutes ‘Work’ on Shabbat?

SHABBAT AFTERNOON FIRESIDE DRASH

 

“Remember the Sabbath day, to set it apart. “Six days you labor, and shall do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of YHVH your Elohim. You do not do any work – you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. “For in six days YHVH made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore YHVH blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart.

Shemoth (Ex) 20:8-11 (TS 2009)

This, the Fourth Mitzvah of ‘The Ten’, seems to be quite straightforward in what it has to say, doesn’t it?

And yet the word ‘work’ as used here, the Hebrew word מְלָאכָה mĕla’kah, has fueled endless hours of debate over centuries of time and caused page after written page of instruction on how to avoid it in order to observe the Fourth Commandment correctly.

Should or shouldn’t one start the car on Shabbat? And what about the light switch? We could avoid flipping the switch (work) if we just left the lights on at sundown on Erev Shabbat, or just light a twenty-four-hour candle, or some such thing couldn’t we? And what about preparing food to eat on Shabbat (that is if it’s OK to perform the act of chewing and swallowing)? And we could go on and on with getting dressed on Shabbat, carrying a Bible or creating a written page on Shabbat. No telling where the lunacy would go if we were to pursue it further. And yet there are those who concern themselves with these things while watching others in their level of observance. No wonder people equate Torah observance, and particularly that of the Shabbat with legalism!

We can trace this line of thought back through Orthodox Rabbinical Judaism to early Pharisaical Judaism, and the perceived need to build a ‘hedge’, or ‘wall’, around the Mitzvot of Torah. This is especially so when it comes to the Shabbat. In order to protect its holy hours from being profaned by those who don’t understand how to observe it correctly, centuries of technical arguments as recorded in the Talmud (based on the ‘Oral Tradition’) if followed correctly; will bring its adherents to become ‘Shomer’ Shabbat. That is, able to observe the Shabbat perfectly and without error (according to the Pharisees).

Of course, in today’s Orthodox Judaism, all one has to do is to rely upon the local Rabbi if questions arise concerning what is, and what is not permitted under the heading of correct observance, I.E.; suppose I wanted to prepare a Shabbat table for unexpected guests, when nothing had been prepared on Erev Shabbat for such an occasion and they brought nothing with them? Should they fast? Would it be OK for me to eat my prepared food without feeding them, or should we all fast? And then we find out one of them needs food to take their medication, it’s a dark day, can we turn on the lights to prepare something for them (then there is that light in the fridge, didn’t we take that bulb out a while back?)! You can see the level this craziness can go too! But then, never fear, your questions have most likely already been answered by Rabbi Snoozer of Snoozer in Talmud Tractate 52b. You do have the complete set of Talmud available for such occasions right!

Now all of us who follow Rabbi Y’shua, Ben Elohim, Sar Shalom, our very Jewish Mashiyach, Natsarene or not, aren’t involved in this nonsense are we? We have come to know Shabbat as a blessing of Shalom, and Simcha (Peace and Joy) haven’t we? We do not engage in work for hire or buy and sell on Shabbat, nor do we travel with exception of what might be necessary to help those in dire need or to attend services. We take time to meditate, write about, talk about, live out His Torah, especially on this holiest and most blessed day, don’t we?

As Natsarenes we follow the example of our Rabbi, HaAdon Y’shua, The Master Y’shua on Shabbat. Attend service (as was His custom) or hold our own, eat just what is needed (lavish spreads not required, simple basics are best), serve Elohim through teaching, ministering, healing, caring for the widow, the orphan, the less fortunate, the stranger within our gates, the prisoner, and those who are simply downtrodden or in need of encouragement, (which, by the way, is all work). We welcome Shabbat with great joy and thanksgiving, and we leave it’s special hours with a heavy heart while counting the days and hours to its welcome return!

Don’t be afraid to work for the King and the Kingdom on Shabbat, you can do so and still be perfectly ‘Shomer’ while turning those lights on or off!

WHAT IS ‘TRUTH’?

THE PATH הנתיב

A COMMENTARY on CURRENT SPIRITUAL THOUGHT FROM THE ANCIENT SECT OF JUDAISM CALLED HaNETZARIM


WHAT IS TRUTH?

Then Pilate said to Him, “You are a sovereign, then?” יהושע answered, “You say it, because I am a sovereign. For this I was born, and for this I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” Pilate said to Him, “What is truth?” And when he had said this, he went out again to the Yehuim, and said to them, “I find no guilt in Him.                                                                                                                                                     (John 18:37-38 [TS2009])

 

Pontius Pilate, Roman that he was, wanted to apply human logic and reasoning toward understanding the Creator and Savior of the world. How powerful the presence of Ben Elohim must have been! How difficult it was for Pilate to resist the pull on his heartstrings, to resist the urge to fall to the floor, to submit himself entirely to the penetrating eyes and mystical aura emanating from Him who knew every thought and deed. As he stood in front of The King of All Creation, King of a Spiritual Realm that he had little to no understanding of, his only recourse was to retreat to the imagined safety of his logic.

Roman leaders of the time had great pride in their ability to exercise their use of logic and reasoning; their own, and that of the Greeks. It was that pagan, humanistic background that brought forth the empty philosophical question, “What is truth?”. I can almost imagine the haughty spirit of Pilate as he thought to ‘stump’ Y’shua, before going out to relinquish his responsibility to the mob.

On the other hand, Judaism had given the accusors of Y’shua all the tools and means necessary to determine whether His claim to be HaMashiyach and Melech (King) of Yisra’el was in fact true. The corrupt self-proclaimed leaders of Yisra’el, knowing these things, intentionally failed to apply those principals to fairly, and justly, make the determination that would ultimately prove Y’shua to be exactly who He said He was! HaMashiyach.

Our Jewish brothers of Pharisaical descent, teach that Judaism has produced many Messiahs throughout history. Fortunately, the voice of truth has come through loud and clear, and incredible as it may seem, it comes directly from our Sages of Judaism themselves; that the only way to identify the True Mashiyach of Yisra’el is by the test of Torah. Throughout the many different Targumim[1] available since the Babylonian captivity, we see the bar set for the claimant to the Throne, along with His Identity clearly drawn for us in the Lingua Franca, the language of the common man, Aramaic.

That test which has existed as long as the Torah itself requires that the candidate for the title of Mashiyach of Yisra’el be fully and completely Torah observant, fulfilling all of its requirements exactly and without the slightest error or variance. That includes fulfillment of all the Mo’edim (Appointed times), in this realm, and the eternal spiritual realm of His Heavenly Kingdom. There has, and continues to be only One who has met this requirement.

So far, since the creation of all things, there have been a few contenders for the title of Messiah, but they have fallen very short of passing this test. Historically, Biblicaly, prophetically, genetically, and spiritually; Y’shua HaNetzarim, Ben Yoseph, Ben Do’vid, Ben Elohim has done so! To suggest otherwise admits to a willing ignorance of the facts as presented in a one-dimensional world, and the proofs existing, as seen through a realization of the multidimensional spiritual kingdom we exist in every day!

As Netzarim Yahudim, we face constant misrepresentation of the truth. That is why it is so vital for us to study Torah. Torah is the litmus test for anyone searching for truth in all things secular, and spiritual. We know Y’shua, our Mashiyach, as The Living Torah; the embodiment of Truth. He is YHVH in the flesh, two that are echad (one) as Elohim (Mighty Ones). He is Emmanu’el, “El who is with us” in all things. No human, No angel, no matter how perfect, can approach the perfection of The One who sits at the Right Hand of The Ancient of Days!

That was the claim of a heavenly being who thought to incite the Heavenly Host against Him who is The Living Truth, to the point of causing war in heaven; but was ultimately cast out and down for his lies and deceit. This spirit of the evil one is the same spirit that prevails over those who argue against the living truths presented to each of us every moment of our mortal lives. It existed in the arrogance of Pilate, as it existed over almost every one of the Sanhedrin, the Scribes, and the P’rushim who rejected Him, as they had rejected their Prophets.

As Netzarim, we know who the Messiah is because we have asked the questions, made the inquiries, and studied the facts as presented in an unbiased way. We have tested the Spirit of Truth in the only way that questions concerning spiritual matters are tested, and resolved, and that is by The ‘Word’ of the Living Torah. We have found that men are an unreliable source of spiritual truth and that there is only one way to know, without doubt, the answer to a question once asked by an infamous Roman, “what is truth?”

Your righteousness is righteousness forever, And Your Torah is truth. (Ps 119:142 [TS2009])

You are near, O יהוה, And all Your commands are truth. (Ps 119:151 [TS2009])

 So יהושע said to those Yehuim who believed Him, “If you stay in My Word, you are truly My taught ones, and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”           (John 8:31-32 [TS2009])

 He who is the Living Truth, is the Living Torah. He stands at the door of the heart and knocks, asking your permission to come in. He desires only that you would allow Him to reason with you, to share with you the answers to questions that continue to plague mankind. He wants to explain to you how he can set you free from the cares of this world, and bring you lasting peace. My friends, To know Him, Y’shua HaMashiyach, is to know ‘Truth’ and by knowing Truth, you will indeed be set free!

 

Baruch HaShem YHVH Y’shuati!

Sha’ul

 

[1] Targumin, plural for Targum. Aramaic Paraphrase and commentary on the Hebrew Torah.

Pesach 5777 / 2017

Pesach, as we all know, will be arriving sooner than we think. Now is the time (if you have not already done so), to begin your preparations. As for the timing of Pesach, Beit Echad subscribes to the “Astronomically & Agriculturally Corrected Biblical Hebrew Calendar” as found at http://www.ARoodAwakening.tv Simply put, all the Feast dates spin off the establishment of the 1st day of the Biblical Year, which can only occur when the first stalks of the Spring barley harvest in Yisra’el are declared ‘Abib’ (ripe for the harvest/pronounced Aviv) followed by the sighted new moon over Y’rushalyim. That evening will bring with it the month of the Abib; and 10 days later, the selection of the Pesach Lamb. Four days later, Abib 14 is Pesach (not a Shabbat/unleavened bread to be consumed on Pesach), followed by 1st day Unleavened Bread (U.B.) on Abib 15 (a no work at all Shabbat), which is a 7 day Feast ending on Abib 21 (also a no work at all Shabbat). Also, the 1st day after the weekly 7th day Shabbat during Chag HaMotzi (Feast of U.B.), is a one day Feast called Chag HaBikkurim, or, Feast of First Fruits. It is from this day that the count of 50 days or 7 Shabbats begins that lead to Chag HaShavuot or Pentecost.

PESACH 2017 DATES OF OBSERVANCE (mark your calendar):

If the barley is Abib, followed by the Crescent moon when it is expected this year, Abib 1 will be sundown March 30. Pesach will begin sundown of Apr. 11 and will continue to sundown of April 12, at which time Chag HaMotzi begins and is a no work at all Shabbat until sundown of April 13. The last day of U.B., concluding the 7 days of U.B. (another no work at all Shabbat) begins the evening of April 12th, and concludes sundown April 13.

These dates may or may not conform to the Orthodox Rabbinical Calendar as seen noted on our current Gregorian Calendar. The method of calculating the month of Abib existed long before the Babylonian captivity, and the establishment of Rabbinical Judaism; which occurred after the destruction of the Beit HaMikdash by Rome in 70 C.E. Due to the diaspora, and the inability to communicate with scattered Yisra’el, the Rabbinical Civil, and Religious Calendars were established. As part of the restoration of all things, we are now able to communicate instantly, around the world; so that we are able to return to the ‘Ancient Paths’, and the restored Biblical Calendar!

Leaven:

We have until the first day of unleavened bread to remove the leaven from our homes and dwelling places, and traditional sources call for noon on Pesach to ensure all the leaven is out before the onset of 1st day U.B..

More To Come:
Understanding the Prophetic Symbols and Hidden Meanings of the Abib and Pesach, holding the Lamb of the Sacrifice for four days, The Sacrifice, The offering of First Fruits and the Resurrection, Leaven in the home, 3 days and 3 nights in the tomb; these topics and more coming, as we prepare to partake of the Lamb of Sacrifice.