BEHAR TORAH : LEVITICUS 25:1-26:2| PROPHETS : JEREMIAH 32:6-27| GOSPEL : LUKE 4:14-22


Shalom everyone! Welcome to another Torah Portion here at SSS! I love this passage, for I yearn to live in safety. Where I am presently residing I do not feel safe. I have not felt safe for a long time and feel stuck here in swamp country as I call it. The area where I reside was once a swamp, but man came along and cut down trees, filled in the swamp and built a campground on it…in rainy season, it floods in areas, in the hurricane season, the campground dwellers live vulnerable and open to the onslaughts of the HAARP program/Hurricane season. This Hurricane season, the warnings have already begun. I lament daily, I plead for His mercy and grace, I plead for His mighty hand to guard my 86 year old mother and myself while stuck in swampsville.

Father has been merciful so far as  there is at least one righteous person that dwells in swamp country! My mother has been a commandment keeper for most of her long life. She honors He Shabbat and has trusted in Jesus since a little girl.

https://theconversation.com/bad-news-for-the-2022-hurricane-season-the-loop-current-a-fueler-of-monster-storms-is-looking-a-lot-like-it-did-in-2005-the-year-of-katrina-183197

leviticus 25:1-26:2, behar “on the mount” chiastic structure

The rainy season brings intense storms that frighten many, Florida is known as the lightning capital of the nation, the first season here, as I sat in my tiny RV listening to the booming thunder and the fierceness of the rain pounding on my roof, I used that time to cry out to Abba, claiming His promises and praising Him that He is far  more powerful than any storm.

https://www.baynews9.com/fl/tampa/weather/2022/01/09/did-florida-regain-title-for-lightning-capital-of-u-s-

When we are called to a certain place, to a certain walk, to a certain way, if it goes against the grain of the world, storms come…but the One who came before us has to power to sustain us through the storm, or, to calm the storm…whether the storm is exterior or interior…

Jeremiah 32:17 — A Reason for Hope with Don Patterson

Twitter 上的 Deo Gloria Church:"Luke 4:18 - The Spirit of the Lord is on me  to proclaim freedom for the prisoners, and set the captives free. (NIV)  #bibleverse #verseoftheday #bible #scripture #gaychristian #

Big Brother on this weeks Torah Portion:

G‑d spoke to Moses at Mount Sinai…”—Leviticus 25:1.

The traditional name used to refer to this week’s portion, Behar, is taken from the opening verse: “G‑d spoke to Moses Behar Sinai (at Mount Sinai).”

It is interesting to note that words “mount” and “Sinai” have opposite connotations. A mountain represents grandeur and stature while the word Sinai is rooted in the Hebrew word s’neh, a thorn-bush, which symbolizes lowliness and humility. The combination of the two words “Behar Sinai—at Mount Sinai” indicates a melding of both characteristics, boldness and humility together.

As regards our spiritual development, the three terms 1) Mount, 2) Sinai and 3) Mount Sinai, represent three progressive phases in our growth.

Our sense of self-nullity is so pervasive that it is obvious that any strength we may feel comes only from our total reliance upon G‑d’s strengthThe first level is that of “Sinai”—humility and self-nullification. At the beginning of our spiritual development, we must embrace our own nothingness. Any feelings of grandeur or stature at this point are counterproductive and entirely out of place.

The next level is that of “Mount Sinai,” a combination of the two words. At this stage, we have sufficiently negated ourselves so that we may actually experience feelings of power that do not stem from our own egos but rather from a sense of G‑d’s strength. At the same time, however, there still must be a clear sense of personal nullity for we have not yet come to such a degree of surrender where any sense of power we may feel is certain to be emanating solely from the power of G‑d.

Finally, the ultimate level of spiritual development is embodied by the single word behar—for which this week’s reading is named. This state is achieved when we are so entirely nullified to G‑d that it is not even necessary to mention the humility of “Sinai.” Our sense of self-nullity is so pervasive that it is obvious that any strength we may feel comes only from our total reliance upon G‑d’s strength rather than our own.

There are those critics of the Twelve Steps who say that personal humility along with submission to a Higher Power degrades alcoholics and makes them feel spiritually bankrupt. First of all, we didn’t need any steps to help us feel degraded and spiritually bankrupt. Our lives as active alcoholics had done a fine job at that already. But more importantly, what these critics fail to understand is that by admitting our own powerlessness and thereby coming to believe in a Power greater than ourselves, we have found an inner strength that we could never have dreamed of throughout all our years of willful self-reliance. Perhaps they are baffled by the paradox—that through surrender we have become strong and that by facing our own lack of power we have come to know and feel what real power is.

KI TISA TORAH : EXODUS 30:11-34:35| PROPHETS : 1 KINGS 18:1-39| GOSPEL : MARK 9:1-10

https://torahportions.ffoz.org/torah-portions/allportions/ki-tisa/

 

Part A) Weekly Torah Portion: 21 KI TISSA - WHEN YOU TAKE - EXODUS 30:11-34:35 - YouTube

 

 

Exodus Lesson 21 Ki Tisa

Being a person who has had a pretty severe drug and alcohol addiction in the past, when I first read this weeks Torah portions title “when you take” and then saw the Israelites worshipping the golden calf, I immediately thought of the saying in the rooms of Alcoholics and Narcotics Anonymous meetings ; one is too many a thousand is never enough”. If you have ever struggled with an addiction/strongholds, then you have experienced that yourself. One cookie, potato chip, etc  leads to half the package or the whole package, let’s be honest…

It is said that addiction is another form of idolatry…worshipping that thing you are relying on rather than relying on Yahshua, THE Higher Power. Addictions are just a symptom of a deeper thing happening deep inside a persons mind/heart. Fear, rejection, abandonment, shame, guilt, lust, you name it…

The Israelites left the only home they knew. That environment they grew up in, with its culture, norms, etc were their norm…worshipping idols was one of  their norms. They were surrounded by addicts, I mean idolaters.

Transitions are difficult. Learning a new way of functioning and thinking is a process. And, it can be a very difficult transition. Renewing ones mind takes time. For me, I had a lot of addictions and it took me a long time to give them up.

In my recovery journey, attending 12 step meetings have helped tremendously. Working in the field of substance abuse treatment, the  treatment plans I developed with my clients would include attending weekly 12 step meetings. These support meetings would help them develop new relationship with healthier people, assist them in developing social skills, obtain coping skills and a host of other benefits.  Some embraced the steps, seeing the beauty of them, some rebelled, refusing to open their eyes to see the power of them.

For some, the steps became their new higher power, for others, they were led to Jesus Christ, Yahshua. Many have found Him, THE Higher Power. For way too many, due to their rebellion, they lost their sobriety and relapsed, some never returning to recovery, way too many have overdosed and have died.

COME TO THE ALTAR 1 KINGS 18:30-39 - Faithlife Sermons

 

What Does Mark 9:10 Mean?

If you have lived the life of an addict, then you KNOW that when He gives you freedom, it is actually being brought back from the dead. I lived as the walking dead for many years. The first 30 years of my life was filled with trauma’s of all sorts. I sought relief in sex, drugs and rock and roll…home away from home were bars. Drugs, alcohol and men were my gods.

Then He wooed me with His love. It has taken years for me to have enough trust in Him to allow Him to peel the snake skin lies from me. . Layer after Layer. Year after year, trauma after trauma, addiction after addiction, Year after year He  removed them

He had to show to me His faithfulness so that I would see HE IS Yahweh! He is the only Higher Power that can resurrect  the dead, deliver from bondage, set the captive free!

He raised me from the dead! And, if He can raise me from the dead, there is hope for anyone~

This weeks Torah portion and recovery from big brother Judah.

“When the people saw that Moses was late in coming down from the mountain…”—Exodus 32:1.

This week’s portion describes one of the most misunderstood events in the Bible – the sin of the Golden Calf. Taken at face value, it is difficult to comprehend how the same people who had witnessed the miracles of the Exodus and the Revelation at Sinai could be led to worship a molten image. However, a deeper understanding of the episode reveals that the people did not intend to replace G‑d with the Golden Calf. What they were looking for was a substitute for Moses. As the verse states, the debacle began “when the people saw that Moses was late in coming down from the mountain….”

Moses, a human being of flesh and blood, represented the people’s tangible connection to G‑d. As Moses related (Deut. 5:5), “I was standing between G‑d and you at the time [of the Revelation at Sinai]….” Although it was G‑d who redeemed the people from Egypt and gave them the Commandments at Sinai, it was Moses who served as the visible medium through which G‑d brought about these wonders. Without Moses to facilitate their relationship with G‑d, the people were in a quandary and sought to replace him.

They took it upon themselves to choose their own way of connecting to G‑dTheir mistake was that when they thought that they had lost their G‑dly appointed intermediary, they took it upon themselves to choose their own way of connecting to G‑d. Tradition relates various reasons why the likeness of a calf was selected for this purpose, but one explanation is that the people were interested in having a connection to G‑d that they could make into their own beast of burden. The image of a domesticated animal symbolized an intermediary with G‑d that could be manipulated and controlled. Moses made demands of the people; when necessary, he rebuked them. A docile calf would do no such thing.

One of the cornerstones of recovery is our willingness to be receptive to G‑d’s message when He speaks to us. One of the ways that we seek knowledge of G‑d’s will for us is by having a sponsor. While a sponsor is not a prophet nor is he or she infallible, a sponsor is, however, one of the best means we have for finding clarity on all aspects of our lives, great and small.

Having a sponsor whom we can manipulate or order around is hardly in the spirit of the basic humility requisite for recovery. Neither is it consistent with the acceptance that we do not always know what is best for us and that we need to always remain open, receptive and teachable.

There’s a saying in recovery: “Call your sponsor before… not after.” Having a sponsor means being willing to take direction, not give it. Whether our sponsor is always right is beside the point. What is relevant is that when we get out of our own heads long enough to truly listen to someone else, we may be able to hear the voice of G‑d.

 


YITRO TORAH : EXODUS 18:1-20:23| PROPHETS : ISAIAH 6:1-7:6, 9:5-6| GOSPEL : MATTHEW 19:16-26


Welcome to another Torah Portion! This week is another amazing story of how the Israelites journeyed through their own rabbit trail! I hope you are blessed by this weeks message…as usual, we also are going to go on a rabbit trail!

The Danger Of Going Down Rabbit Trails - p.s. That's Life!

Yitro

Yahweh gave His 10 ways of doing life (what is commonly called The Ten Commandments) to Moses on the top of Mount Sinai. In the recovery community we have the 12 steps and 12 traditions. These steps and traditions are a way of life…what I really like about the recovery community is that we KNOW we CANNOT do life alone, we cannot heal alone…we need a community of people who are also on this journey to the heart of the Father. Safe people who are doing their best to abide by the guidelines. The traditions are what keeps the group safe and running smoothly.

 

Moses and Jethro - She Reads Truth -She Reads Truth

Adonai has His Torah, condensed into those 10 commandments. Its His love language. It is to be our love language also. Loving Him and our neighbor…as we love ourselves…problem is, too many of us have never been taught how to love ourselves, to honor ourselves, to take care of ourselves, how to set boundaries. Many are workaholics, among other types of addictions/ways coping. Or people pleasing. Many women have had their childhoods stolen, forced to be in a parenting role to compensate for their absent parent(s). Reparenting is often needed.

But, before one gets there, one needs to admit there is a problem and they need help…many cannot ask for help. Step one: WE admitted we were powerless over (fill in the blank) and our lives are unmanageable OR We admitted we were powerless over the effects of growing up in an alcoholic/dysfunctional family and our lives have become unmanageable.

You see folks, we got some problems in our community and seems like way too many leaders are not addressing these issues…issues such as domestic abuse in all its various forms,  child abuse, all sorts of addictions, religious addiction included, and not to mention the demonic activity loosened upon us. Nope, not enough people who have admitted and done the work to get free in order to free others!

 

readthestory Instagram posts (photos and videos) - Picuki.com

Isaiah 6:1 - NIV Bible - In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord,...

Stuck By Finances (Matthew 19:16-26) – Growing Godly Generations

What Is Standing In Your Way - Faithlife Sermons

Big Brother Judah on the 12 steps of recovery…

Foundations for attaining life-long recovery.

First published in 1939 in the book titled Alcoholics Anonymous, the Twelve Steps were developed by the founders of AA as a method of recovery from alcoholism. It has since been adapted to address a myriad of compulsive and obsessive behaviors ― either addiction to substances like narcotics, or a process, such as gambling.

More than 50 different programs have evolved during the past 70 years, with millions of people across the globe having directly benefited from 12-step recovery.

Because much of 12-step recovery exists within the confines of anonymous group meetings, it’s difficult to evaluate in a controlled, peer-review process. Therefore, some in the medical and scientific communities are hesitant to testify to ifs effectiveness over other, more clinical approaches. However, ask most people who have spent significant time in the “rooms of recovery” and they will tell you they didn’t stand a chance to succeed prior to engaging in twelve-step help.

Judaism has been teaching 12 steps for 3,000 years.

Interestingly, the Twelve Steps is built on a paradigm of self growth that Judaism has been teaching for 3000 years.

The first thing that sticks out upon delving into the Twelve Steps is that the addictive behavior is mentioned only once ― in Step One: “We admitted we were powerless over fill in the blank ― that our lives had become unmanageable.” No where else do the steps directly speak about the compulsive habit, for the founders of AA understood addiction to be a three-fold disease:

  • Physical: intense cravings.
  • Emotional: using the behavior as a medication and distraction for dealing with challenging issues in life.
  • Spiritual/intellectual: Not accessing God to help arrest the behavior; stubbornly thinking I can do it on my own.

Therefore, the solution needs to include these three aspects of recovery:

  • Physical: a complete cessation from the action.
  • Emotional: developing healthy coping skills to address difficult situations.
  • Spiritual/intellectual: Humbly understanding that I am powerless over this behavior and asking God to do for me what I can not do for myself.

The sages have taught that this prototype is the foundation for both individual and global existence.

Shimon the Righteous says: the world stands on three things – on Torah (spiritual/intellectual), on service (physical) and on kind deeds (emotional).” Ethics of our Fathers, 1:2. The process of teshuva (self-growth and repentance) is rooted in these three pillars of our being.

  • Intellect can be directed either toward arrogance, or humility (and connection with the Creator).
  • Emotions can serve jealousy and selfishness, or loving-kindness and caring for others.
  • Physical instincts can be let loose toward lust and self indulgence, or restrained and channeled for a higher purpose.

Rabbi Elazar HaKapper says: jealousy, lust and arrogance remove a person from the world,” Ethics of our Fathers, 4:28.

Judaism teaches us that a person has three ongoing relationships at which he must excel: 1. with himself; 2. with others; 3. with God.

A relationship with self means an honest assessment of my character strengths and defects, awareness of my purpose for living, and taking responsibility for my actions.

A relationship with others translates into fulfilling my unique role in this world, how I can benefit others, and being aware of the impact I have on those with whom I have contact.

A relationship with God connects me to the Infinite Power in this world, tapping into ultimate pleasure and allowing me to humbly see my place in the grand scheme of creation.

STEPS ONE TO THREE

Looking through this prism, we can see how the Twelve Steps address these three relationships in the recovery process.

Step one: “We admitted we were powerless over fill in the blank ― that our lives had become unmanageable.”Step two: Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

Step three: Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

The steps begin with an intense self awareness and admission as to the root of the problem ― an inability to change the behavior through willpower alone, and acknowledging the consequences of my conduct (step one: man’s relations to self).

Steps two and three transition to man’s relationship with God, first recognizing that the Creator of the Universe can in fact change my behavior (step two) if I take the requisite actions (step three). Simply put: “I can’t. He can. I think I’ll let Him.

Some erroneously argue that admitting powerlessness runs contrary to Judaism’s characterization of free will ― “If I truly set my mind to something, I will be able to conquer any challenge.”

The Talmud, however, tells us just the opposite. We are taught that a person’s yezter hara (evil inclination) grows stronger and renews itself every day. And without God’s help, we are powerless to overcome it. (Kidushin 30b)

A fundamental Jewish tenet is that everything is in the hands of the Almighty except for fear of Heaven (Berachot 33b). The sole autonomy we possess in this world is perception (yireh)- – to see ourselves in relation to the Creator of the Universe, with the subsequent awe that results from that observation. We have the freedom of choice, but it’s entirely up to the Almighty to allow that choice to successfully develop into action.

The disease of addiction is nothing less than the yezter hara, the lower self, as it manifests in those people given this particular challenge in life. Without God’s help, we are truly powerless.

STEPS FOUR TO SEVEN

Step four: Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.Step five: Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

Step six: Were entirely ready to have God remove our shortcomings.

Step seven: Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

The recovery process continues with a courageous and comprehensive personal inventory (cheshbon hanefesh). Step four focuses on, among other things, the challenges of arrogance, selfishness, and indulgence that are often found in an addict while in the throes of compulsive behavior.

Acknowledging these character defects to ourselves, to God and talking them out with another person well versed in recovery is critical in correcting the conduct. This is not confession, or seeking absolution, as some mistakenly conclude. Rather, it’s a three-fold method of identifying and concretizing specific flaws in order to construct an effective action plan. It’s anything but lip service.

Spiritual accountability is a bedrock in Judaism for character development. Working with a partner (chavrusa), or a rabbi to speak out issues and devise strategies for improvement is an encouraged practice (steps four and five: man’s relationship to self).

In steps six and seven we again see a transition to man’s relationship with God. We recognize that He is the source of success in achieving our spiritual growth and we are enjoined to be proactive in requesting that assistance.

STEPS EIGHT TO TEN

Step eight: Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.Step nine: Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

Step ten: Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

How can we ask God to forgive us if we’re not accountable for our actions?

Responsibility for our interactions with others is clearly delineated in these three steps. Addictive behavior can take a toll on people far and near the addict. Recovery is in large part a healing process, not only within ourselves, but for any relationship we may have adversely affected.

The universal custom for Jews to identify schisms with those close to us and to ask for forgiveness is a staple of our pre-Yom Kippur activities. How can we ask our Creator to forgive us if we’re not willing to be accountable for our actions with others?

STEPS 11 AND 12

Step eleven: Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.Step twelve: Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics/drug addicts/compulsive overeaters/compulsive gamblers etc..and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

The steps culminate in collective responsibility to continue investing in our individual connection with God, as well as our communal obligation to use our recovery to help others. Simply put: “You can’t keep it unless you give it away.” As Maimonides teaches, the highest level of fulfilling the mitzvah to Love God is to enable others to do the same.

We see a synopsis of our three-fold relationships in these final two steps. Strong, long-term recovery requires a consistent focus on physical abstinence from the addictive substance or behavior, as well as continual attention to emotional and spiritual growth. Complacency is a capital crime when it comes to addiction.

In truth, it’s a fatal sentence for all of us, addicts or not. The only guarantee we have in this life is death, and therefore every moment is a precious opportunity for growth. This realization, perhaps, flattens a final roadblock some might encounter before engaging in 12-step recovery.

I already have a religion, I don’t need this. It’s not from a Jewish source.

The founders of AA were extremely careful to distance this process from any organized religion for fear of turning away an alcoholic that might otherwise benefit. They understood that only through a physical, emotional and spiritual course of action could one attain life-long recovery from the dreaded disease of addiction.

As Jews, this certainly resonates with us. Not, God forbid, as a substitute for our mitzvah observance. But rather as a tool to enhance our Jewish practice and relationship with the Almighty. Does Judaism by itself possess the necessary tools for self growth and improvement? Absolutely!

However, addicts can certainly benefit from a process designed specifically to address the immense challenge that for so long has baffled so many. Numerous Jews who have entered the rooms of recovery battling multitude addictions testify to the betterment of their Jewish observance by the removal of the cloud of compulsive behavior.

We…We…We…it’s a WE program…a WE journey to the heart of the Father…

The Commandments, The Steps and The Traditions

Tradition One of Alcoholics Anonymous:

Our common welfare should come first;
personal recovery depends upon A.A. unity.”

THE unity of Alcoholics Anonymous is the most cherished quality our Society has. Our lives, the lives of all to
come, depend squarely upon it. We stay whole, or A.A.
dies. Without unity, the heart of A.A. would cease to beat;
our world arteries would no longer carry the life-giving
grace of God; His gift to us would be spent aimlessly. Back
again in their caves, alcoholics would reproach us and say,
“What a great thing A.A. might have been!”
“Does this mean,” some will anxiously ask, “that in
A.A. the individual doesn’t count for much? Is he to be
dominated by his group and swallowed up in it?”
We may certainly answer this question with a loud
“No!” We believe there isn’t a fellowship on earth which
lavishes more devoted care upon its individual members;
surely there is none which more jealously guards the individual’s right to think, talk, and act as he wishes. No A.A.
can compel another to do anything; nobody can be punished or expelled. Our Twelve Steps to recovery are
suggestions; the Twelve Traditions which guarantee A.A.’s
unity contain not a single “Don’t.” They repeatedly say “We
ought . . .” but never “You must!”
To many minds all this liberty for the individual spells
sheer anarchy. Every newcomer, every friend who looks at
129
130 TRADITION ON E
A.A. for the first time is greatly puzzled. They see liberty
verging on license, yet they recognize at once that A.A. has
an irresistible strength of purpose and action. “How,” they
ask, “can such a crowd of anarchists function at all? How
can they possibly place their common welfare first? What
in Heaven’s name holds them together?”
Those who look closely soon have the key to this
strange paradox. The A.A. member has to conform to the
principles of recovery. His life actually depends upon obedience to spiritual principles. If he deviates too far, the
penalty is sure and swift; he sickens and dies. At first he
goes along because he must, but later he discovers a way of
life he really wants to live. Moreover, he finds he cannot
keep this priceless gift unless he gives it away. Neither he
nor anybody else can survive unless he carries the A.A.
message. The moment this Twelfth Step work forms a
group, another discovery is made—that most individuals
cannot recover unless there is a group. Realization dawns
that he is but a small part of a great whole; that no personal
sacrifice is too great for preservation of the Fellowship. He
learns that the clamor of desires and ambitions within him
must be silenced whenever these could damage the group.
It becomes plain that the group must survive or the individual will not.
So at the outset, how best to live and work together as
groups became the prime question. In the world about us
we saw personalities destroying whole peoples. The struggle for wealth, power, and prestige was tearing humanity
apart as never before. If strong people were stalemated in
the search for peace and harmony, what was to become of
TRADITION ON E 131
our erratic band of alcoholics? As we had once struggled
and prayed for individual recovery, just so earnestly did we
commence to quest for the principles through which A.A.
itself might survive. On anvils of experience, the structure
of our Society was hammered out.
Countless times, in as many cities and hamlets, we reenacted the story of Eddie Rickenbacker and his courageous company when their plane crashed in the Pacific.
Like us, they had suddenly found themselves saved from
death, but still floating upon a perilous sea. How well they
saw that their common welfare came first. None might become selfish of water or bread. Each needed to consider the
others, and in abiding faith they knew they must find their
real strength. And this they did find, in measure to transcend all the defects of their frail craft, every test of
uncertainty, pain, fear, and despair, and even the death of
one.
Thus has it been with A.A. By faith and by works we
have been able to build upon the lessons of an incredible
experience. They live today in the Twelve Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous, which—God willing—shall sustain
us in unity for so long as He may need us.

I say amen to unity and so does Adonai!

Top 24 Unity And Togetherness Quotes: Famous Quotes & Sayings About Unity And Togetherness

BO TORAH : EXODUS 10:1-13:16| PROPHETS : JEREMIAH 46:13-28| GOSPEL : JOHN 19:31-37


Welcome to this week’s Torah Portion! There is much to explore in this Torah portion. As I read  what our ancestors experienced in this particular Torah portion,  many memories of my own journey out of  darkness came to light. The process of getting free from the  bondage I was in took a long time. I didn’t have one of those “suddenly I was free” testimonies. Nope, I was not that fortunate! I suffered, I fought, I took one step forward and three back. I call that the recovery dance.

Like Pharaoh in our Torah portion, the enemy did not want me free to live life without  alcohol, drugs, sex and toxic relationships. Nope…he fought me hard…I claimed Philippians 1:6 many times  over the years, especially the times I relapsed on drugs/booze/prescription drugs to numb out the pain of being married to an abusive man.

finding messiah in bo, exodus 10:1-13:16

exodus 10:1-13:16, annual bo “go” outline

One thing I like about 12 step recovery communities, its how their support meetings are conducted. It is built on  a set of steps to freedom and also steps to building unity, which is the key. There are many truths we could learn from “those” people.  “Why do you put those people in quotes Laura Lee”, you may be asking…well because of the flack I have received for some of those in the Messianic community. You see, many get hung up on the triangle symbol used for Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, etc. not realizing that the beginning of the support group movement was based solely on scripture. That is why the steps work! If a person applies them.

And just like Yah using Moses to free His people, He has used the 12 steps to free people like me from bondage to  destructive lifestyles! Praise Adonai for the 12 steps of recovery!

***For more info, see the links provided at bottom of page!***

 

Exodus 13:1–16 (ESV) - Exodus 13:1–16 ESV - The LORD said to Moses,… | Biblia

Parashat Bo - Exodus 10:1-13:16 | Emet HaTorah

One of my favorite 12 step support programs is called Adult Children of Alcoholics and Dysfunctional Families. It isn’t about the drugs, alcohol, sex, porn, food, religion, money, shopping, etc. It is about escaping reality. It is all about numbing feelings of shame and pain. In ACA meetings we talk about learning how to love ourselves so we can love others properly! I mean, isn’t that what we are suppose to do? Love our neighbor AS we love ourselves?? Hmmmmm, with all the infighting, disrespect, puffed up pride and ego within the Messianic communities, maybe, just maybe, the root issue is that many of us DON’T love ourselves properly! Maybe, just maybe, many of us were raised in a home that was dysfunctional due to addictions, perfectionism and/or domestic abuse. Maybe….

If that is true for you, there is healing in Messiah!

I love the haftorah portion. It is another promise He has whispered in my ear, going directly to my broken heart…He will go with us…and our sons and daughters. Maybe I am the only one snot praying for my remaining son. I was snot praying for months for my oldest when I got that phone call from his father. The phone call every parent dreads…that my child is dead…

My oldest was chasing after Jesus (Yeshua) before his death…he realized that Jesus IS the truth and that we are living in the last days. He was chasing after his Savior with all he had. He tried to get out of whatever he got caught up in, but before he could get free, he was killed. The Father comforted me by letting me know through my sons best friend, that all those snot prayers I was driven to pray, the Father heard and answered. Sometimes a parents prayers are answered in ways we never would have imagined or wanted. Trust is hard at times. But, I believe one day, my son will be in the Kingdom! If you are a parent praying snot nosed prayers over seemingly hopeless situations, do not stop praying and trusting, no matter what it looks like!

John 19:31-37 The Curse and The Cure — HAMPTON ROADS CHURCH

Enjoy this weeks audio as I bring to you commentary from The Recovery Bible.

The following was written by someone wishing to remain anonymous….

I walked into my first Adult Children of Alcoholics Meeting (ACA) late—which is kind of ironic, given that I had been brought up to never be late. I spent the first 10 minutes of the meeting agitated about my lateness and what others would think of me. I think that’s all the confirmation I needed to know I was in the right place. Then I heard words spoken around the room that made the hairs on my arms stand on end. It was like I was in a room faced with 20 versions of myself.

Like my first AA meeting, while I wanted to run out of the room, something kept me rooted in my seat. I knew that I needed to be there—it was the next piece of the recovery puzzle.

Over the past five years of sobriety, my life has transformed; what was once a bare existence of working, using, and sickness, has become a life of my wildest dreams. I now live on the other side of the world, I have discovered talents that I didn’t even knew I had, and I have leveraged those talents to design a career most people dream of.

But, I was left with repetitive patterns of behavior in my life around relationships—particularly intimate relationships—that were destructive and harmful. I couldn’t understand how I had radically progressed from a life of nothing to a highly functioning life, yet still struggling in just this one area. Perhaps those most painful and traumatic area of all.

No amount of step work, or CBT, was touching the surface. I was struggling to cope and couldn’t understand why I acted like a five year old little girl in my relationships. She was frightened, terrified of rejection, needed constant validation, sought approval, was virtually incapable of asking for her needs to be met, and treated every parting of company like abandonment. I have spent my entire life reliving the abandonment of my father 34 years ago, in every relationship I had.

It has been suggested to me to seek either family of origin therapy—referring to the place we learned how to communicate, how to process emotions, ask for our needs to be met, and form our beliefs and values—or go to ACA, over the course of my recovery. I occasionally looked at the ACA fellowship meetings list, but kept putting it on the back burner. I’ll deal with that later, I’m not ready. I’d say. Then life took off and I thought I didn’t need it.

Until the next relationship; which always served as a reminder of how much I actually did need it. Each relationship turned up the volume of that reminder. Until it became too loud for me to ignore it anymore.

Co-founder of ACA, Tony A, defines Adult Children as follows: ‘An Adult Child is someone who responds to adult situations with self-doubt, self-blame, or a sense of being wrong or inferior, all learned from stages of childhood.” He goes on to say that without dealing with this issues, “we unknowingly operate with ineffective thoughts and judgements as adults. The regression can be subtle, but it is there, sabotaging our decisions and relationships.”

You are an adult child if you have lived in a childhood where alcoholism, addiction, abuse, mental illness, or other types of dysfunction existed within your family setting.

At the beginning of the meeting, a list is read called The Laundry List—this is a list of traits or characteristics of what they refer to as Adult Children. This is what made me shudder with identification:

  1. We became isolated and afraid of people and authority figures.
  2. We became approval seekers and lost our identity in the process.
  3. We are frightened by angry people and any personal criticism.
  4. We either become alcoholics, marry them or both, or find another compulsive personality such as a workaholic to fulfill our sick abandonment needs.
  5. We live life from the viewpoint of victims and we are attracted by that weakness in our love and friendship relationships.
  6. We have an overdeveloped sense of responsibility and it is easier for us to be concerned with others rather than ourselves; this enables us not to look too closely at our own faults, etc.
  7. We get guilt feelings when we stand up for ourselves instead of giving in to others.
  8. We became addicted to excitement.
  9. We confuse love and pity and tend to “love” people we can “pity” and “rescue.”
  10. We have “stuffed” our feelings from our traumatic childhoods and have lost the ability to feel or express our feelings because it hurts so much (Denial).
  11. We judge ourselves harshly and have a very low sense of self-esteem.
  12. We are dependent personalities who are terrified of abandonment and will do anything to hold on to a relationship in order not to experience painful abandonment feelings, which we received from living with sick people who were never there emotionally for us.
  13. Alcoholism is a family disease; and we became para-alcoholics and took on the characteristics of that disease even though we did not pick up the drink.
  14. Para-alcoholics are reactors rather than actors.

Oh my god, that is me! I screamed to myself. It was the most definitive list of my personality that I had ever heard. While I could use those characteristics as a measure of areas where I had improved in my life in the process of recovery—no longer needing others approval, finding recovery, working on certain co-dependent behaviors—I saw the deep need to look at this fundamental aspect of my being as a whole.

It offered a new found perspective to my repetitive behaviors and angst. It was a similar realization that you have in addiction when you discover that recovery isn’t about stopping taking drugs, it is about learning what led you to take the drugs in the first place. The drugs, or the behavior in this instance, are just the symptoms of a greater problem. The root of my problem, was the dysfunction I had grown up in and I carried that child into adulthood.

Perhaps the greatest struggle of pursuing this program of recovery is that I no longer align myself with a 12 step modality at this stage of my addiction recovery. It seems at odds to me to get help for these issues in a 12 step fellowship when I have made a conscious decision to move away from it. Yet, like with the first few years of my recovery, I can put aside my issues with the 12 steps, and try not make judgments until I have experienced this path of recovery and all that it has to offer with an open mind.

I can see that there is hope. ACA offers a safe place that I can find freedom to express my greatest hurt, pain, and fears. A place to free myself from the shame and blame of the past. Somewhere I will learn to no longer imprisoned by the traumatized child within me. I will recover the child within me, re-parent myself, learning to love and accept myself in the process. I know that I can heal this aspect of myself.

I know that this is exactly where I need to be, as challenging as that may be, because I don’t want the past to hold me back—that is recovery.

***here are some more resources for you!

https://torahportions.ffoz.org/torah-portions/

https://www.alephbeta.org/playlist/why-the-israelites-couldnt-eat-bread

Hebrew For Christians audio:  https://soundcloud.com/user-488868207/shavuah-tov-for-parashat-bo

https://www.aish.com/ci/s/Marijuana-and-Judaism-What-Does-Jewish-Law-Say-about-the-Subject.html

https://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/818687/jewish/The-Source-of-Evil-Bo.htm

Miketz Torah : Genesis 41:1-44:17| Prophets : Isaiah 66:1-24| Gospel : Luke 24:13-29


Commentary on Torah Portion Parashat MiketzKids Learning: 1.10 Miketz Bereshith (Genesis) Chapters 41:1-44:17

Weekly Torah Portion - Relationships Re-examined | The Detroit Jewish News

God's Salvation Is Always Possible | International Fellowship of Christians and Jews

 

10. Miketz Genesis 41:1 a 44:17 Maravillas Escondidas en la Torah | Buscando lo Escondido

Miketz biblestudyresourcecenter.com. Miketz Genesis 41:1 – 44:17 Haftarah: Zechariah 2:14 – 4:7 Gospel: Luke 4:16-30 Miketz = “At the end of” The 10th. - ppt download

Genesis 41 KJV - And it came to pass at the end of two full years, that Pharaoh dreamed: and, behold, he stood by the river.

 

Ohr Torah Stone

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gen 44:33 | scripture pictures at alittleperspective.com | Scripture pictures, Read bible, Bible

A Passage To Ponder: Genesis 45:5-7 | ThePreachersWord

 

genesis 41:1-44:17, annual miketz “at the end” outline

Isaiah 66:9 Do I bring to the moment of birth and not give… | Flickr

One Minute Reflection – 7 April – Stay with us! – AnaStpaul

Hard Work – Miketz

“And Pharaoh said to Joseph, ‘In my dream, I am standing on the bank of the River. And, behold, there come out of the River seven cows…'”—Genesis 41:17-18.

This week’s portion opens with the story of Pharaoh’s two dreams: first, seven fat cows swallowed by seven skinny ones, and then, seven healthy stalks consumed by seven withered ones. Joseph, who is released from prison in order to interpret these dreams for Pharaoh, himself dreamed two dreams described in the beginning of last week’s portion. In Joseph’s first dream, he and his brothers are working in the field bundling sheaves and in the second one, Joseph sees the sun, moon and stars bowing to him. A comparison between Joseph’s dreams and those of Pharaoh brings to light the essential difference between holiness and negativity as represented by Joseph and Pharaoh, respectively.

A comparison between Joseph’s dreams and those of Pharaoh brings to light the essential difference between holiness and negativityJoseph’s dreams begin with toil and labor: “We were bundling sheaves in the field.” (Genesis 37:7) Pharaoh’s dreams, on the other hand, have no mention of work at all. In his dreams, the cows and the stalks, both representing bounty and sustenance, simply rise by themselves out of the Nile. The underlying difference is that any gain stemming from the realm of holiness must begin with work, whereas all sustenance provided by the side of negativity comes without toil. The true good that G‑d wishes to give us must be earned, for it is a complete and perfect good. Thus, were G‑d to grant us ‘bread of shame’ (the kabbalistic term for unearned largess), the goodness He wishes to give us would be lacking in that we would be robbed of our dignity.

The realm of unholiness, however, is not concerned with our well-being and, thus, freely dispenses all kinds of quick and easy pleasures. This degradation is then later compounded by bitter disappointment as well, for all that the realm of unholiness bequeaths is hollow and fleeting.

There’s an old saying, “How do you know the difference between a weed and a flower? If you tear it out and it grows back by itself, it’s a weed. If not, it’s a flower.” That which comes without work rapidly develops beyond control, choking the life out of the very one who allowed it to grow. The fruits of real labor, however, are enduring and cherished.

Of course, we alcoholics and addicts know all too well how fast and easy payoffs come back to haunt us. But this pertains not only to our drinking days but to our recovery as well. Being a gift from G‑d, sobriety is true good and thus requires real work. There is no “easier softer way” to come by a gift as precious and holy as spiritual, mental and emotional healing.

There’s an old Hasidic parable about a man who brings his young son to the river in the middle of the winter to engage in the mystical practice of purifying immersion in water. The man cracks the ice with an axe then lowers the boy into the freezing water. The boy shrieks, “Eek!” The father pulls the boy up, wraps him in a blanket and the boy sighs, “Ah.”

“Anything in life that starts with an ‘ah,’ will certainly end with an ‘eek'”“Let this be a lesson to you, my son,” says the father, “immersing in the water is a holy ritual and so it starts with an ‘eek’ but ends with an ‘ah.’ Anything in life that starts with an ‘ah,’ is certainly not holy and will just as certainly end with an ‘eek.'”

This same idea is also expressed by the trajectory of the dreams of Joseph and Pharaoh. Joseph’s dreams begin in the field and end in the heavens with the sun and the moon and stars. There is a progression from the earthly to the celestial, an ascent. Pharaoh’s dreams begin with cows – from the animal kingdom – and then a lower form of life, stalks of grain – from the vegetable kingdom. Furthermore, in both of his dreams, Pharaoh first saw the healthy cows or stalks and then the poor ones with the good ultimately being swallowed by the bad. There is a terrible descent in both vitality and health. Negativity has no real staying power. It is always in a course of decay. Any appearance of it having substance is but a show, set up to lure man into taking its bait. The realm of holiness, however, is eternal. Any changes within it are only in a manner of increase and ascent from level to level.

Our relationship with alcohol begins with it giving us much for very little but regresses exponentially until giving us less and less for a more and more of a price. Recovery, in contrast, makes hefty demands from the outset but grows increasingly precious as the days go on.

 

Chayei Sarah Torah : Genesis 23:1-25:18| Prophets : 1 Kings 1:1-31| Gospel : John 4:3-14


Life is a Dash

 

 

 

 

Genesis (Messianic) — The Harvest

 

 

 

 

 

JANUARY 8 -THE ONE YEAR BIBLE READING TOUR- GENESIS 18:20-19:38; MATTHEW 6:25-7:14; PSALM 8:1-9; PROVERBS 2:6-15Women of the Bible: SARAH

8 Purposeful Lessons We Can Learn From Sarah In The Bible

Who is Sarah in the Bible and Why is She Important? - Beliefnet

Abraham And Isaac Walk Together Stock Photo - Download Image Now - iStock

 

Jesus and Isaac's Submission to Their Fathers - Scott LaPierre

Sarah Dies so Abraham Purchases a Field & a Cave in Hebron | The Last Days CalendarLesson 29 A Covenant Marriage Genesis The L ORD, before whom I walk, will send his angel with thee, and prosper thy way; and thou shalt take a wife. - ppt download

38 Rebecca ideas | biblical art, bible pictures, bible

 

8 Purposeful Lessons We Can Learn From Sarah In The Bible

 

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Women of the Bible - Sarah - Springs Lighthouse

 

Hebrew In Israel | Haftarah Chaye Sarah – Learn Torah – Hebrew In Israel

I_Kings

Lesson 93 Empire of David and Solomon 1 Kings 1-10 And David assembled all the princes of Israel, the princes of the tribes, and the captains of the companies. - ppt download

 

071014 David Passing The Reigns 1 Kings 1 2 Dale Wells

 

 

Solomon At Davids Deathbed Stock Photo - Download Image Now - iStock

 

THE QUEEN MOTHER IN THE DAVIDIC DYNASTY – The Marian Blogger

Is Messiah Found In The TaNaKH and Brit Chadashah? Part 2 · Mini Manna Moments

John 4:3-14

THE SAMARITAN WOMAN: her story in John's gospelWhat can we learn from the woman at the well? | GotQuestions.org

 

 

john 4:25 – I Live For JESUS !

 

 

 

 

John 4:14. A Destined Meeting at the Well - Wellspring Christian Ministries

 

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Women of the Bible - Sarah - Springs LighthouseBold Women of the Bible: Deborah - Just Boldly Go37 Deborah the Prophetess and Judge ideas | bible, bible women, judge

The Bible Story of Deborah-Prophetess - YouTube

 

 

The Judges: Victory in the Hand of Deborah | United Church of GodA Fearless Leader: A Bible Story About Deborah (Called and Courageous Girls) - Signed by the illustrator! — Eric Elwell Art

 

 

Women of the Bible – Jael | the Word chickWho Was Jael In The Bible? A Character Study | Jack Wellman

Old Testament & New Testament. Women of the Bible The Bible is full of women who became unexpected heroines and surprising instruments of God's story. - ppt download

 

 

Amazon.com: Psalm 46:5" God Is Within Her, She Will Not Fall" Bible Verse Quote Wall Art - Unframed 11 x 14 Woman's Face Watercolor Print - Inspirational Gift for Family & Friends

Women…

Mothers, sisters, daughters, cousins, aunts…

infants, little girls, teens, youthful, young, vibrant…

young women, young mom’s, young wives…

elderly, wise, full of years, survivors of much…experience, insight, fearless…

Women…

God’s daughters….His beautiful crowning creation…

Trafficked, abused, marginalized, second class citizens…chattel, booty, prized possession, captive in a harem…

This is history. This is factual. This is a travesty.

But take heart dear one! He is restoring all things! He is not only restoring His Shabbat, Feast Days and Torah, but He is also restoring His lovely ladies to their role, design and function!

I want to share with you a show Keisha Gallagher and I did a while back and I want to share with you some other resources that may be a blessing to you! For my brothers, I urge you to ask Yah to help you to see the truth of false doctrinal teachings regarding women! I will post some resources that will assist you in your own studies on this topic!

Healing for the Nations with A Modern Day Samaritan Woman

A Life of One Day at a Time – Chayei Sarah

Abraham was old, come along in days”—Genesis 24:1.

This week’s Torah reading describes Abraham as being “old, come along in days.” What is the difference between the two? If one has already been told that Abraham was old, why is it necessary to add that he also lived many days?

The answer is that to be “old” means to have lived a long time, but says nothing about how one spent his time. To “come along in days” describes the manner in which a person’s life was lived. Abraham did not merely pass through life, racking up the years. His years were made up of much smaller units of time—days. He lived with the knowledge that there will never again be a time like this time right now. He had a sensitivity to the significance of each moment, and succeeded in actualizing whatever unique opportunities presented themselves. If I live my life right, then I am not just “x” amount of years old. I am the product of days, hours and minutes lived to their fullest G‑dly potential.

Even the smallest unit of time is a distinct creation never to be replicated againThere are some who push through life just trying to get from one day to the next. There are others who say that every moment is to be savored, not just endured. Abraham’s attitude surpassed both of these. He saw every moment as something to be put to use. Even the smallest unit of time is a distinct creation never to be replicated again. Today’s work is not tomorrow’s. The call of the hour is not that of the next.

When those of us in recovery speak about taking sobriety “one-day-at-a-time,” we don’t just mean breaking up time into manageable chunks. We mean that to stay sober, we need to stay in the moment. We have to be in the now; we need to know that we were brought to this place and time at this very second to serve a purpose and be of use to our fellow and our Creator. We need to be aware that we are being given a gift that will never be precisely replicated.

When we were drinking or drugging, the past dogged us with remorse and resentment; the future loomed before us with fear and dread. The present was barely tolerated or frittered away with procrastination. As sober people in recovery, we still have difficulty relating to time. But sober living, and the kind of spiritual awareness that it demands from us, have helped us to learn how to look with keen eyes at the opportunities for service brought by each moment.

Whereas aging takes no special effort or insight, truly living means to “come along” in days, hours, minutes and seconds—all put to good use in our service to man and G‑d.

VAYERA TORAH : GENESIS 18:1-22:24| PROPHETS : 2 KINGS 4:1-37| GOSPEL : LUKE 17:28-37


 

 

 

This week, as usual, we have many rabbit trails! (Some like to call them “rabbi trails).

 

Rabbit Trails are Good! - Homeschool Legacy

                                       We have much terrain to cover! Let’s get started!

Part A) Weekly Torah Portion: 04 VAYERA - HE APPEARED - GENESIS 18:1-22:24 - YouTube

                                            Is He not the God of the impossible?

Products Tagged "Is Anything Too Hard For the Lord" - GraceLaced

Sarah's Last Laugh – Genesis 18:1-15; 21:1-7 – Pastor Mandi

                                               OH!!! The tests we all go through!

What Does Genesis 22:7 Mean?

 

Torah Portion – Vayera “He appeared” | Oh Happy Daze

Game: Fast Forward | Family | BoardGameGeek

 

                                                                Sodom and Gomorrah

 

Genesis 19 - Holy Bible English - BibleWordings.comGenesis 19:1-3 Lot sat in gate of Sodom, and when he saw the two angels he invited them to spend the night at his house. Click for next slide. - ppt download

 

 

The Offering of Lot's Daughters (Interpret, Preach and Draw) - YouTube

**SEE BELOW FOR MORE INSIGHT INTO THAT TOPIC!

 

God's Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah - YouTube

 

Don't Look Back, You're Not Going That Way!” – Jeanie Shepard MinistriesLot's Wife Drawing by James Robinson

 

                                                   There is nothing new under the sun! 

 

Jerks Of The Bible Series | Entry #5: Lot – Dust Off The Bible

 

Male RAPE by Women: Myth or Fact?13 Best Lot's Daughters ideas | lot's daughters, sodom and gomorrah, zoar

New Testament BCM 103 Dr. Dave Mathewson Gordon College/Denver Seminary. - ppt download

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Are we vessels for His honor or do we bring dishonor to our King and His kingdom?

 

 

 

The Daughters Of Sarah Around The World13 Best Lot's Daughters ideas | lot's daughters, sodom and gomorrah, zoarPin on QuotesII Kings

VaYERA” / “HE Appeared” – (YAHUSHUA HA MASHIACH) THE CHIEF CORNERSTONE Ministry Congregation, Glasgow (Scotland, U.K.)

Haftorah Portion

 

Luke BUT THE SAME DAY THAT LOT WENT OUT OF SODOM IT RAINED FIRE AND BRIMSTONE

Remember Lot's Wife" - Sermon - May 17, 2020 - YouTube

   ***EXTRA READING/VIDEO’S***

               No Looking Back

 As I looked in the mirror and saw the bunny trails returning, I thought “now what do I do about them” Those dreaded stinking bunny trials. When I got my last Botox injections, I knew it was only temporary, as with the fillers.  Only a temporary fix.  I told my husband and my anti-aging doctor I wanted the lifestyle lift.  It was more permanent than filler and injections and less invasive and expensive than a face lift. Less down time.  Made sense to me.   They both frowned.  So did I. I didn’t call the shots, the one with the money and the one with the needles did.

Here I am, in a shelter for women fleeing domestic abuse worrying about returning bunny trials….how stupid and superficial!  Three times I have left the destructive relationship, two times I have returned due to the financial situation…and dare I look back at the pleasures enjoyed?  The messages, the facials, the access to an anti-aging doctor, a good chiropractor`, manicures, pedicures.  A beautiful house, a house cleaner, good organic food.  Vacations, shopping sprees, what more could a woman want?

Reality.  Damage Control…Therapy, medications, stress so bad the chiropractic adjustments wouldn’t hold, the messages didn’t undo the layers of  knots in my shoulders, the manicures and pedicures were less than what I needed.  Botox and fillers couldn’t erase the added 10 years of aging in the less than 4 years of marriage.  I had to go back the The House.  No amount of exterior excursions could change the fact that I had to go back to The House. To The Abusive Husband.

As I looked at my traumatic chaotic life and the great losses, the Lord said, “do not look back”.  What? Was that You Lord?”  I was unsure. All through the day Lots wife came to my mind.  I pondered why she looked back as the Lord’s angel was delivering her and her family from destruction.  Did she, too, have a leisurely lifestyle and nice pretty clothes and a beautiful home?

I reviewed the reasons I returned to the relationship 2 times previously and also the outcomes of returning. There was no change in him thus no change in the marriage. Since returning from Florida the last time I left him I needed to take Xanax when I knew he was on his way home from the office. I took it on the weekends to keep calm around him.  Depression and anxiety were my everyday norms now. Did I want to continue living like this or was I willing to trust God and let Him lead me on a final Exodus journey into the life He wants me to live. 

This time there was no returning; no looking back. I was wasting my life on an illusion that my husband controlled.  When I pulled aside the illusion and tried to confront his fantasy world all hell broke loose.  I was the crazy one, I was the one on meds, I was the one that twisted things and abused him. I was the one playing the victim…well, no more!  I came to a decision…  No more games, no more lies, no more power and control over me. Enough was enough!

No looking back this time.  So let the bunnies run the trails on my aging face.  May I age gracefully free in the arms of the One who won my freedom.

                                        Now, a word from big brother Judah!

Vayeira (Genesis 18-22)

Don't Look Back

                                                        Don’t get stuck in the past.


We’ve all made mistakes and bad decisions in life and unfortunately we sometimes have a problem getting those mistakes out of our system. This week, the Torah warns us that looking back and focusing too much on the past can result in spiritual and physical stagnation.

Lot’s family was warned not to look back when they leave the city of Sodom, a city that was being destroyed for its total lack of morality (Gen 19:17). Instead of focusing on the past, they needed to focus primarily on the future.

Lot’s wife ignored the warning and looked back. As a consequence she was turned into a “pillar of salt.” Salt is the ultimate preservative; she is essentially mummified — frozen into the same position for all of eternity, never able to grow or change.

A person needs to be able to admit to his failings, make amends, roll his sleeves up, and start over. To focus any more than necessary on the past will inhibit the opportunities presented to us to maximize our potential and move forward into the future. King Solomon says it all when he teaches, “A bad person will fall once and never again get up, whereas a righteous person will fall seven times and get up again each and every time.”

(Based on the teachings of Rav Avigdor M

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VIDEO OF TORAH PORTION BELOW

 

https://www.alephbeta.org/playlist/real-sin-of-sodom-gomorrah

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“Lot and His Daughters” by Georg Pencz (Wikimedia)

Violence Against Women

Parashat Vayera offers many instances of abuse towards female biblical characters.

This extraordinarily rich parashah filled with violence — not just the obvious and dramatic violence of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and the incipient violence of the binding of Isaac, but also various, more ordinary, forms of violence against women. Half-buried in the vivid description of the people of Sodom gathering around Lot‘s house and demanding the strangers staying with him is Lot’s reply, “Look–I have two daughters who have never been intimate with a man; let me bring them out for you, and do to them as you please.

But do nothing to these men, for they have come under the shelter of my roof” (19:8). While a later midrash will see Lot’s offer as evidence that he was infected by the wickedness of Sodom and picture him as having been punished (Tanchuma Vayera 12), the biblical text offers no explicit judgment on his behavior. The violence of the people of Sodom merits the destruction of the city, but the willingness of Lot to see his daughters assaulted and raped is apparently unworthy of comment.

Abraham & Sarah

At the beginning of Genesis 20, we have another form of violence: the second of two stories (or two versions of the same story; see 12:10-20) in which Abraham seeks to pass off his wife Sarah as his sister in order to protect himself. In this passage, Abimelech, king of Gerar, seizes Sarah, but her potential rape is averted when God keeps Abimelech from touching her. The similar tale will be repeated once again in relation to Isaac and Rebekah (26:6-11).

The three-fold reiteration of the narrative suggests that it might serve as a paradigm of the situation of Jewish women. The first two male ancestors of the Jews, perceiving themselves as “other” and therefore endangered in foreign lands, use their wives as buffers between themselves and the larger culture. The women become the “others’ other,” the ones whose safety and well-being can be sacrificed in order to save the patriarchs’ skins.

The story names a pattern that becomes a recurring part of Jewish history: male Jews, subordinated by the dominant culture, in turn subordinate women within their own cultures, doubling the otherness that partly mirrors their own. As in the case of Lot’s offering his daughters to the people of Sodom, the biblical text offers no comment on or protest against this situation. Unlike when God appears to Abimelech in a dream and threatens him with death unless he releases Sarah (Genesis 12), God does not explicitly chastise Abraham or Lot.

Sarah & Hagar

Then, in Genesis 21, we meet still another form of violence–this time Sarah’s violence against Hagar. After Sarah bears Isaac in her old age, she tells Abraham to throw the slave girl Hagar and her son Ishmael out of the house, so that Ishmael will not share in his father’s inheritance along with Isaac. The violence that is practiced by Abraham against Sarah, she now recapitulates in relation to the most vulnerable person in her own household. Thus, the cycle of abuse goes on. In this context, not only does the text not judge Sarah, but God is explicitly on her side, telling Abraham to listen to Sarah because her son Isaac will be the bearer of the covenantal line.

This Torah portion makes clear that our ancestors are by no means always models of ethical behavior that edify and inspire us. On the contrary, often the Torah holds up a mirror to the ugliest aspects of human nature and human society. It provides us with opportunities to look honestly at ourselves and the world we have created, to reflect on destructive patterns of human relating, and to ask how we might address and change them. In Lot’s treatment of his daughters-and in the Torah’s lack of comment on that treatment–can we see the casual acceptance, indeed the invisibility, of violence against women that is so ubiquitous in many cultures, including our own?

In Abraham’s seeming lack of concern about the fate of Sarah, can we see the ways in which marginalized peoples are all too liable to duplicate patterns of subordination from which they themselves have suffered? In Sarah’s banishment of Hagar, can we see the horizontal violence that oppressed people visit on each other as they jockey for what seems to them limited resources, rather than making common cause against the forces that suppress them? And what do we do when we see ourselves enacting these patterns in our own personal and political lives? How do we respond to and interrupt them?

It is striking that throughout the portion, God is implicated in the violence in the text. Except in the case of Lot’s willingness to sacrifice his daughters, God carries out or commands the violence (Sodom and Gomorrah; Isaac) or supports it (Abraham and Sarah; Sarah and Hagar). The representations of violence that the text holds up to us are ones on which the human and divine levels mirror each other. There is no cosmic relief, so to speak, from the reality of violence. Abraham’s challenge to God over the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah can thus be seen as a question to both God and ourselves. “Must not the Judge of all the earth do justly?” Abraham asks God. “Will You indeed sweep away the innocent along with the wicked?” (18:23).

The implication of these questions is that it is the judge of all the earth who creates the ethical norms that Abraham reflects back to God and to which he holds God answerable. But the moral voice in this passage is Abraham’s voice. What happens to that moral vision two chapters later when Abraham betrays his wife Sarah? Can we read these narratives in ways that strengthen our resolve to hold both ourselves and God accountable to standards of justice that we recognize and value-and yet continually violate?

Reprinted with permission from The Torah: A Women’s Commentary, edited by Tamara Cohn Eskenazi and Andrea L. Weiss (New York: URJ Press and Women of Reform Judaism, 2008).

 

Female on Male Rape in the Bible

Lot’s Daughters: The men of Sodom, but they’re women

Valentine Wiggin

Jun 10, 2019·3 min read

Genesis 19:30–38, at least to me, is one of the most disturbing passages in the Bible. In this passage, Lot’s two daughters got him drunk and raped him in order to preserve his family line. Although this is just one of many horrible things people did in the Bible, this one stands out due to the fact that male victims of rape, especially by female rapists, go overlooked and are even ridiculed.

This incident inverts traditional power dynamics in a family unit. One would expect Lot, the father and the man, to be the rapist, but his daughters, the women his offspring, were the rapists. Some people might take this as a warning against allowing women to have power, but, this power was not delegated to them. Instead, they violently seized power from Lot while he was in a compromising position. Such is the case with all rapes no matter the gender of the victim or the rapist.

If Lot were female and raped by her sons in order to continue the family line, the rape would be acknowledged as such: a rape. However, other sources do not use the word “rape” to describe the incident. One source even suggests that Lot lusted after his own daughters and knew what happened to him, but that does not justify his daughters’ actions or make them any less serious. Others might try to point to the apparent lack of available men, but, again, consensual incest was the overlooked option. Their sons, Ben-ammi and Moab, even had names that referred to their mothers’ crimes; their descendants came to be hated by the rest of ancient Israel.

Ironically, before this happened, Lot offered his daughters to be raped in the place of his guests. However, it does not carry the same satisfaction that “eye-for-an-eye” moments typically do. Perhaps one could see Lot’s desperation as the men of Sodom surrounded his house or that the rape did not solve any initial problems or bring about any sense of justice. Instead, it left Israel with two hated tribes, both of which were banned from places of worship, and Lot probably feeling conflicted about his rape and unable to do anything about it because he was a man. Though they left the city of Sodom, the city of Sodom did not leave them, especially the two daughters.

The city of Sodom was not conducive to the development of healthy sexuality, not due to homosexuality as some have been taught, but due to the absence of consent and mutual enjoyment seen in both the men who wanted to rape the angels and Lot’s daughters raping their father. When sex is nonconsensual, it strips someone of their power in a way that humiliates the victim and disregards the value of the human body. I don’t know how it took me seven years to realize the connection between the men of Sodom and Lot’s daughters, but seeing it now made me realize how foolish I was to overlook the nature of Lot’s daughters as being like that of the men of Sodom.

Are You Living in Sodom? #MeToo

The biblical city had a culture of rape — and it wasn’t the victims’ faults.

 

#MeToo. Tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, millions of women are saying it. I’ve said it too, in this blog.

I’ve told stories about home invasion. Police laughing at our report. An attacker on the ferry. A rude boss with an onion fetish.

These aren’t easy stories to tell. For 20 years I was afraid to sleep, afraid of my own bed. But I can speak now.

Because 20 more years have passed. My body no longer recoils when I remember.

And because these stories are straightforward. Even the most judgmental critics could agree. I was exactly where I should be: home, work, and public transit. Wearing what I should wear: pajamas, long-sleeves, a heavy coat. Doing what I should be doing: writing, sleeping, stacking boxes.

But I’ve got other stories, too. More recent stories. Stories I’m ashamed to tell – because I’m not sure they would be viewed as assaults. When I tell them, I second guess myself. They took place in men’s homes, offices and cars. Places I could have chosen not to go. Offers of hospitality I could have declined. By being a guest, did I implicitly consent?

No, says the Torah. No, no, no. A host may not assault a guest. Remember the story of Sodom? A city so horrid God planned to destroy it?

Two men — traveling angels in disguise — arrive in town. Through their eyes, we see the horror: Sodom has a culture of rape. No one but Lot will shelter the travelers overnight. A mob storms Lot’s house, yelling, “Give us the men so we can rape them!” Lot knows he ought not to surrender his guests. So he says, “Take my daughters instead.” The angels stop him and strike the mob with blindness. Early the next morning, they grab Lot’s wife and daughters and run. They save Lot too — an incomprehensible move until you read the conclusion of this grim fable.

Fire and brimstone rain down on the city. Mrs. Lot dies. Lot and daughters set up camp in a cave. Surely by now, Lot’s daughters hate him. “I wouldn’t want you as the grandfather of my children unless you were the last man on earth!” they must think. But guess what? Recent experience tells them he is the last man on earth. So they drug him and rape him — to harvest his sperm. Thus, they believe, they save the human race.

What’s the sin of Sodom? Our prophets Amos, Ezekiel,  and Jeremiah offer interpretations. Oppression. Idolatry. Arrogance. Adultery. But the peshat, the simple text of the story, is less delicate.

Sodom is a rape culture. Enter the city at your own risk. Accept hospitality and you’ve invited assault. One ethical man lives there. But he’s a rapist too. And he’s initiated his children into the culture.

I want to believe that we aren’t in Sodom. That women, men, and children are safe from sexual assault. That hospitality is sacred. That if my host attacks me, he, not I, has sinned. I want to believe.

But I don’t believe it yet. Because #MeToo keeps rolling in. We’re still discovering the painful truth. Too many of us feel we are in Sodom — unable to see the way out.

 

TORAH : GENESIS 12:1-17:27| PROPHETS : ISAIAH 40:27-41:16| GOSPEL : JOHN 8:51-58


 

Parashot Lech Lecha n.03 The Illustrated Torah Scroll - Studio in Venice

 

 

Genesis 12:1 Now the Lord said to Abram,“Go forth from your country,And from your relativesAnd from your father's house,To the land which I will show you;

Parasha Lech Lecha (Go Forth!): Leaving Home to Go Home | Messianic Bible

 

Isaiah 46: 4 KJV | List Of Verses | Inspirational words, Isaiah 46, Book of isaiah

 

 

 

 

 

The Lord Our Strength – Isaiah 40:27-41:20 – The Little Church in the Vale

 

Jesus: The Way, The Truth, & The Life: Isaiah 40:27-31 - Applying the knowledge of God's greatness

 

Isaiah 40:27-31 "Do you not know?" - YouTube

I AM: The Light of the World | First Presbyterian Church

ARGUING WITH THE GREAT I AM (A WOMAN TRANSFORMED BY THE GOSPEL) PART I LESSON 5 - Dee Brestin Ministries

 

Father Wounds…

Takes time to heal…renewing our minds with His truth about us is one of the most powerful ways to be reprogrammed…renewing those old tapes takes time, I am still working on it…and many events in life give ample opportunity to the enemy to press play on those old tapes…we have the way of pressing stop!

We are His…His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works.

Uncategorized – Page 21 – WGCK BETHANY WORSHIP CENTRE – ELDORET

Affirmation: I am worthy, enough & beautiful - ReflectandRespond

Sometimes, we really do need to leave our earthly father’s “house”…

his way of thinking, doing and even his perspective…

on life, on us ,on Yah

to follow the great I am that I am…

to become who He created us to be…

too many of us are still carrying father wounds…

but, we have a way out of the old country to the new…

out of darkness to light…

out of lies to truth…

Is it time for you to leave your fathers house to your Father’s house?

 

fathers | The Mighty

 

 

Absent Father Quotes From Son. QuotesGram

The Heartache of Father Wounds: Three Reasons to Embrace God as Father | Dr. Michelle Bengtson

Healing the Father Wound — Brya Hanan, LMFT

The Disciple and Trauma - Saturate

 

Pin on A Love Story: God for His People

Recovery wisdom from our older brother Judah:

Leaving Self to Find Yourself – Lech Lecha

“Go from your land, from your birthplace and from your father’s house to the land which I will show you”—Genesis 12:1.

This week’s reading begins with G‑d‘s command to Abraham to go forth from his birthplace and travel to the land which would eventually be given to him and his descendants. On a deeper level, this narrative describes not only Abraham’s geographical relocation, but tells about his spiritual journey of self-discovery. Implied in the words of G‑d‘s command is an instruction to Abraham that he abandon every aspect of self—and be willing to become something totally unknown to him.

Here is how the verse may be interpreted, in the context of a spiritual journey:

“Go from your land…”—The Hebrew word for land, eretz, shares a common root with the word for will, ratzon. G‑d told Abraham to surrender his own desires and leave self-will behind.

“…from your birthplace…”—G‑d also told Abraham to abandon all of his traits that were a product of his environment and conditioning—all of the effects of his ‘birthplace.’

“…from your father’s house…”—In Kabbalah, the capacity to generate new ideas is called ‘father,’ because the potential for insight is the progenitor of feelings and behavior. Thus, G‑d told Abraham to leave his intellectual pre-conditioning behind, and allow himself to grasp an entirely new way of thinking.

“…to the land which I will show you…”—G‑d did not specify to Abraham where he was heading, but only told him to leave where he was. He would be shown where to settle when he got there. There he would be shown an entirely new way of being.

For many of us, recovery from alcoholism and addiction has meant a discovery of a new self; but first we had to be ready to let go of everything we thought that made us who we were.

We need to examine the story of Abraham for inspiration and instruction—for our stories in recovery have followed this same pattern. Like Abraham, we had to leave our will, our habits and our mode of thinking behind. Common sense dictated that if were we to remain our old selves, it was highly unlikely that we would not return to our old using behaviors. We needed to seek G‑d’s help in changing ourselves (Steps 1-3). We even mustered up the courage to face the truth of exactly who we were (Steps 4-5). We even agreed that we were not just giving up alcohol—but most everything about our desires, our conditioning and our way of thinking (Steps 6-7). We were ready to let go of everything that made us who we were and become someone completely different. But, like Abraham, we had no idea where we were going and what we would become. We simply trusted in G‑d—that it was He who was guiding our path. After forsaking all that was known and comfortable to us, He would help us to arrive at the destination He had planned for us.

As we continued to follow the Steps, we found ourselves changing. Nature abhors a vacuum, and wherever we had pushed out our old self, G‑d came rushing in to fill the void. We slowly began to recognize our new selves, our true selves—an optimistic, confident and humble soul who could live life without the bottle or the pipe.

This amazing process of self-discovery also mirrors the journey of Abraham. “To the land which I will show you,” may also be read “to the land where I will show you.” So, it is not that G‑d just shows you the land; G‑d takes you to the place where He can show and reveal yourself to you. The bold venture into the unknown culminates with G‑d showing us who we really are. In order to get there, we need to pay attention to His call — to leave behind everything we thought we were.

B’reisheet Torah : Genesis 1:1-6:8| Prophets : Isaiah 42:5-43:10| Gospel : John 1:1-17


 

 

In The Beginning…

 

Have we been lied to? And if so, then what are the lies? How deep do they go? Let’s explore some of these topics in this week’s Torah Portion…

Note this…for me, flat earth is not a salvation issue, however, this has led many atheists to His Word and His Torah…

Note this…it DOES matter how He designed the first woman…I believe He is restoring all things…and this is one of them.

Do not debate, educate!

The Earth Is Not A Globe! – Hidden Peoples And false Doctrines Exposed

I want to share with you one of my favorite writers.Keisha Gallagher’s website is called Grace in Torah. This website has a series on the role, design and function of woman. There are other Hebrew Scholars that also help people to understand what He is saying to us about how He designed woman.

Role of Women

Another author, Skip Moen, also assists us in our endeavors to know His truth.

https://skipmoen.com/tag/guardian-angel/

And yet another resource for you to glean from!

https://godswordtowomen.org/bushnell.htm

Haftarah Instagram posts (photos and videos) - Picuki.com

 

We walk blindly, not knowing who we are, not knowing who each other is…shooting our wounded…telling them its their fault because of x,y and z…many tell women how wrong they are when they are actually walking out their God-given design…women are disrespected because they are not allowed to walk as she was originally designed to walk…imbalance is the result.

We are all out of balance, and will remain out of balance until we allow the Ruach Ha’Kodesh to teach us the truths so long ago hidden with words…twisted words.

Summertown Church of the Nazarene

KI TAVO TORAH : DEUTERONOMY 26:1-29:8| PROPHETS : ISAIAH 60:1-22| GOSPEL : MATTHEW 4:13-24

 

Deuteronomy 27-28: Blessings and Curses before entering the Land – Hallel Fellowship

 

 

 

June 23rd: Bible Meditation for Deuteronomy 28 | Free Daily Bible Study

Green Street Beach, Hollywood Florida 8/21/2021 Deliverance Service preparing the Bride for the Fall Feasts! Please see below for information on two Torah Pursuant Deliverance Ministries for both education and deliverance!

 

May be an image of one or more people, people standing, body of water and nature

Isaiah 60:1 Inspirational ImagesJesus: The Way, The Truth, & The Life: Isaiah 60:14-22 - The glory of Israel in the Kingdom contrasted with their previous state.Isaiah 60 | Bible Teaching Notes

 

Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons Words of Jesus | Words of jesus, Jesus heals, Jesus

 

Feast of Tabernacles, 2020 High Springs, Florida, I participated in another deliverance ministry session. Pastor Gil drove for many miles from his home in Miami, Florida to assist those who wanted to get free from strongholds and “lassos”. Those brave enough to be honest of their struggles with the demonic came forward and received ministry and deliverance.

Feast of Tabernacles 2015 was my very first Sukkot. I met a woman who was instrumental in my journey to true freedom. She helped me detox from prescription medications by taking me into her own home and nursing me back to health. During my stay at her beautiful farmhouse, I read a book called Unloving by Henry Wright. I was drawn to the title as it defined how I felt. I had just left yet another abusive marriage and was desperate for healing. My friend suggested I attend Be In Health in Georgia…long story short, it WAS the Ruach HaKodesh leading me to go, so I did…and what I witnessed was people getting free from demons…

My next experience was at the congregation I was a part of in upstate New York. The pastor brought a deliverance team from the state of Florida to conduct a weekend deliverance ministry. The small church was packed. I went in the direction of the Ruach HaKodesh. I was overwhelmed when some of the people I knew and respected began to manifest different demons…over the course of two days, I saw many manifestations of demons…this totally broke any denial still lurking in my mind!

My eyes were opened. Wide. I could NOT unsee and inexperience what I personally witnessed of my own deliverance and those of the other folks. I knew the body of Messiah was in big trouble. And, in denial of the reality of the spirit realm. And, how these very demons are the things that are causing such division in the body of Messiah, the conflicts and domestic abuse, porn addiction, child abuse, etc. within His body!

This past weekend, I and a friend drove to Hollywood, Florida, to participate in a deliverance immersion held by Pastor Gil of Torah Deliverance Ministry located in Miami Florida. Many from his congregation united at Green Street Beach on a hot Shabbat morning.

I had sensed strongholds from my ancestry stemming from the occult/freemasonry. My great uncle was a great man, a Yale graduate, one of America’s leading American History Historians, a Professor at Yale University for many years, and an Oxford Cambridge Fellow. My other uncle was a Professor at Cornell University and a Yale man also I believe, also, I believe, another Yale grad. My great-grandmother graduated from Havard/Radcliffe. My cousin, involved in some very dark secret societies was also a big question mark for me.  Yes, I sensed some things from my ancestors was still in operation in my life…I had felt cursed since I was a young child. My life was very difficult and seemed to attract demonic attacks since I was very young…suicidal from the tender age of eight, sexual abuse and physical abuse the driving force behind years of self-medicating that trauma with drugs, booze, numerous toxic relationships,  eating disorder, and a number of other self-destructive behaviors.

So… during this deliverance session in the cool waters of Green Street Beach, Hollywood Florida, the deliverance team was able to target the demonic strongholds rooted in my ancestors’ disobedience and involvement in the occult…a deep deep anger arose in me…up and out, you demon of darkness!!! You do not belong in a child of the Most High!!! Those tormenting, harassing spirits had to flee in the mighty name of Yeshua!!!

In my 3o years of pursuing recovery and healing from childhood trauma and various addictions, I have had seasons of deliverance. One does not walk where I have walked without opening portals for demons…childhood abuse is a portal the enemy takes full advantage of. Spirits of fear, lust, rejection, bitterness, and other spirits enter in, creating a lifelong pattern of relationship issues. How do I know? Because that is my own story. And the story of many others. Like Mary Magdalene…some of us need deliverance.

What shocks me and frustrates me is that so many people who come into an understanding of His Torah, feast days, and Shabbat deny that demons are still an issue! Let me give you a recent personal experience:

I have recently been attacked by two women on the subject of divorce and also regarding Christian Counseling. I have been accused of being used by the enemy to harm people. But yet, these women, who do not even know me, accused me,  disrespected the boundaries I set and continued to harass me. One went so far as to jump on a live Facebook show hosted by a marriage and family therapist who is Torah pursuant demanding the therapist provide scriptures to prove that Yeshua allowed divorce and remarriage. After the show ended she began harassing and attacking both the therapist and I. So, here are two women, supposedly walking in His Word, attacking, accusing, demanding. This is spiritual abuse, this is not loving one’s neighbor as commanded in Torah! One even told me I needed to repent for being a Christian counselor and leading people astray! Funny, I have never even been a “Christian Counselor. I share this with you to show you the insanity of what is going on even within our own places where we turn for fellowship! And this is being allowed!

So, Laura Lee, how do you handle it? I cried out to Him, asking Him to show me if I AM wrong. Just as in the past when I have been attacked by others (this is not the first time with one of the women) He has always rallied around me and whispered in my ear His love and He has shown me their wrongness…and He has shown me in scripture truth…

I repent of my own anger, my own hurt emotions, and I pray for those who spit in my face and accuse me of doing evil.

Sorry for the rabbit trail…let’s get back on track…

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Isaiah 61

He came to set the captives free! He came not only healing the sick but Also casting out devils and He commissioned His disciples to do the same!!! Do you consider yourself His disciple? Then you may be commissioned to assist others in getting free! We all have a calling, we all have been given gifts and talents to be used in these last days!

But! It is highly recommended that one deals with their own log first! IE…get delivered first! Make sure you are walking clean before Him, walking in obedience before one takes on this kind of ministry! The enemy knows us by name and he knows every wound that has been inflicted in us because he was the one behind that wounding! These are the very things he uses against us in every area of our lives!

The Sons of Sceva

11 And God was doing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, 12 so that even handkerchiefs or aprons that had touched his skin were carried away to the sick, and their diseases left them and the evil spirits came out of them. 13 Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists undertook to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “I adjure you by the Jesus whom Paul proclaims.” 14 Seven sons of a Jewish high priest named Sceva were doing this. 15 But the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I recognize, but who are you?” 16 And the man in whom was the evil spirit leaped on them, mastered all[a] of them and overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. 17 And this became known to all the residents of Ephesus, both Jews and Greeks. And fear fell upon them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was extolled. 18 Also many of those who were now believers came, confessing and divulging their practices. 19 And a number of those who had practiced magic arts brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted the value of them and found it came to fifty thousand pieces of silver. 20 So the word of the Lord continued to increase and prevail mightily.

We live in the last day’s folks, time is short…the King IS coming!!! But first, there comes a time of great upheaval…many hearts will fail due to fear…Let us be strong in Him! Let us be about our Father’s business…let us get out of the boat and be water walking warriors filled with His Spirit…so filled with Him that we do those greater works He said we would do! Let us be His last day disciples!!!

Do not get me wrong…I do not follow Chabad, but I do not believe in throwing the baby out with the bathwater, but brother Judah can teach us a few things about the Torah and recovery from addictions…so please give some grace!

Is Unhappiness a Sin? – Ki Tavo

“Because you did not serve G‑d with joy and a happy heart…”—Deuteronomy 28:47.

In this week’s portion, we find a lengthy description of the dire consequences to be faced by G‑d‘s people should they fail to serve Him properly after entering the Land. The results for untoward behavior include: desolation, famine, war, illness and exile.

Among the transgressions which bring on all these troubles is unhappiness. Yes, unhappiness! “Because you did not serve G‑d with joy and a happy heart…”

But is being unhappy a sin? How can one be punished for a thing like that? If G‑d punishes people for being unhappy, that would rather seem like kicking a man when he’s down.

Happiness is a decision. And like all decisions, it has consequences these questions, however, only arise from a fundamental misunderstanding of what happiness is. We tend to see happiness as an indicator of outside conditions. If things are going well for us, we are happy. If things are rough, we are – or have cause to be – unhappy. The word itself implies that happiness is something that happens to us; that when we are happy, it’s due to good fortune. Conversely, whenever we are unhappy it is because we have caught a bad break and suffered some kind of mishap.

But G‑d tells us that this is not so. Happiness is a decision. And like all decisions, it has consequences. And G‑d does not punish people for being unhappy. He warns us about the trouble that unhappiness can bring.

We alcoholics and addicts can testify to the disastrous consequences of unhappiness. Why else did we keep coming back for more of a beating from alcohol other than the fact that we were fundamentally unhappy? We found life to be a frequent source of disappointment and aggravation. It was never good enough to make us feel content and at ease. We were “men and women… [who] are restless, irritable and discontented unless they can again experience the sense of ease and comfort which comes at once by taking a few drinks.” (Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, p. xxvii)

Our spiritual program of recovery gives us the tools to change ourselves into people who are comfortable with life. It teaches us how to be happy; and that our happiness is not a result of what happens, but of the ideas, attitudes and actions we choose. If we do not use the tools of recovery, we find ourselves quickly growing weary and agitated with life. We steep in self-pity and rage and, eventually, we relapse. Then there is the resulting chaos, with the possible end results of destruction and death.

So, is unhappiness a sin? What difference does it make what you call it? The result is the same.

As for happiness, there is no limit to the blessings that being happy can bring.

Torah Deliverance Ministry

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