Moed Sh’mini Atzeret

 

Parasha for Moed Sh’mini Atzeret:

Parashah Moed Sh’mini Atzeret:

D’varim (Deuteronomy) 14:22-16:17

B’midbar (Numbers) 29:35-30:1

D’varim (Deuteronomy) 33:1-34:12

B’resheet (Genesis) 1:1-2:3

Haftorah Sh’mini Atzeret:

M’lakhim Alef (1 Kings) 8:54-9:1

Y’hoshua (Joshua) 1:1-18

B’rit Hadashah Sh’mini Atzeret:

Mattityahu (Matthew) 5-7

Mark 12:28-34

Romans 7-8

Chazon (Revelation) 21:1-22:5

 

Moed Sh’mini Atzeret Readings:

D’varim 14:22-16:17

Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

14

22 “Every year you must take one tenth of everything your seed produces in the field, 23 and eat it in the presence of Adonai your God. In the place where he chooses to have his name live you will eat the tenth of your grain, new wine and olive oil, and the firstborn of your cattle and sheep, so that you will learn to fear Adonai your God always. 24 But if the distance is too great for you, so that you are unable to transport it, because the place where Adonai chooses to put his name is too far away from you; then, when Adonai your God prospers you, 25 you are to convert it into money, take the money with you, go to the place which Adonai your God will choose, 26 and exchange the money for anything you want — cattle, sheep, wine, other intoxicating liquor, or anything you please — and you are to eat there in the presence of Adonai your God, and enjoy yourselves, you and your household.

27 “But don’t neglect the Levi staying with you, because he has no share or inheritance like yours. 28 At the end of every three years you are to take all the tenths of your produce from that year and store it in your towns. 29 Then the Levi, because he has no share or inheritance like yours, along with the foreigner, the orphan and the widow living in your towns, will come, eat and be satisfied — so that Adonai your God will bless you in everything your hands produce.

15

1 “At the end of every seven years you are to have a sh’mittah. 2 Here is how the sh’mittah is to be done: every creditor is to give up what he has loaned to his fellow member of the community — he is not to force his neighbor or relative to repay it, because Adonai’s time of remission has been proclaimed. 3 You may demand that a foreigner repay his debt, but you are to release your claim on whatever your brother owes you. 4 In spite of this, there will be no one needy among you; because Adonai will certainly bless you in the land which Adonai your God is giving you as an inheritance to possess — 5 if only you will listen carefully to what Adonai your God says and take care to obey all these mitzvot I am giving you today. 6 Yes, Adonai your God will bless you, as he promised you — you will lend money to many nations without having to borrow, and you will rule over many nations without their ruling over you.

7 “If someone among you is needy, one of your brothers, in any of your towns in your land which Adonai your God is giving you, you are not to harden your heart or shut your hand from giving to your needy brother. 8 No, you must open your hand to him and lend him enough to meet his need and enable him to obtain what he wants. 9 Guard yourself against allowing your heart to entertain the mean-spirited thought that because the seventh year, the year of sh’mittah is at hand, you would be stingy toward your needy brother and not give him anything; for then he may cry out to Adonai against you, and it will be your sin. 10 Rather, you must give to him; and you are not to be grudging when you give to him. If you do this, Adonai your God will bless you in all your work, in everything you undertake — 11 for there will always be poor people in the land. That is why I am giving you this order, ‘You must open your hand to your poor and needy brother in your land.’

12 “If your kinsman, a Hebrew man or woman, is sold to you, he is to serve you for six years; but in the seventh year, you are to set him free. 13 Moreover, when you set him free, don’t let him leave empty-handed; 14 but supply him generously from your flock, threshing-floor and winepress; from what Adonai your God has blessed you with, you are to give to him. 15 Remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and Adonai your God redeemed you; that is why I am giving you this order today. 16 But if he says to you, ‘I don’t want to leave you,’ because he loves you and your household, and because his life with you is a good one; 17 then take an awl, and pierce his ear through, right into the door; and he will be your slave forever. Do the same with your female slave. 18 Don’t resent it when you set him free, since during his six years of service he has been worth twice as much as a hired employee. Then Adonai your God will bless you in everything you do.

19 “All the firstborn males in your herd of cattle and in your flock you are to set aside for Adonai your God; you are not to do any work with a firstborn from your herd or shear a firstborn sheep. 20 Each year you and your household are to eat it in the presence of Adonai your God in the place which Adonai will choose. 21 But if it has a defect, is lame or blind, or has some other kind of fault, you are not to sacrifice it to Adonai your God; 22 rather, eat it on your own property; the unclean and the clean alike may eat it, like the gazelle or the deer. 23 Just don’t eat its blood, but pour it out on the ground like water.

16

1 “Observe the month of Aviv, and keep Pesach to Adonai your God; for in the month of Aviv, Adonai your God brought you out of Egypt at night. 2 You are to sacrifice the Pesach offering from flock and herd to Adonai your God in the place where Adonai will choose to have his name live. 3 You are not to eat any hametz with it; for seven days you are to eat with it matzah, the bread of affliction; for you came out of the land of Egypt in haste. Thus you will remember the day you left the land of Egypt as long as you live. 4 No leaven is to be seen with you anywhere in your territory for seven days. None of the meat from your sacrifice on the first day in the evening is to remain all night until morning. 5 You may not sacrifice the Pesach offering in just any of the towns that Adonai your God is giving you; 6 but at the place where Adonai your God will choose to have his name live — there is where you are to sacrifice the Pesach offering, in the evening, when the sun sets, at the time of year that you came out of Egypt. 7 You are to roast it and eat it in the place Adonai your God will choose; in the morning you will return and go to your tents. 8 For six days you are to eat matzah; on the seventh day there is to be a festive assembly for Adonai your God; do not do any kind of work.

9 “You are to count seven weeks; you are to begin counting seven weeks from the time you first put your sickle to the standing grain. 10 You are to observe the festival of Shavu‘ot [weeks] for Adonai your God with a voluntary offering, which you are to give in accordance with the degree to which Adonai your God has prospered you. 11 You are to rejoice in the presence of Adonai your God — you, your sons and daughters, your male and female slaves, the L’vi’im living in your towns, and the foreigners, orphans and widows living among you — in the place where Adonai your God will choose to have his name live. 12 Remember that you were a slave in Egypt; then you will keep and obey these laws.

13 “You are to keep the festival of Sukkot for seven days after you have gathered the produce of your threshing-floor and winepress. 14 Rejoice at your festival — you, your sons and daughters, your male and female slaves, the L’vi’im, and the foreigners, orphans and widows living among you. 15 Seven days you are to keep the festival for Adonai your God in the place Adonai your God will choose, because Adonai your God will bless you in all your crops and in all your work, so you are to be full of joy!

16 “Three times a year all your men are to appear in the presence of Adonai your God in the place which he will choose — at the festival of matzah, at the festival of Shavu‘ot and at the festival of Sukkot. They are not to show up before Adonai empty-handed, 17 but every man is to give what he can, in accordance with the blessing Adonai your God has given you.

B’midbar (Numbers) 29:35-30:1

Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

29

35 “‘On the eighth day you are to have a festive assembly: you are not to do any kind of ordinary work; 36 but you are to present a burnt offering, an offering made by fire, giving a fragrant aroma to Adonai — one bull, one ram, seven male lambs in their first year, without defect; 37 with the grain and drink offerings for the bull, the ram and the lambs, according to their number, in keeping with the rule; 38 also one male goat as a sin offering; in addition to the regular burnt offering with its grain and drink offerings.

39 “‘You are to offer these to Adonai at your designated times in addition to your vows and voluntary offerings — whether these are your burnt offerings, grain offerings, drink offerings or peace offerings.’”

30

1 (29:40) Moshe told the people of Isra’el everything, just as Adonai had ordered Moshe.

D’varim (Deuteronomy) 33:1-34:12

Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

33

33 This is the blessing that Moshe, the man of God, spoke over the people of Isra’el before his death:

2 Adonai came from Sinai;
from Se‘ir he dawned on his people,
shone forth from Mount Pa’ran;
and with him were myriads of holy ones;
at his right hand
was a fiery law for them.
3 He truly loves the peoples —
all his holy ones are in your hand;
sitting at your feet,
they receive your instruction,
4 the Torah Moshe commanded us
as an inheritance for the community of Ya‘akov.
5 Then a king arose in Yeshurun
when the leaders of the people were gathered,
all the tribes of Isra’el together.

6 “Let Re’uven live and not die out,
even though his numbers grow few.”

7 Of Y’hudah he said:

“Hear, Adonai, the cry of Y’hudah!
Bring him in to his people,
let his own hands defend him;
but you, help him against his enemies.”

8 Of Levi he said:

“Let your tumim and urim
be with your pious one,
whom you tested at Massah,
with whom you struggled at M’rivah Spring.
9 Of his father and mother he said, ‘I don’t know them’;
he didn’t acknowledge his brothers or children.
For he observed your word,
and he kept your covenant.
10 They will teach Ya‘akov your rulings,
Isra’el your Torah.
They will set incense before you
and whole burnt offerings on your altar.
11 Adonai, bless his possessions,
accept the work he does;
but crush his enemies hip and thigh;
may those who hate him rise no more.”

12 Of Binyamin he said:

Adonai’s beloved lives securely.
He protects him day after day.
He lives between his shoulders.”

13 Of Yosef he said:

“May Adonai bless his land
with the best from the sky, for the dew,
and for what comes from the deep beneath,
14 with the best of what the sun makes grow,
with the best of what comes up each month,
15 with the best from the mountains of old,
with the best from the eternal hills,
16 with the best from the earth and all that fills it,
and the favor of him who lived in the [burning] bush.
May blessing come on the head of Yosef,
on the brow of the prince among his brothers.
17 His firstborn bull — glory is his;
his horns are those of a wild ox;
With them he will gore the peoples,
all of them, to the ends of the earth.
These are the myriads of Efrayim;
these are the thousands of M’nasheh.”

18 Of Z’vulun he said:

“Rejoice, Z’vulun, as you go forth,
and you, Yissakhar, in your tents.
19 They will summon peoples to the mountain
and there offer righteous sacrifices;
for they will draw from the abundance of the seas
and from the hidden treasures of the sand.”

20 Of Gad he said:

“Blessed is he who makes Gad so large;
he lies there like a lion,
tearing arm and scalp.
21 He chose the best for himself
when the princely portion was assigned.
When the leaders of the people came,
he carried out Adonai’s justice
and his rulings concerning Isra’el.”

22 Of Dan he said:

“Dan is a lion cub
leaping forth from Bashan.”

23 Of Naftali he said:

“You, Naftali, satisfied with favor
and full of blessing from Adonai,
take possession of the sea and the south.”

24 Of Asher he said:

“May Asher be most blessed of sons,
may he be the favorite among his brothers
and bathe his feet in oil.
25 May your bolts be of iron and bronze
and your strength last as long as you live.

26 “Yeshurun, there is no one like God,
riding through the heavens to help you,
riding on the clouds in his majesty.
27 The God of old is a dwelling-place,
with everlasting arms beneath.
He expelled the enemy before you
and he said, ‘Destroy!’
28 So Isra’el lives in security;
the fountain of Ya‘akov is alone
in a land of grain and new wine,
where the skies drip with dew.
29 Happy are you, Isra’el!
“Who is like you, a people saved by Adonai,
your defender helping you
and your sword of triumph?
Your enemies will cringe before you,
but you will trample down their high places.”

34

1 Moshe ascended from the plains of Mo’av to Mount N’vo, to the summit of Pisgah, across from Yericho. There Adonai showed him all the land — Gil‘ad as far as Dan, 2 all Naftali, the land of Efrayim and M’nasheh, the land of Y’hudah all the way to the sea beyond, 3 the Negev, and the ‘Aravah, including the valley where Yericho, the City of Date-Palms, as far away as Tzo‘ar. 4 Adonai said to him, “This is the land concerning which I swore to Avraham, Yitz’chak and Ya‘akov, ‘I will give it to your descendants.’ I have let you see it with your eyes, but you will not cross over there.”

5 So Moshe, the servant of Adonai, died there in the land of Mo’av, as Adonai had said. 6 He was buried in the valley across from Beit-P‘or in the land of Mo’av, but to this day no one knows where his grave is.

7 Moshe was 120 years old when he died, with eyes undimmed and vigor undiminished. 8 The people of Isra’el mourned Moshe on the plains of Mo’av for thirty days; after this, the days of crying and mourning for Moshe ended.

9 Y’hoshua the son of Nun was full of the Spirit of wisdom, for Moshe had laid his hands on him, and the people of Isra’el heeded him and did what Adonai had ordered Moshe.

10 Since that time there has not arisen in Isra’el a prophet like Moshe, whom Adonai knew face to face. 11 What signs and wonders Adonai sent him to perform in the land of Egypt upon Pharaoh, all his servants and all his land! 12 What might was in his hand! What great terror he evoked before the eyes of all Isra’el!

B’resheet (Genesis) 1:1-2:3

Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

1

1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was unformed and void, darkness was on the face of the deep, and the Spirit of God hovered over the surface of the water. 3 Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and God divided the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. So there was evening, and there was morning, one day.

6 God said, “Let there be a dome in the middle of the water; let it divide the water from the water.” 7 God made the dome and divided the water under the dome from the water above the dome; that is how it was, 8 and God called the dome Sky. So there was evening, and there was morning, a second day.

9 God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered together into one place, and let dry land appear,” and that is how it was. 10 God called the dry land Earth, the gathering together of the water he called Seas, and God saw that it was good.

11 God said, “Let the earth put forth grass, seed-producing plants, and fruit trees, each yielding its own kind of seed-bearing fruit, on the earth”; and that is how it was. 12 The earth brought forth grass, plants each yielding its own kind of seed, and trees each producing its own kind of seed-bearing fruit; and God saw that it was good. 13 So there was evening, and there was morning, a third day.

(A: ii) 14 God said, “Let there be lights in the dome of the sky to divide the day from the night; let them be for signs, seasons, days and years; 15 and let them be for lights in the dome of the sky to give light to the earth”; and that is how it was. 16 God made the two great lights — the larger light to rule the day and the smaller light to rule the night — and the stars. 17 God put them in the dome of the sky to give light to the earth, 18 to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness; and God saw that it was good. 19 So there was evening, and there was morning, a fourth day.

20 God said, “Let the water swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth in the open dome of the sky.” 21 God created the great sea creatures and every living thing that creeps, so that the water swarmed with all kinds of them, and there was every kind of winged bird; and God saw that it was good. 22 Then God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful, multiply and fill the water of the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” 23 So there was evening, and there was morning, a fifth day.

(A: iii) 24 God said, “Let the earth bring forth each kind of living creature — each kind of livestock, crawling animal and wild beast”; and that is how it was. 25 God made each kind of wild beast, each kind of livestock and every kind of animal that crawls along the ground; and God saw that it was good.

26 Then God said, “Let us make humankind in our image, in the likeness of ourselves; and let them rule over the fish in the sea, the birds in the air, the animals, and over all the earth, and over every crawling creature that crawls on the earth.”

27 So God created humankind in his own image;
in the image of God he created him:
male and female he created them.

28 God blessed them: God said to them, “Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea, the birds in the air and every living creature that crawls on the earth.” 29 Then God said, “Here! Throughout the whole earth I am giving you as food every seed-bearing plant and every tree with seed-bearing fruit. 30 And to every wild animal, bird in the air and creature crawling on the earth, in which there is a living soul, I am giving as food every kind of green plant.” And that is how it was. 31 God saw everything that he had made, and indeed it was very good. So there was evening, and there was morning, a sixth day.

2

1 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, along with everything in them. 2 On the seventh day God was finished with his work which he had made, so he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. 3 God blessed the seventh day and separated it as holy; because on that day God rested from all his work which he had created, so that it itself could produce.

Sh’mini Atzeret Haftorah Reading

M’lakhim Alef (1 Kings) 8:54-9:1

8

54 When Shlomo had finished praying all this prayer and plea to Adonai, he got up from in front of the altar of Adonai, where he had been kneeling with his hands spread out toward heaven, 55 stood up, and raised his voice to bless the whole community of Isra’el. He said, 56 “Blessed be Adonai, who has given rest to his people Isra’el, in accordance with everything he promised. Not one word has failed of his good promise, which he made through Moshe his servant. 57 May Adonai our God be with us, as he was with our ancestors. May he never leave us or abandon us. 58 In this way he will incline our hearts toward him, so that we will live according to his ways and observe his mitzvot, laws and rulings which he ordered our fathers to obey. 59 May these words of mine, which I have used in my plea before Adonai, be present with Adonai our God day and night, so that he will uphold the cause of his servant and the cause of his people Isra’el day by day. 60 Then all the peoples of the earth will know that Adonai is God; there is no other. 61 So be wholehearted with Adonai our God, living by his laws and observing his mitzvot, as you are doing today.”

62 Then the king, together with all Isra’el, offered sacrifices before Adonai. 63 For the sacrifice of peace offerings which Shlomo offered to Adonai, he offered 22,000 oxen and 120,000 sheep. Thus the king and all the people of Isra’el dedicated the house of Adonai.

64 The same day, the king consecrated the center of the courtyard in front of the house of Adonai, because he had to offer the burnt offering, the grain offering and the fat of the peace offerings there. For the bronze altar before Adonai was too small to receive the burnt offering, the grain offering and the fat of the peace offerings.

65 So Shlomo celebrated the festival at that time. All Isra’el, a huge gathering [that had come all the way] from the entrance of Hamat to the Vadi [of Egypt], celebrated with him before Adonai our God for seven days and then for seven more days — fourteen days in all. 66 On the eighth day he sent the people away. They blessed the king and returned to their tents full of joy and glad of heart for all the goodness Adonai had shown to David his servant and to Isra’el his people.

9

1 After Shlomo had finished building the house of Adonai, the royal palace and everything else he wanted to build for himself,

Y’hoshua (Joshua) 1:1-18

1

1 After the death of Moshe the servant of Adonai, Adonai said to Y’hoshua the son of Nun, Moshe’s assistant, 2 “Moshe my servant is dead. So now, get up and cross over this Yarden, you and all the people, to the land I am giving to them, the people of Isra’el. 3 I am giving you every place you will step on with the sole of your foot, as I said to Moshe. 4 All the land from the desert and the L’vanon to the great river, the Euphrates River — all the land of the Hitti — and on to the Great Sea in the west will be your territory. 5 No one will be able to withstand you as long as you live. Just as I was with Moshe, so I will be with you. I will neither fail you nor abandon you.

6 “Be strong, be bold; for you will cause this people to inherit the land I swore to their fathers I would give them. 7 Only be strong and very bold in taking care to follow all the Torah which Moshe my servant ordered you to follow; do not turn from it either to the right or to the left; then you will succeed wherever you go. 8 Yes, keep this book of the Torah on your lips, and meditate on it day and night, so that you will take care to act according to everything written in it. Then your undertakings will prosper, and you will succeed. 9 Haven’t I ordered you, ‘Be strong, be bold’? So don’t be afraid or downhearted, because Adonai your God is with you wherever you go.”

10 Y’hoshua instructed the officials of the people 11 to go through the camp and order the people, “Prepare provisions, because in three days you will cross this Yarden to go in and take possession of the land Adonai your God is giving you.”

12 To the Re’uveni, the Gadi and the half-tribe of M’nasheh Y’hoshua said, 13 “Remember what Moshe the servant of Adonai ordered you: ‘Adonai your God has let you rest and will give you this land.’ 14 Your wives, your little ones and your livestock will stay in the land Moshe gave you on the east side of the Yarden; but you are to cross over armed as a fighting force ahead of your brothers, to help them; 15 until Adonai allows your brothers to rest, as he has allowed you; and they too have taken possession of the land Adonai your God is giving them. At that point, you will return to the land which is yours and possess it, the land Moshe the servant of Adonai gave you in ‘Ever-HaYarden to the east, toward the sunrise.”

16 They answered Y’hoshua, “We will do everything you have ordered us to do, and we will go wherever you send us. 17 Just as we listened to everything Moshe said, so will we listen to you. Only may Adonai your God be with you as he was with Moshe. 18 If anyone rebels against your order and doesn’t heed what you say in every detail of your order, he will be put to death. Just be strong, be bold!”

 

The B’rit Hadashah Reading

Mattityahu 5-7

5

Seeing the crowds, Yeshua walked up the hill. After he sat down, his talmidim came to him, and he began to speak. This is what he taught them:

“How blessed are the poor in spirit!
    for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.

“How blessed are those who mourn!
    for they will be comforted.

“How blessed are the meek!
    for they will inherit the Land![ Psalm 37:11]

“How blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness!
    for they will be filled.
“How blessed are those who show mercy!
    for they will be shown mercy.

“How blessed are the pure in heart!
    for they will see God.

“How blessed are those who make peace!
    for they will be called sons of God.

10 “How blessed are those who are persecuted
because they pursue righteousness!
    for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.

11 “How blessed you are when people insult you and persecute you and tell all kinds of vicious lies about you because you follow me! 12 Rejoice, be glad, because your reward in heaven is great — they persecuted the prophets before you in the same way.

13 “You are salt for the Land. But if salt becomes tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything except being thrown out for people to trample on.

14 “You are light for the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Likewise, when people light a lamp, they don’t cover it with a bowl but put it on a lampstand, so that it shines for everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before people, so that they may see the good things you do and praise your Father in heaven.

17 “Don’t think that I have come to abolish the Torah or the Prophets. I have come not to abolish but to complete. 18 Yes indeed! I tell you that until heaven and earth pass away, not so much as a yud or a stroke will pass from the Torah — not until everything that must happen has happened. 19 So whoever disobeys the least of these mitzvot and teaches others to do so will be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But whoever obeys them and so teaches will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven. 20 For I tell you that unless your righteousness is far greater than that of the Torah-teachers and P’rushim, you will certainly not enter the Kingdom of Heaven!

21 “You have heard that our fathers were told, ‘Do not murder,’[Exodus 20:13, Deuteronomy 5:17] and that anyone who commits murder will be subject to judgment. 22 But I tell you that anyone who nurses anger against his brother will be subject to judgment; that whoever calls his brother, ‘You good-for-nothing!’ will be brought before the Sanhedrin; that whoever says, ‘Fool!’ incurs the penalty of burning in the fire of Gei-Hinnom! 23 So if you are offering your gift at the Temple altar and you remember there that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift where it is by the altar, and go, make peace with your brother. Then come back and offer your gift. 25 If someone sues you, come to terms with him quickly, while you and he are on the way to court; or he may hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the officer of the court, and you may be thrown in jail! 26 Yes indeed! I tell you, you will certainly not get out until you have paid the last penny.

27 “You have heard that our fathers were told, ‘Do not commit adultery.’[Exodus 20:13(14); Deuteronomy 5:17(18)] 28 But I tell you that a man who even looks at a woman with the purpose of lusting after her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye makes you sin, gouge it out and throw it away! Better that you should lose one part of you than have your whole body thrown into Gei-Hinnom. 30 And if your right hand makes you sin, cut it off and throw it away! Better that you should lose one part of you than have your whole body thrown into Gei-Hinnom.

31 “It was said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife must give her a get.’[Deuteronomy 24:1] 32 But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of fornication, makes her an adulteress; and that anyone who marries a divorcee commits adultery.

33 “Again, you have heard that our fathers were told, ‘Do not break your oath,’ and ‘Keep your vows to Adonai.’[Leviticus 19:12; Numbers 30:3(2); Deuteronomy 23:22(21)] 34 But I tell you not to swear at all — not ‘by heaven,’ because it is God’s throne; 35 not ‘by the earth,’ because it is his footstool;[Isaiah 66:1] and not ‘by Yerushalayim,’ because it is the city of the Great King.[Psalm 48:3(2)] 36 And don’t swear by your head, because you can’t make a single hair white or black. 37 Just let your ‘Yes’ be a simple ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No’ a simple ‘No’; anything more than this has its origin in evil.

38 “You have heard that our fathers were told, ‘Eye for eye and tooth for tooth.’[Exodus 21:24; Leviticus 24:20; Deuteronomy 19:21] 39 But I tell you not to stand up against someone who does you wrong. On the contrary, if someone hits you on the right cheek, let him hit you on the left cheek too! 40 If someone wants to sue you for your shirt, let him have your coat as well! 41 And if a soldier forces you to carry his pack for one mile, carry it for two! 42 When someone asks you for something, give it to him; when someone wants to borrow something from you, lend it to him.

43 “You have heard that our fathers were told, ‘Love your neighbor[Leviticus 19:18] — and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! 45 Then you will become children of your Father in heaven. For he makes his sun shine on good and bad people alike, and he sends rain to the righteous and the unrighteous alike. 46 What reward do you get if you love only those who love you? Why, even tax-collectors do that! 47 And if you are friendly only to your friends, are you doing anything out of the ordinary? Even the Goyim do that! 48 Therefore, be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.

6

“Be careful not to parade your acts of tzedakah in front of people in order to be seen by them! If you do, you have no reward from your Father in heaven. So, when you do tzedakah, don’t announce it with trumpets to win people’s praise, like the hypocrites in the synagogues and on the streets. Yes! I tell you, they have their reward already! But you, when you do tzedakah, don’t even let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. Then your tzedakah will be in secret; and your Father, who sees what you do in secret, will reward you.

“When you pray, don’t be like the hypocrites, who love to pray standing in the synagogues and on street corners, so that people can see them. Yes! I tell you, they have their reward already! But you, when you pray, go into your room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret. Your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

“And when you pray, don’t babble on and on like the pagans, who think God will hear them better if they talk a lot. Don’t be like them, because your Father knows what you need before you ask him. You, therefore, pray like this:

‘Our Father in heaven!
    May your Name be kept holy.
10 May your Kingdom come,
    your will be done on earth as in heaven.

11 Give us the food we need today.
12 Forgive us what we have done wrong,
    as we too have forgiven those who have wronged us.
13 And do not lead us into hard testing,
    but keep us safe from the Evil One.
[The latter half of verse 13 is not found in the oldest manuscripts.]For kingship, power and glory are yours forever.

Amen.’

14 For if you forgive others their offenses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you; 15 but if you do not forgive others their offenses, your heavenly Father will not forgive yours.

16 “Now when you fast, don’t go around looking miserable, like the hypocrites. They make sour faces so that people will know they are fasting. Yes! I tell you, they have their reward already! 17 But you, when you fast, wash your face and groom yourself, 18 so that no one will know you are fasting — except your Father, who is with you in secret. Your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

19 “Do not store up for yourselves wealth here on earth, where moths and rust destroy, and burglars break in and steal. 20 Instead, store up for yourselves wealth in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and burglars do not break in or steal. 21 For where your wealth is, there your heart will be also. 22 ‘The eye is the lamp of the body.’ So if you have a ‘good eye’ [that is, if you are generous] your whole body will be full of light; 23 but if you have an ‘evil eye’ [if you are stingy] your whole body will be full of darkness. If, then, the light in you is darkness, how great is that darkness! 24 No one can be slave to two masters; for he will either hate the first and love the second, or scorn the second and be loyal to the first. You can’t be a slave to both God and money.

25 “Therefore, I tell you, don’t worry about your life — what you will eat or drink; or about your body — what you will wear. Isn’t life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds flying about! They neither plant nor harvest, nor do they gather food into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you worth more than they are? 27 Can any of you by worrying add a single hour to his life?

28 “And why be anxious about clothing? Think about the fields of wild irises, and how they grow. They neither work nor spin thread, 29 yet I tell you that not even Shlomo in all his glory was clothed as beautifully as one of these. 30 If this is how God clothes grass in the field — which is here today and gone tomorrow, thrown in an oven — won’t he much more clothe you? What little trust you have!

31 “So don’t be anxious, asking, ‘What will we eat?,’ ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘How will we be clothed?’ 32 For it is the pagans who set their hearts on all these things. Your heavenly Father knows you need them all. 33 But seek first his Kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Don’t worry about tomorrow — tomorrow will worry about itself! Today has enough tsuris already!

7

“Don’t judge, so that you won’t be judged. For the way you judge others is how you will be judged — the measure with which you measure out will be used to measure to you. Why do you see the splinter in your brother’s eye but not notice the log in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the splinter out of your eye,’ when you have the log in your own eye? You hypocrite! First, take the log out of your own eye; then you will see clearly, so that you can remove the splinter from your brother’s eye!

“Don’t give to dogs what is holy, and don’t throw your pearls to the pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, then turn and attack you.

“Keep asking, and it will be given to you; keep seeking, and you will find; keep knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who keeps asking receives; he who keeps seeking finds; and to him who keeps knocking, the door will be opened. Is there anyone here who, if his son asks him for a loaf of bread, will give him a stone? 10 or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 So if you, even though you are bad, know how to give your children gifts that are good, how much more will your Father in heaven keep giving good things to those who keep asking him!

12 “Always treat others as you would like them to treat you; that sums up the teaching of the Torah and the Prophets.

13 “Go in through the narrow gate; for the gate that leads to destruction is wide and the road broad, and many travel it; 14 but it is a narrow gate and a hard road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

15 “Beware of the false prophets! They come to you wearing sheep’s clothing, but underneath they are hungry wolves! 16 You will recognize them by their fruit. Can people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise, every healthy tree produces good fruit, but a poor tree produces bad fruit. 18 A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, or a poor tree good fruit. 19 Any tree that does not produce good fruit is cut down and thrown in the fire! 20 So you will recognize them by their fruit.

21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, only those who do what my Father in heaven wants. 22 On that Day, many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord! Didn’t we prophesy in your name? Didn’t we expel demons in your name? Didn’t we perform many miracles in your name?’ 23 Then I will tell them to their faces, ‘I never knew you! Get away from me, you workers of lawlessness!’[Psalm 6:9(8)]

24 “So, everyone who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a sensible man who built his house on bedrock. 25 The rain fell, the rivers flooded, the winds blew and beat against that house, but it didn’t collapse, because its foundation was on rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not act on them will be like a stupid man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain fell, the rivers flooded, the wind blew and beat against that house, and it collapsed — and its collapse was horrendous!”

28 When Yeshua had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at the way he taught, 29 for he was not instructing them like their Torah-teachers but as one who had authority himself.

Mark 12:28-34

12

28 One of the Torah-teachers came up and heard them engaged in this discussion. Seeing that Yeshua answered them well, he asked him, “Which is the most important mitzvah of them all?” 29 Yeshua answered, “The most important is,

Sh’ma Yisra’el, Adonai Eloheinu, Adonai echad [Hear, O Isra’el, the Lord our God, the Lord is one], 30 and you are to love Adonai your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your understanding and with all your strength.’[Deuteronomy 6:4–5]

31 The second is this:

‘You are to love your neighbor as yourself.’[Leviticus 19:18]

There is no other mitzvah greater than these.” 32 The Torah-teacher said to him, “Well said, Rabbi; you speak the truth when you say that he is one, and that there is no other besides him; 33 and that loving him with all one’s heart, understanding and strength, and loving one’s neighbor as oneself, mean more than all the burnt offerings and sacrifices.” 34 When Yeshua saw that he responded sensibly, he said to him, “You are not far from the Kingdom of God.” And after that, no one dared put to him another sh’eilah.

Romans 7-8

7

Surely you know, brothers — for I am speaking to those who understand Torah — that the Torah has authority over a person only so long as he lives? For example, a married woman is bound by Torah to her husband while he is alive; but if the husband dies, she is released from the part of the Torah that deals with husbands. Therefore, while the husband is alive, she will be called an adulteress if she marries another man; but if the husband dies, she is free from that part of the Torah; so that if she marries another man, she is not an adulteress.

Thus, my brothers, you have been made dead with regard to the Torah through the Messiah’s body, so that you may belong to someone else, namely, the one who has been raised from the dead, in order for us to bear fruit for God. For when we were living according to our old nature, the passions connected with sins worked through the Torah in our various parts, with the result that we bore fruit for death. But now we have been released from this aspect of the Torah, because we have died to that which had us in its clutches, so that we are serving in the new way provided by the Spirit and not in the old way of outwardly following the letter of the law.

Therefore, what are we to say? That the Torah is sinful? Heaven forbid! Rather, the function of the Torah was that without it, I would not have known what sin is. For example, I would not have become conscious of what greed is if the Torah had not said, “Thou shalt not covet.”[Exodus 20:14(17), Deuteronomy 5:18(21)] But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, worked in me all kinds of evil desires — for apart from Torah, sin is dead. I was once alive outside the framework of Torah. But when the commandment really encountered me, sin sprang to life, 10 and I died. The commandment that was intended to bring me life was found to be bringing me death! 11 For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me; and through the commandment, sin killed me. 12 So the Torah is holy; that is, the commandment is holy, just and good.

13 Then did something good become for me the source of death? Heaven forbid! Rather, it was sin working death in me through something good, so that sin might be clearly exposed as sin, so that sin through the commandment might come to be experienced as sinful beyond measure. 14 For we know that the Torah is of the Spirit; but as for me, I am bound to the old nature, sold to sin as a slave. 15 I don’t understand my own behavior — I don’t do what I want to do; instead, I do the very thing I hate! 16 Now if I am doing what I don’t want to do, I am agreeing that the Torah is good. 17 But now it is no longer “the real me” doing it, but the sin housed inside me. 18 For I know that there is nothing good housed inside me — that is, inside my old nature. I can want what is good, but I can’t do it! 19 For I don’t do the good I want; instead, the evil that I don’t want is what I do! 20 But if I am doing what “the real me” doesn’t want, it is no longer “the real me” doing it but the sin housed inside me. 21 So I find it to be the rule, a kind of perverse “torah,” that although I want to do what is good, evil is right there with me! 22 For in my inner self I completely agree with God’s Torah; 23 but in my various parts, I see a different “torah,” one that battles with the Torah in my mind and makes me a prisoner of sin’s “torah,” which is operating in my various parts. 24 What a miserable creature I am! Who will rescue me from this body bound for death? 25 Thanks be to God [, he will]! — through Yeshua the Messiah, our Lord!

To sum up: with my mind, I am a slave of God’s Torah; but with my old nature, I am a slave of sin’s “Torah.”

8

Therefore, there is no longer any condemnation awaiting those who are in union with the Messiah Yeshua. Why? Because the Torah of the Spirit, which produces this life in union with Messiah Yeshua, has set me free from the “Torah” of sin and death. For what the Torah could not do by itself, because it lacked the power to make the old nature cooperate, God did by sending his own Son as a human being with a nature like our own sinful one [but without sin]. God did this in order to deal with sin, and in so doing he executed the punishment against sin in human nature, so that the just requirement of the Torah might be fulfilled in us who do not run our lives according to what our old nature wants but according to what the Spirit wants. For those who identify with their old nature set their minds on the things of the old nature, but those who identify with the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. Having one’s mind controlled by the old nature is death, but having one’s mind controlled by the Spirit is life and shalom. For the mind controlled by the old nature is hostile to God, because it does not submit itself to God’s Torah — indeed, it cannot. Thus, those who identify with their old nature cannot please God.

But you, you do not identify with your old nature but with the Spirit — provided the Spirit of God is living inside you, for anyone who doesn’t have the Spirit of the Messiah doesn’t belong to him. 10 However, if the Messiah is in you, then, on the one hand, the body is dead because of sin; but, on the other hand, the Spirit is giving life because God considers you righteous. 11 And if the Spirit of the One who raised Yeshua from the dead is living in you, then the One who raised the Messiah Yeshua from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit living in you.

12 So then, brothers, we don’t owe a thing to our old nature that would require us to live according to our old nature. 13 For if you live according to your old nature, you will certainly die; but if, by the Spirit, you keep putting to death the practices of the body, you will live.

14 All who are led by God’s Spirit are God’s sons. 15 For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to bring you back again into fear; on the contrary, you received the Spirit, who makes us sons and by whose power we cry out, “Abba!” (that is, “Dear Father!”). 16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our own spirits that we are children of God; 17 and if we are children, then we are also heirs, heirs of God and joint-heirs with the Messiah — provided we are suffering with him in order also to be glorified with him.

18 I don’t think the sufferings we are going through now are even worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed to us in the future. 19 The creation waits eagerly for the sons of God to be revealed; 20 for the creation was made subject to frustration — not willingly, but because of the one who subjected it. But it was given a reliable hope 21 that it too would be set free from its bondage to decay and would enjoy the freedom accompanying the glory that God’s children will have. 22 We know that until now, the whole creation has been groaning as with the pains of childbirth; 23 and not only it, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we continue waiting eagerly to be made sons — that is, to have our whole bodies redeemed and set free. 24 It was in this hope that we were saved. But if we see what we hope for, it isn’t hope — after all, who hopes for what he already sees? 25 But if we continue hoping for something we don’t see, then we still wait eagerly for it, with perseverance.

26 Similarly, the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we don’t know how to pray the way we should. But the Spirit himself pleads on our behalf with groanings too deep for words; 27 and the one who searches hearts knows exactly what the Spirit is thinking, because his pleadings for God’s people accord with God’s will. 28 Furthermore, we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called in accordance with his purpose; 29 because those whom he knew in advance, he also determined in advance would be conformed to the pattern of his Son, so that he might be the firstborn among many brothers; 30 and those whom he thus determined in advance, he also called; and those whom he called, he also caused to be considered righteous; and those whom he caused to be considered righteous he also glorified!

31 What, then, are we to say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare even his own Son, but gave him up on behalf of us all — is it possible that, having given us his Son, he would not give us everything else too? 33 So who will bring a charge against God’s chosen people? Certainly not God — he is the one who causes them to be considered righteous! 34 Who punishes them? Certainly not the Messiah Yeshua, who died and — more than that — has been raised, is at the right hand of God and is actually pleading on our behalf! 35 Who will separate us from the love of the Messiah? Trouble? Hardship? Persecution? Hunger? Poverty? Danger? War? 36 As the Tanakh puts it,

“For your sake we are being put to death all day long,
we are considered sheep to be slaughtered.”[Psalm 44:23(22)]

37 No, in all these things we are superconquerors, through the one who has loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor other heavenly rulers, neither what exists nor what is coming, 39 neither powers above nor powers below, nor any other created thing will be able to separate us from the love of God which comes to us through the Messiah Yeshua, our Lord.

Chazon 21:1-22:5

21

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth,[Isaiah 65:17, 66:22] for the old heaven and the old earth had passed away, and the sea was no longer there. Also I saw the holy city, New Yerushalayim, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. I heard a loud voice from the throne say, “See! God’s Sh’khinah is with mankind, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and he himself, God-with-them, will be their God.[Leviticus 26:11–12; Isaiah 7:14; 8:8, 10; Jeremiah 31:33(34); Ezekiel 37:27; 2 Chronicles 6:18] He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. There will no longer be any death; and there will no longer be any mourning, crying or pain; because the old order has passed away.”

Then the One sitting on the throne said, “Look! I am making everything new!” Also he said, “Write, ‘These words are true and trustworthy!’” And he said to me, “It is done! I am the ‘A’ and the ‘Z,’ the Beginning and the End. To anyone who is thirsty I myself will give water free of charge from the Fountain of Life. He who wins the victory will receive these things, and I will be his God, and he will be my son. But as for the cowardly, the untrustworthy, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those involved with the occult and with drugs, idol-worshippers, and all liars — their destiny is the lake burning with fire and sulfur, the second death.”

One of the seven angels having the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues approached me and said, “Come! I will show you the Bride, the Wife of the Lamb.” 10 He carried me off in the Spirit to the top of a great, high mountain and showed me the holy city, Yerushalayim, coming down out of heaven from God. 11 It had the Sh’khinah of God, so that its brilliance was like that of a priceless jewel, like a crystal-clear diamond. 12 It had a great, high wall with twelve gates; at the gates were twelve angels; and inscribed on the gates were the names of the twelve tribes of Isra’el. 13 There were three gates to the east, three gates to the north, three gates to the south and three gates to the west. 14 The wall of the city was built on twelve foundation-stones, and on these were the twelve names of the twelve emissaries of the Lamb.

15 The angel speaking with me had a gold measuring-rod with which to measure the city, its gates and its wall. 16 The city is laid out in a square, its length equal to its width. With his rod he measured the city at 1,500 miles, with length, width and height the same. 17 He measured its wall at 216 feet by human standards of measurement, which the angel was using. 18 The wall was made of diamond and the city of pure gold resembling pure glass. 19 The foundations of the city wall were decorated with all kinds of precious stones — the first foundation stone was diamond, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald, 20 the fifth sardonyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh turquoise and the twelfth amethyst. 21 The twelve gates were twelve pearls, with each gate made of a single pearl. The city’s main street was pure gold, transparent as glass.

22 I saw no Temple in the city, for Adonai, God of heaven’s armies, is its Temple, as is the Lamb. 23 The city has no need for the sun or the moon to shine on it, because God’s Sh’khinah gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. 24 The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. 25 Its gates will never close, they stay open all day because night will not exist there, 26 and the honor and splendor of the nations will be brought into it. 27 Nothing impure may enter it, nor anyone who does shameful things or lies; the only ones who may enter are those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.

22

Next the angel showed me the river of the water of life, sparkling like crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb. Between the main street and the river was the Tree of Life producing twelve kinds of fruit, a different kind every month; and the leaves of the tree were for healing the nations — no longer will there be any curses. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will worship him; they will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. Night will no longer exist, so they will need neither the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, because Adonai, God, will shine upon them. And they will reign as kings forever and ever.

 
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