December 2005 Updates
12.29.05 Inspired by the weekly Torah reading about Joseph as a "type" or picture of the Mashiach Yeshua, I wrote a short article on Mashiach ben Yosef and added it to the Articles pages. Please see the many ways Joseph prefigured the coming of Jesus the Messiah...
12.28.05 Happy Chanukah! I wrote the Torah summary for parashat Miketz last night (as well as the Haftarah and Brit Chadashah summaries). I also created a table listing the wonderful correspondences between Joseph (Yosef ben Ya'akov) and Jesus (Yeshua ben Yosef) in the Brit Chadashah summary. Jesus is truly both Mashiach ben Yosef (Messiah, son of Joseph) as well as Mashiach ben David (Messiah son of David).
12.26.05 Please let me wish you a very happy and joy-filled Chanukah (and Christmas season)! I am presently writing the Torah portion summary for next Shabbat.
12.22.05 I added a brief Hebrew Meditation for Chanukah called Ki Atah Neri, which I hope you will find helpful as you enjoy the Festival of Lights.
12.21.05 I stayed up late tonight and added my Torah summary (as well as Haftarah and Brit Chadashah) for parashat Vayeshev. This parashah begins the saga of Joseph, a clear "type" of the Mashiach who suffered for the Jewish people in order to deliver them from death. (Time permitting, I will write an article that provides a listing of the numerous ways that Joseph son of Israel is a revelation of the Person of our beloved Mashiach Yeshua.)
I hope to get to the Hebrew Word of the Week, too, but lately (on account of my illness over the last two months), I have fallen behind with the Parashah word studies. Please pray for my healing, if the LORD so prompts you. Todah!
And again, please let me wish you a very happy and joy-filled Chanukah (and Christmas season)!
12.19.05 I am working on the Torah portion for this coming Shabbat...
12.15.05 Despite being sick with pneumonia, I managed to get the weekly Torah summary (Vayishlach) completed for this coming Shabbat (as well as the Haftarah and Brit Chadashah readings).
Please let me also wish all of my regular visitors (and forum members) a very happy and joy-filled Chanukah (and Christmas season)!
12.12.05 I have been diagnosed with pneumonia.... and have been experiencing severe breathing problems... The Torah portion for this coming Shabbat may be late this week...
12.06.05 Well, so much for my "sabbatical!" I stayed up late tonight and added my Torah summary (as well as Haftarah and Brit Chadashah) for parashat Vayetzei, which I sincerely hope you will read, since I wrote this in the hope that it would be a blessing to you. (I also hope to get the Hebrew Word of the Week entry done sometime over the next couple of days, too, IY"H.)
Please keep me (and this ministry) in your prayers. I feel a bit constrained, perhaps like the Apostle Paul did - "Woe to me if I don't teach!" (1 Cor. 9:16) - and yet I am painfully aware that I am limited, fallible, finite, and subject to the various afflictions common to man. The spirit is indeed willing, chaverim, but the flesh is surely weak! Much of my days are spent in various states of pain. If you could ask the LORD God of Israel to give me strength to continue this work, and that His hand would guide me, I would sincerely appreciate it.
Incidentally, if you haven't written me in awhile, please pop me a note to say "Shalom!" It's always encouraging to hear from you, and it's never a burden on me to send you a quick note back....
Time is short. The days are evil. I sincerely believe we are living in the "last days" before our Mashiach Yeshua returns. Keep a close watch on the affairs of this world - the sad condition of Israel (soon to become the "cup of trembling") and the rampant apostasy and evil seen in the children of men (and their governments) today... We are close, and it is surely later than you think!
May the LORD God of Israel bless you and keep you close to His heart! May you be found listening intently to His voice, always and forever. May He say to you, "Well done..."
12.04.05 I've been sick for nearly a month, a result, I am sure, of staying up late nearly every night over the last two years in order to add new content to the Hebrew for Christians web site.... Therefore, I am considering taking a sabbatical from this work. Please check back here for more information, if interested.
November 2005 Updates
11.30.05 I wrote the Hebrew Word of the Week (yalad) for parashat Toldot tonight.
11.29.05 I stayed up very late to write my summary/commentary for Parashat Toldot. If you are a "Torah Observant" Messianic, I would especially ask you to prayerfully consider my exposition of the Brit Chadashah reading (from Romans 9) in light of the teachings from this portion of the Torah.
I hope to find time to get the Hebrew Word of the Week (for Toldot) done within the next day or two....
11.27.05 I added a new meditation on Psalm 39:6 called "Mekor Chayim" - the Source of Life.
I hope it might touch someone's heart out there....
11.22.05 I added the Hebrew word of the week (Chayim) derived from parashat Chayei Sarah late tonight....
11.21.05 My family and I have been very sick (again). Both my wife and I went to the hospital for bronchial infections. My baby boy Josiah is also sick. Your prayers for us are appreciated, as the illness has taken its toll on all of us. Thank you.
Despite being sick, I stayed up late and wrote dvar Torah for parashat Chayei Sarah, the next installment of the weekly Torah Reading Cycle. I also wrote summaries for the Haftarah and Brit Chadashah. This is difficult work, especially from a spiritual point of view, and I am sure that there are evil powers that would like to see this entire web site simply disappear.
Just as a reminder to those of you who think this work is the result of a large ministry or "team" of writers - it is not... It comes from my personal passion to glorify the LORD God of Israel and to give thanks to Him. This passion often expresses itself by staying up late every night to make sure the content you see is fresh and original. In fact, along with the forum administration, this work takes about as much time as a second full-time job from my schedule. Please pray for this work - and consider making a donation to help keep me going! Todah Rabbah.
11.16.05 Since I am sometimes asked how to spell an English name (such as "George" or "Sally") into Hebrew, I added some guidelines for transliterating English words into Hebrew to the online Grammar pages. Note that this is exactly the opposite of transliterating from Hebrew to English, but since there are some peculiarities of English phonetics (e.g., there is no "J" sound in Hebrew), certain guidelines are used to ensure a consistent method of transliteration.
And here is a recent picture of Josiah Yisroel (11/10/05). He's 13 months old now:
11.14.05 I added the Hebrew Word of the Week (ra'ah) for Parashat Vayera tonight, and also made a number of small changes you're not likely to notice.
My son Josiah now is sick with a cough and congestion, so if you are one of the tzaddikim b'mashiach and wish to offer up gemilut chasadim (lovingkindness), please offer a prayer for this little boy. Thank you!
11.13.05 I am feeling better, thank the LORD, and was even able to write my Torah / Haftarah / Brit Chadashah summary (Vayera) early this week!
I hope to get the Hebrew Word of the Week finished for both Vayera and Lekh Lekha (which I couldn't do on account of the flu) tomorrow or Teusday. For any of you who have prayed for me and for this ministry, please know that your prayers make a difference in my life and help me keep going... Often I wonder if I reach anyone out there with this work, and then someone will write me and tell me they are praying. I really appreciate that very much!
11.09.05 - Despite having the flu, I was able to write dvar Torah for the weekly Torah portion (parashat Lekh Lekha). Thank you, LORD Yeshua, for your grace and kindness....
11.08.05 - Still very sick, and unable to work effectively. Refuah Shelemah to any others out there so afflicted!
11.07.05 Though I have started the weekly Torah portion (lekh lekha), I am still quite ill with the flu and unable to make much progress.... I hope to get it ready before Shabbat this weekend, IY"H.
11.05.05 I am presently fighting the flu. The Torah Portion for this week may be late...
11.03.05 I wrote the Hebrew Word of the Week (nacham) based on parashat Noach and added it to the site. Truly Noach's life is a demonstration of comfort to those who are trusting in Adonai to save them from tribulation.
11.02.05 I wrote dvar Torah for parashah Noach late last night (as well as haftarah and brit chadashah). I believe without a doubt that we are living in what Yeshua called "the days of Noah," and therefore we need to be prepared to meet the LORD according to His promise. This promise, I believe, is not concerning His return to rule and reign in Jerusalem as Israel's triumphant King, but rather concerns the promise given to His "betrothed" to be taken to the Father's House, where He prepared a place for her. In other words, I do not believe the Second Coming of the Mashiach and the gathering together of His talmidim (followers) are the same things, based on my study of the Scriptures (the preterists, I believe, are in error regarding these matters). May the LORD God of Israel call His followers to Himself soon!
October 2005 Updates
10.30.05 I wrote the Hebrew word of the week for Parashat Bereshit (Rosh), and am beginning to read and study parashat Noach, for next week's Shabbat. (My eyes have been bothering me a lot lately, and that has hindered my work on the site. I am hoping it is some sort of fall-time allergy rather than something more serious.)
I am eager to finish the year's Torah portion summaries, so I can devote more time to Biblical Hebrew grammar and other things; nonetheless, the study of the weekly Torah portion is a great blessing, revealing profound truth about our Mashiach Yeshua.
I get email every day from people asking for answers to Hebrew questions, etc., and who tend to regard this site is part of a large ministry with a staff of some kind. The truth is that the work you see here is all done by one person, late at night, and without any sort of compensation. If you believe in this work and want to see it continue, please consider making a donation. Thanks!
10.27.05 I stayed up all night (literally) to write dvar Torah for parashat Bereshit in time for this week's Shabbat. This is the very first Torah portion of the Bible and the starting point for all talmud Torah (study of the Torah). I urge you to read the summary and reconsider the amazing splendor of the Word of God!
I hope to get to the Hebrew Word of the Week (for Bereshit) later today....IY"H.
10.26.05 I am working on parashat Bereshit presently. I have been very busy (and tired) lately, but God is so faithful and good to give me strength to do this work. Thank you for your support of this ministry.
10.25.05 Happy Torah Celebration Day! Why not make a resolution to follow me through the weekly Torah portions for the coming year? (Incidentally, I hope to get the coming week's Torah summary written and online sometime before Shabbat this week.)
I wrote a short article critical of Joseph Farah (of the worldnetdaily web site), since he openly advocated the use of torture in dealing with POWs - something I find unconscionable as a follower of the LORD Jesus the Mashiach. Since Mr. Farah also professes to be a follower of the Messiah, I took a hard look at the underlying reasoning that he used to justify his position. See Deconstructing Mr. Farah, if interested.
10.23.05 In light of the recent hurricanes (and the present threat of hurricane Wilma), I wrote another short Hebrew meditation on chazak v'ematz - "be strong and of good courage." In this time of distress and tribulation, I sincerely believe that we are witnessing chevlei mashiach - the birthpangs of the Messiah, and the imminent return of the LORD Jesus to establish His kingdom upon the earth. Even Rabbi Kaduri, the 104 year old Kabbalist in Israel, is calling the Jewish people to return to Eretz Yisrael to receive their Messiah. The Time of Jacob's Trouble is coming soon, and believers in Yeshua must make themselves soon ready for the next phase of the God's redemptive plan.
10.20.05 Happy Sukkot! Wave your lulav and rejoice in the LORD God of Israel!
I finally found the time to write the Hebrew Word of the Week for parashat V'zot Haberakhah (barakh), which ties in beautifully with this blessed appointed time of the LORD. May you sense the love of the LORD God of Israel sheltering you in His everlasting arms...
10.17.05 Happy Sukkot to all! I added the Torah readings for Sukkot as well as Simchat Torah (V'zot Haberakhah) to the site today.
10.14.05 I wrote the Hebrew word of the week (azan) for Parashat Ha'azinu and added it to the site tonight. There surely is a strong connection between the sounding of the shofar and the Parashah's message of "Give Ear!" May the LORD God of Israel help us all truly gain the art of listening to one another, and especially to Him. And may we who are believers in the Mashiach Yeshua make ourselves ready to soon meet our King!
10.12.05 G'mar Chatimah Tovah to all my visitors... and a tzom kal to all who are standing with the Jewish people in prayer for Yom Kippur!
10.10.05 I have been busy fixing some problems that arose on the forum pages due to a server crash. However, I finished the weekly Torah Portion (Ha'azinu) for this coming week's sabbath.
Yom Kippur begins this Wednesday at sundown (for those of you who will observe this special mo'ed of the LORD, I sincerely wish you tzom kal - and great grace as you intercede on behalf of the Jewish people). Yom Kippur is a festival that awaits eschatological fulfillment, but one day - and I believe it will be soon - we will all understand that the LORD God KEEPS His promises to national Israel and will demonstrate such when the Mashiach Yeshua returns to deliver them from their enemies. In that day "all Israel shall be saved," and the LORD will be vindicated before all the nations. Amen.
Meanwhile, the apostate Church will continue to deceive many, even as the "birthpangs of the Messiah" (chevlei Mashiach) continue in greater and greater frequency. The task of the true Church - that is, the remnant of Israel (those called out from the nations who are now grafted into the covenantal blessings of Israel) is to continue to "provoke Israel to jealousy" by means of the message of the redemptive love of God as revealed through Yeshua Adoneinu. May the LORD help those of us who have ears to hear His message.
Come quickly, LORD, and save your people from this perverse and sick world! Help us, O LORD, to remain steadfast, even in this hour....
10.04.05 I added the Hebrew Word of the Week for parashat Vayeileck (halak), and also added the Hebrew Word of the Week for last's week's parashah (Nitzavim). Hopefully you will better retain the meaning of the keywords as you practice reading and listening to some of the Hebrew text read.
Thursday is Tzom Gedaliah (the fast of Gedaliah), a sunrise to sunset fast in remembrance of the tragedies that befall us when we fail to practice teshuvah (repentance). I know I struggle in this area of my life, and if you are a person who prays, please ask the LORD to help me to turn to Him with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength, by the power of the Ruach HaKodesh! Todah rabbah for your kindness....
10.02.05 Shanah Tova! May the LORD God of Israel bless you for the coming new year and give you wisdom, strength, and grace for these days. May your name be written in the book of life of the Lamb that was slain! (Rev. 13:8)
The month of October is HUGE for the Jewish faith community, since all of the Fall Festivals (mo'edim) occur during this time: Rosh Hashanah, Tzom Gedaliah, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot. As Messianic Jewish believers, we affirm that the Fall Mo'edim are yet to be completely fulfilled by Mashiach ben David - that is, by Yeshua when He returns to set up malkhut hashamayim (the kingdom of heaven) on earth. Of course we also believe that Yeshua is our Kohen Gadol (High Priest) of the New Covenant, who procured everlasting Atonement when He shed His blood in the Kadosh Kadoshim (Holy of Holies) made without hands, but there is still a future fulfillment for national Israel that we are anticipating (for more information, see the article on Yom Kippur).
I finished the weekly Torah Portion (Vayeilech) for the coming week's sabbath, called Shabbat Shuvah (the sabbath of repentance). This special sabbath falls between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur this year. For many, this sabbath is the culmination of the call to teshuvah (repentance) that began in the month of Elul.
I hope to update the Hebrew Word of the Week page tomorrow or Tuesday.
September 2005 Updates
09.27.05 Shanah Tova! I finished the summary of the Torah portion for this week (Nitzavim), as well as the Haftarah and Brit Chadashah summaries. It was really tough getting this done this week, since I also had to get a Hebrew Meditation ready for Zola Levitt's ministry that was due this past Monday.
My wife is feeling sick with a bad cold, and I have been very tired from all the late nights working on this site. Our little boy Josiah Yisroel turns 1 year old on October 7th! I truly praise the LORD for such a miracle in my life... He is so cute and loving... I wish you could meet him. I will post some updated pictures of him later this week, IY"H.
I will try to get the Hebrew Word of the Week (for Nitzavim) done tommorow, but it might not be ready until Thursday evening since I have music rehersal tomorrow directly after work. Speaking of work: My job situation is pretty bleak, and there were some serious paycuts recently (this is the second time in the last three years we've had paycuts). Since my wife is a stay-at-home Mom, we are just sqeaking by on our monthly budget. Your prayers that I can continue this work are sincerely appreciated.
There have been a few people who have been extra gracious to us and given us contributions (you know who you are!) Thank you for sharing your love with us.
09.26.05 Did you know that there are actually two "Immanuels" spoken of in Scripture? The first was a child born to a young woman who would function as a sign to wicked King Ahaz (that the House of David would stand despite threats from enemies), but the second was a sign to all of Israel regarding the ultimate establishment of the throne of David through Yeshua, who is Immanu 'El - "God with us." For more information about this, please read my short Hebrew meditation entitled "Faith Establishes the Sign."
I am currently working on dvar Torah for parshah Nitzavim. I hope to get it (and the haftarah, brit chadashah) online sometime within the next couple of days.
09.21.05 I wrote the Hebrew Word of the Week entry (Bo) for Parashah Ki Tavo. I will be busy the next couple of days writing a new Hebrew Lesson for Zola Levitt Ministries.
09.19.05 I finished the dvar Torah for Parashat Ki Tavo late tonight.... I have been feeling run-down lately and it's been difficult to get the energy to work on the site (though, by the grace of the LORD, I am doing so). The Online Forum also takes a lot of my time, since I moderate its content and also contribute regularly... Please keep this work in your prayers, as I sense that the evil one would like it to go away.
Keeping up with these weekly Torah readings - and especially writing the succinct Torah-Haftarah summaries - is extremely taxing, leaving me little time to develop other areas of the site.... I am nearly 2/3 finished with the entire yearly cycle now, and (IY"H) I will celebrate with a "siyyum" (conclusion) when I am finished. That will be a glad day for me. Please LORD God of Israel, help me complete this work! Protect this work from those who are aligned with darkness and evil.
I hope to add the Hebrew Word of the Week based on the Parashah later this week...
I am remembering Katrina victims in my prayers, as well as Eretz Yisrael. If you would like a safe means of contributing to the Salvation Army, please see the link on the home page of this web site.
09.16.05 I am currently working on the dvar Torah for parashat Ki Tavo....
09.13.05 I added the Hebrew Word of the Week (yatzah) for Parashat Ki Teitzei. I am still feeling run down and I have a mild flu. Any prayers you offer for me and this ministry are profoundly appreciated.
09.12.05 I wrote a short dvar Torah for Parashat Ki Teitzei and hope to get to the Hebrew Word of the Week sometime tomorrow... I have been feeling sick the last two days or so, and my energy level is very low.
09.07.05 I made some miscellaneous changes to the site, including a correction to the Hebrew blessing for donning the Tallit Katan. I also added a new page on Special Sabbaths that are observed throughout the Jewish year.
09.06.05 I added the Hebrew Word of the Week for parashat Shoftim.
09.05.05 I wrote an additional article (based on parashat shoftim) that demonstrates thirty ways in which Jesus is the Second Moses. I also updated the page on the Hebrew month of Elul by adding the 13 Attributes of God (Shelosh Esrei Middot), which is a key meditation for this time of year... Please pray for this work to continue.
I hope to get the Hebrew Word of the Week entry done sometime tonight....
09.04.05 I wrote the dvar Torah on Parashat Shoftim. This is an important Parashah, since it includes the prophecy of Moses regarding the coming of the Mashiach.
09.04.05 I am working of the Parashah HaShavuah (weekly Torah portion).
09.01.05 I received a message today from a visitor to this site who had trouble reconciling the God of the "Old Testament" with the God of the "New Testament." In response, I wrote a short article entitled, "A God of Wrath or Love?"
August 2005 Updates
08.31.05 I added the Hebrew Word of the Week entry for Parashat Re'eh.
Please offer up a prayer for the victims of hurricane Katrina....
08.31.05 I added my dvar Torah for parashat Re'eh. I will try to get to the Hebrew word of the week soon....
08.30.05 I added a new Hebrew Meditation called The Suffering Tzaddik tonight. The Torah reading summary will be late this week, if it will be done at all (please see below). I also added a short article called "Touch not my anointed," in order to help people expose spiritual abuse from various self-styled authorities.
Important Note: I have worked on this site for nearly two years now - virtually every night, often very late into the night. Unfortunately, I have developed a severe case of carpal tunnel syndrome as a result, and now must sleep with a wrist splint on my arm.
Consequently, I am considering taking a break from some of the site's development. I will let you know the extent and scope of this sabbatical at a later time.
08.24.05 I wrote the Hebrew Word of the Week (Eikev) to correspond with the weekly parashah.... You should know - these weekly readings and writing of the dvar Torah and the Word of the Week knock the wind out of me every time... I often wonder why the Jewish sages chose such large portions for the weekly parashiyot (though I understand there is a tri-ennial cycle that is much easier to manage every week, and most likely Yeshua Himself read Torah and Haftarah on that schedule). At any rate, besides the Torah portion, I also read the Haftarah and Brit Chadashah portions - and that also takes a lot of time, esp. as I check the languages and write my own perushim. Please keep me in prayer. I have about 28 more weeks of this to complete the annual cycle, and then I can get back to less time-sensitive content such as Hebrew grammar, prayers, and so on. Your support and encouragement help me do this work: b'emet!
I am also busy over at the forums interacting with others and trying to find time to answer questions about Hebrew, faith in Yeshua, and so on... (I have a wonderful wife, Olga, who puts up with my extremely late nights working on these things,)
My little boy Josiah is now 10 months old. He's walking already and really a lot of fun! I thank the LORD for this honor of parenting a child, and I ask Him for wisdom and grace every day....
I see the dentist on Friday regarding my broken tooth... There's nothing like an affliction like that to help you remain mindful of your frailty before the LORD!
08.23.05 I wrote dvar Torah on Parashat Eikev (weekly Torah) as well as the Haftarah (from Isaiah) and the Brit Chadashah.
I also added a wonderful little liturgical song called Ein Keloheinu to the site tonight (as an extra benefit, I included an old recording of some children singing it, too). This is a great song to sing if you are just beginning to learn Hebrew, and I hope you enjoy it!
Tomorrow, IY"H, I will add the Hebrew Word of the Week for parashat Eikev....
08.22.05 I am currently working on dvar Torah - parashat Eikev (as well as the Haftarah and Brit Chadashah). I have most of the Torah portion read and some notes taken, but despite staying up very late, I just couldn't finish it. Also -- I broke my tooth while working on the parashah, so tomorrow I will need to get to the dentist right away (sigh). Please keep me and this ministry in your prayers!
08.22.05 I added some new "advanced information" about the Letter Nun tonight. Fascinating material - full of implications about the LORD Yeshua our Mashiach. I hope you will take a moment and read it!
Now - on to the dvar Torah for this coming Shabbat!
08.20.05 I added a simple recitation of the Hebrew Aleph-Bet (using Flash) to the Alphabet Start Page. I did this to benefit those who have never studied Hebrew before and want to see and hear the basic script recited.... (later I might create a more sophisticated version of this so stay tuned!).
The Torah portion (dvar Torah) will be late this week, too.
08.17.05 I added Advanced Information for the letter Mem today. More to come, IY"H.
08.16.05 I am adding "Advanced Information" for the various Hebrew consonants. So far I have up through the letter Lamed online, with more to come, if the LORD so wills.
08.15.05 Added the Hebrew Word of the Week (chanan) for for parashat Va'etchanan.
08.14.05 It was a busy weekend for me, with Tisha'h B'Av and other things happening. However, I stayed up late tonight and wrote the devar Torah for parashat Va'etchanan. Tomorrow, IY"H, I will work on the Hebrew Word of the Week.
08.11.05 I added the Hebrew blessing (natan lanu torat emet) customarily recited after studying the Torah to the Blessings section of the site.
08.10.05 I wrote the Hebrew Word of the Week for parashat Devarim and also updated the page for Tisha'h B'Av, the saddest day of the Jewish calendar... Tisha'h B'Av begins Saturday the 13th at sundown and lasts until Sunday the 14th at sundown. This makes for a good time to pray for the Jewish people and their salvation, chaverim.
08.08.05 I posted the weekly Torah portion page and am hoping to get the Hebrew Word of the Week done later tonight. I have been very busy over at the forum lately.
Tisha'h B'Av (the 9th of Av) is the saddest day of the Jewish calendar, and occurs on Saturday, August 13th at sundown.
08.03.05 Based on a number of visitor requests, I am adding additional "Printer Friendly" pages to the Hebrew grammar section. However, if you really want all this information in a nice format, I strongly recommend purchasing my Introduction to Hebrew book, since doing so is a mtzvah and will help defray the costs of maintaining this site.
08.03.05 I wrote the Hebrew Word of the Week for the Torah portion.
08.02.05 I finally managed to read Torah for this coming Shabbat and posted the weekly Torah portion page. I am very tired and my hands and wrists are literally aching as I write these days. I spend several hours a night adding fresh material online (as well as managing the forum), so your prayers for my strength are deeply and sincerely appreciated.
I hope to get the Hebrew word of the week entry done either late tonight or tomorrow.
08.01.05 More work on the forum pages...
July 2005 Updates
07.31.05 I have been very busy on the forum pages, trying to organize the content and adding some new icons and designs. I have yet to do the weekly Torah readings, so the divrei Torah will be late this week.
Please pray for this ministry and its operation. Though a few of you are supporters, the VAST majority of site visitors are not, and the costs for maintaining the site are causing me to rethink whether I should continue its development... For those of you who have donated to this ministry, please accept my humble and profound thanks.
07.27.05 I finally wrote the Hebrew Word of the Week for the Torah portion! Sorry it was late getting out this week........
07.26.05 I wrote a new meditation called Strangers and Sojourners that I hope you will find beneficial. I have yet to write the Hebrew Word of the Week, however....
07.24.05 This week marks the beginning of the "Three Weeks of Sorrow," the 21 days from Tammuz 17 to the 9th of Av on the Jewish calendar. You can learn more about this time of repentance and mourning by clicking here.
I had a very busy weekend, but managed to get my drash for this coming week's Torah (and haftarah/brit chadashah) done tonight. I will try to get the Hebrew Word of the Week finished sometime tomorrow, IY"H.
07.20.05 I hope you had a chance to view the full moon tonight... It was spectacular, at least here in Minnesota!
Based on a vistor's request, I updated the Hebrew Glossary "Sh" page to include audio for the thirty-two words known as the Shelosh Esrei Middot, or the Thirteen Attributes of Mercy (Exod. 34:6-7). I also spent a lot of time adding posts to the new Hebrew for Christians discussion forum....
07.19.05 I finished the Hebrew Word of the Week page late tonight... This is on the name Pinchas (Phineas), the grandson of Aaron who is a hero of the Jewish people.
07.18.05 I added a sobering page about the ubiquity of death intended to remind us that we live in a dying and fallen world. Time is short; we are called to redeem the time "for the days are evil," and we should awaken to the need to share the good news of Yeshua our Mashiach with others in our daily lives. May God Almighty give us all hearts to share the message with others!
07.17.05 I finished this week's Torah portion but have yet to do the Hebrew Word of the Week. I will try to get to that tomorrow.
As some of you know, I have been afflicted lately, and that has impacted my ability to work a lot on the site (please keep me and my family in your prayers). In addition, recently a lot of my time has been taken up developing and administering the new Hebrew for Christians online discussion forums (http://forums.hebrew4christians.com).
If you haven't joined the forum, please consider doing so - especially if you are a grace-based Messianic believer! I am hoping to make this a safe place to network and exchange thoughts about the Jewish roots of the Christian faith. Please email me directly if you have any questions about the forums!
07.12.05 I finished the Hebrew Word of the Week page late tonight...
07.11.05 I wrote my commentary on this week's Torah portion, which is called Balak. I wrote this one in pain. Please take a few moments and read the parashah summary (the Hebrew Word of the Week based on the parashah will hopefully be done tomorrow, IY"H).
07.10.05 I started the Weekly Torah portion tonight, but I have been afflicted lately and unable to do as much reading as I would have liked.... I have part of parshah Balak online now, and I hope to get the haftarah, brit chadashah and Word of the week pages completed sometime tomorrow, IY"H.
07.08.05 Shabbat Shalom! I added yet more audio files to the Hebrew Names of G-d pages and made some other changes. I am very tired, however, from staying up so late every night while doing this work, and I am also afraid that I am getting carpal tunnel syndrome (not good for a musician!)
07.08.05 I am continuing to add audio samples of the Hebrew Names of G-d. Presently I am done with the Torah/Nakh sections, and have the Father Section completed of the Brit Chadashah.
07.07.05 I have been adding the new sound files to the Names of G-d pages. I hope to get to the Brit Chadashah Names sometime tonight.
07.06.05 I am adding audio files to the Names of G-d pages (i.e., for each Name I am providing a sound icon with the Name's Sephardic pronuniciation (click here for an example). I am doing this on behalf of a site visitor's recent request. Presently I have recorded most of the Names from the Tanakh, but still have to get them online... I also need to record the Names from the Brit Chadashah.... Developing.
07.05.05 I finished the Hebrew Word of the Week page that corresponds with the Torah portion (Chukat) for this week. I am also looking into adding a blog for the forums site.... developing.
07.05.05 I completed this week's Torah - Haftarah - Brit Chadashah commentaries, and tonight I will, IY"H get to the Hebrew word of the week.... If I ever come up for air, I will get more Hebrew grammar material online (though I am adding some English grammar notes to the grammar section incrementally as time permits).
The new online forum is going well, too, and (thankfully) doesn't require a lot of maintenance on my end. Why not join the discussion?
I wonder how much longer I will develop this site.... It takes an enormous amount of time and effort, and I occasionally hear from some of you that it helps you, but I am again questioning if I should be doing this work. Please pray for the LORD's will to be made clear to me. Thank you....
07.04.05 I started the weekly Torah portion, though I did not get finished with the haftarah or Brit Chadashah portions (or the Hebrew word of the week). Please check back soon if you are faithfully reading the d'var Torah.
07.01.05 I added yet another Hebrew Meditation (Fear thou not...) on Isaiah 41:10, one of my favorite verses of Scripture.
I will be extra busy this weekend, so the Torah portion might not be posted until Monday or Tuesday of this coming week.
Here's the latest picture of Josiah (who is now beginning to teethe!)
Josiah Yisroel at 8 months
June 2005 Updates
06.30.05 I added another brief Hebrew Meditation (true satisfaction) on Psalm 73:25.
06.29.05 I added another Hebrew meditation I wrote a long time ago on God my Rock. I hope to get some more of my earlier meditations online, as time permits.
06.28.05 I added a new Hebrew Meditation on Proverbs 10:12 ("love covereth all sins"). Later tonight I will add the audio for the pasuk to the page.
06.27.05 I wrote the Hebrew Word of the Week page that corresponds with the Torah portion (Korach) for this week.
06.26.05 I stayed up late reading the Torah parashah and Haftarah for next Shabbat. You can read my summary on the weekly Torah portion page. I hope to get to the Hebrew Word of the Week later, perhaps tomorrow, if HaShem so wills....
I also need to write my next Hebrew Lesson for Zola Levitt Ministries (it's actually overdue), so if you post to the new online forum, I will most likely be unable to reply for a day or two....
06.26.05 I wrote a short article about Tu B'Av, the holiday of Love and Romance, which occurs on August 20th this year. This holiday is not much observed by Messianic believers, which is unfortunate, since it pictures the coming marriage of the Lamb and our life together with Him in the olam habah.
06.24.05 I added another page to the Humor section and made a number of small changes to the site.
06.23.05 I wrote a short article on the 70 faces of Torah since a vistor to the new Hebrew for Christians web forum had asked me to explain it more fully than the glossary entry I have on the site. I also spent some time adding new forums and answering posts on the new forums site.
06.22.05 I wrote an article called Should a Christian be Circumcised? and made a number of additional changes to the site, including updates to the Life Cycle pages, Grammar pages, and more....
06.21.05 I completed a draft of the Basic Hebrew Word studies page. This material is primarily intended for visitors who do not have the time to learn Hebrew grammar but nonetheless want to be able to dig into the Hebrew text of Scriptures.
A full moon today and the summer solstice. The longest day of the year for the northern hemisphere. God is God and His glory is over us all.
06.20.05 The LORD God of Israel has been very gracious to me and helped me in so many ways. Every breath and heartbeat is a gift...
I finished the Hebrew Word of the Week that corresponds with the fascinating Torah portion (shelach lekha) for this week. Please check out the Torah reading -- as I am certain you will find immediate application in your own life!
06.19.05 By the grace of the LORD I was able to complete the weekly Torah portion page for this coming week, B"H. Later tonight (or perhaps tomorrow), I will get to the Word of Week page for this parashah, IY"H.
And Happy Father's Day to all of you men who have been blessed with children! Surely this is a time to offer up thanks for such a honor and joy....
06.18.05 Still alive, by the grace of HaShem....
I am beta-testing a new online forum where you can post and answer questions, read visitor comments, or make some new friends! Check it out!
I am presently working on next week's Torah portion.
06.16.05 I updated the page on the feast of Firstfruits (Reishit Katzir), since a site visitor was confused by the chart on the page listing the three days and three nights that Yeshua was in the grave before His Resurrection.
I also added a new page to the Hebrew grammar (Unit 6:9) that explains how prepositional endings can appear at the end of inflected verbs.
Finally, I began putting the traditional Jewish Circumcision ceremony (brit milah) online. This is NOT meant to suggest that I believe Christians should "convert" to Judaism and undergo ritual circumcision. In no way! Believers in the Mashiach Yeshua are circumcised with the "circumcision made without hands" (Col 2:11), and a true Jew is one who is a Jew inwardly - with a circumcised heart given by the Lord Yeshua (Romans 2:29). The material is presented, in other words, for educational purposes only - to help you better understand the modern ritual of circumcision as practiced by Judaism.
06.16.05 I am concerned that I am having a relapse of pericarditis - a painful heart condition that had me hospitalized last year.... This is a scary disease, since it can lead to to atrial fibrillation and even a heart attack.
If the symptoms get much worse, I will be forced to go to the hospital (I'd call my doctor, but that's pretty useless as his nurse would simply have me go into "urgent care" for a quick exam).
06.15.04 Last night and yesterday, I added "dummy pages" for the forthcoming Torah readings and Word of the Week pages. This should help me manage my time more effectively (of course, I still have to read the portions and work with the Hebrew text while doing so -- which takes a lot of time, but having the pages ready to be populated with text and graphics should cut down on my development time). If you visit any of the Torah portion archives (or Word of the Week archives), please don't be surprised to see that some of the pages are under construction, as they will be updated, God willing, as I make my way through the Jewish calendar and Torah reading cycle.
I am feeling weak again, so I solicit your prayers. Too many late nights writing and not enough sleep... I do not want to have a relapse of pericarditis, so your prayers are appreciated.
I am considering moving the site to another server, and possibly making it a (free) subscription site. The reasons for doing this are many, but for one thing it would help me add new functionality and features that I cannot presently do with the static site. I will keep you posted on this page....
06.13.05 I completed the weekly Torah portion page for this coming week. I also completed the Hebrew Word of the Week.
06.12.05 Working on the weekly Torah portion.......
06.10.05 I stayed up all night to write the article on Shavu'ot - one of the three main holidays of the Jewish year and the climax of the Spring Festivals. Please take a moment to become more familiar with this important appointed time with our LORD.
I also added a warning to the page on the Esoteric Names of God that this material can be spiritually dangerous if you are attempting to gain special insights apart from the grace of God through our Lord Yeshua.
06.09.05 I made a few site enhancements, though these are mostly things that will be invisible to you. Presently I am working on Shavu'ot - and the climax of the Spring mo'edim.
06.08.05 I added section maps to parts of the site to help you find pages more easily. I also completed (for now!) the article on the Esoteric Names of God - which includes a bit of information about Yehuda Berg's book on the 72 Names of God. I also made some additional changes that you probably would be bored about were I to tell you!
I still need to get Shavu'ot material online for next Monday.... Lord Yeshua, I look to You as my Healer and Strength.
06.07.05 I added some additional information about the so-called "Esoteric Names of God," which really amounts to meditation on the Hebrew letters and their combinations, especially as these letters appear in the Names and Titles of God. Frankly, it is a rather dubious practice, though I am including the information on the site for the sake of completeness in the Hebrew Names of God section.
I need to begin getting Shavu'ot material online.... Please agree with me in prayer that this material will be completed before the holiday begins on June 12th.
06.07.05 My web hosting service changed servers and there have been some technical problems, but the site seems stablized now. I hope to include a live forum on a subsite in the coming days, and if so, I will post a link on the home page.
I made numerous changes to the site last night. I finished the Hebrew Word of the Week (for Parashat Naso), updated the Priestly Blessing page, began writing a new article on the "Esoteric Names of God," and made some additional site changes.
Please continue to ask the LORD God of Israel to use this site to declare the greatness of His Son, Yeshua the Mashiach, to all the nations! Thank you.
06.06.05 Happy Yom Yerushalayim Day ("Jerusalem Reunification Day"). Remember to pray for the peace of Jerusalem and the soon coming of the Mashiach Yeshua today!
06.05.05 I wrote my "mini-divrei Torah" on the Torah portion for this coming week (see the weekly Torah portion page). I am currently working on the Hebrew word of the week...
06.02.05 I finally got the Hebrew Word of the Week done that complements the Weekly Torah portion. I also made a number of other site changes, including the "current moon" calendar listed on this page.
The LORD is good; Jesus is surely coming soon, so we must make ourselves ready to meet Him. Let us be ever vigilant during this critical time: the hour is late and the adversary is fierce, for he knows his time is short. We can take comfort that our LORD is Master of the universe - and nothing can touch us if we keep our spiritual eyes on Him (see this). Call upon His Name....
06.01.05 I wrote an article on Yom Yerushalayim, or Jerusalem Day, the most recent addition to the Jewish calendar. This holiday marks the day when Israeli soldiers victoriously recaptured the Old City of Jerusalem from Jordanian control during the Arab-Israeli Six Day War (on June 7th, 1967, or Iyyar 28, 5727). Check it out and find out why YOU should "pray for the peace of Jerusalem!"
I STILL don't have the Hebrew Word of the Week entry done, but hope to get it online sometime tomorrow... Prayers requested over here (it's already past 3 a.m.).
May 2005 Updates
05.31.05 I finished the weekly Torah portion but was unable to complete the Hebrew Word of the Week. I will try to get that done sometime later tomorrow....
05.30.05 I added another Hebrew meditation on John 14:6. I am also presently working on the weekly Torah portion...
05.29.05 I added a new Hebrew meditation on Psalm 19:1, "The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament showeth His handiwork." I hope to get the Torah portion and Hebrew Word of the Week online later tonight or tomorrow.
I could use a prayer regarding this work, since it is a lot of work to get the weekly Torah portions and Hebrew word of the week entries done in a timely manner every week. I am busier than ever these days, and it is getting more and more difficult to find the time for the upkeep of this site. Thank you.
New Picture of Josiah Yisroel (@ 7.5 months)
05.24.05 I finally got the weekly Torah portion and Hebrew Word of the Week pages completed for this week! This was very difficult for me to do since I have been very sick. In fact, today I went to the hospital for x-rays to see why I have been so short of breath. Nothing conclusive showed up, however, but I was given an inhaler to help with my labored breathing. I still have flu/cold symptoms, but, B"H, these are beginning to go away. Thankfully, my little 7-month old boy Josiah seems better, as does my wife Olga.
Please keep this ministry in prayer.... Every day I get a lot of visitors to this site, many of whom are doubtlessly simply curious, and it is my heartfelt desire to see the Name of the LORD Jesus, Yeshua the Mashiach, exalted here. Please agree with me in prayer that this site will make a difference and help others come to know the LORD better. Thank you....
And please consider supporting this work. One easy way to do this is to simply purchase my Introduction to Hebrew book, the royalties of which will be used to support this website. If you already know Hebrew, why not consider giving this book to a friend as a gift? For more information, click here. You can always make a donation to the site, too.
05.23.05 While working on the Weekly Torah portion (which is incomplete as of 3:30 am this morning), I revised the Lag B'Omer article and also made some changes to the overview of the Jewish Holidays page. In particular, I added information that often confuses people about precisely when a given Jewish holiday begins (which is on the day preceding its listing on a typical Jewish calendar).
For example, Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Memorial Day) occurs on Nisan 27, which actually begins after sundown on Nisan 26:
Thus a given Jewish day actually span two days on our Gregorian calendar. Most Jewish calendars do not indicate the previous night as part of the holiday, so you must remember to begin your observance at sundown on the day before it is listed in the calendar! (In the example above, Yom HaShoah is observed both on Thursday the 5th (after sundown) and Friday the 6th (during daylight hours)).
I am still feeling sick, but I want to thank those of you who have prayed for me and my family. God willing, I will get the Torah portion and word of the week entries done sometime tomorrow.
05.23.05 I wrote a brief article on Lag B'Omer, the 33rd day of the Omer count, which occurs this Friday, May 27th (Iyyar 18, 5765).
05.22.05 I have been ill lately and unable to update the site. I hope to get the Weekly Torah portion and Word of the Week entries done tonight, IY"H.
05.19.05 I added "printer friendly" pages to the Unit One of the online grammar (I hope to do the same for other sections of the grammar as time permits). Meanwhile I will begin putting material on Lag Ba'Omer and Shavu'ot online as soon as I am feeling better.
05.15.05 I am fighting a bad cold... but managed to get the weekly Torah portion updated for this week. I also managed to get the Hebrew Word of the Week entry online tonight, too.
My whole family is still pretty sick: Olga (my wife) is has been run down with the flu, Josiah is quite ill with some sort of cold/bronchial infection (we took him to Urgent Care the other morning), and now I am likewise quite sick. Please offer a prayer for my family. Thanks!
05.12.05 I added the Hebrew blessing for the State of Israel (to the blessings section of the site) and made a few refinements to the Hebrew Calendar page.
05.12.05 I added an article on Yom Ha'atzma'ut (Israel's Independence Day) that includes the Hebrew prayer for the State of Israel. I also briefly wrote about the dangers inherent in "Replacement Theology" and how this false doctrine impacts one's views of the acharit hayamim (end of days).
05.11.05 I am currently writing a summary page on Yom Ha'atzma'ut, Israel Independence Day, a holiday that occurs immediately following Yom Hazikaron.
05.10.05 Both my wife Olga and baby son (Josiah) are sick, so I am busier than usual over here. I managed to add the Hebrew Word of the Week entry, however, and made some additional (minor) changes to the holidays section of the site. You prayers for my family are especially appreciated.
05.09.05 I added a brief overview of Yom Hazikaron, Israeli Memorial Day, which starts Wednesday night, May 11th.
05.09.05 I managed to get the weekly Torah portion online for this week. If you haven't begun the habit of reading the Scriptures along with the Jewish communities throughout the world, let me encourage you to do so. It is a wonderful way to "listen in" as the Holy Spirit prepares for acharit hayamim.
I still need to get the Hebrew Word of the Week and the Yom Zikaron and Yom Ha'atzma'ut pages completed this week. If you have any heart for this ministry, please pray for me to find the time to perform these tasks.
05.08.05 I had a very busy weekend. The Torah Portion and Hebrew Word of the Week entry will be done early this week, IY"H.
05.05.05 I added a new blessing recited upon seeing a Torah scholar to the site (for the sake of completeness). I am also updating other blessings listed on the site as time permits.
Tomorrow is Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, and I appeal to you to offer a prayer to the LORD God of Israel for the Jewish people sometime during this special day. I have the Kaddish online, so one way to remember the victims of the Holocaust is to learn to recite the Kaddish (or simply listen to it and respond at the appropriate places).
05.04.05 I added a brief article on Yom HaShoah - Holocaust Remembrance Day, which occurs on Nisan 27 (or Friday, May 6th on our Gregorian calendars).
05.03.05 I am beginning to put together some new material on the Jewish Life Cycle, which will include information about the various stages of a Jew's life. The material is not yet online, though I hope to have a section on circumcision, soon.
05.02.05 I updated the Hebrew Word of the Week page.
05.01.05 I updated the weekly Torah portion but did not get the Hebrew Word of the Week entry completed yet.... I hope to get that online within the next day or so.
April 2005 Updates
04.29.05 I added another page of Jewish humor. If you have a favorite Jewish joke, send me an email and I'll try to get it online!
04.29.05 I updated the links page to include even more resources for you, including sites for downloading Hebrew fonts, listening to Jewish music, and some additional Hebrew learning sites. If you haven't visited this page lately, you might want to check it out.
I also added a new Hebrew meditation on Jeremiah 31:33, as a sort of "prequel" to the festival of Shavu'ot (which begins on Sunday, June 12th this year).
04.27.05 I corrected my article on "First Fruits," which I now believe should be called "Reishit Katzir," since that is the term used in the Torah. This holiday provides a picture of the Resurrection of Yeshua our Mashiach from the dead.
04.26.05 The Torah Reading Cycle is suspended for the holiday week of Unleavened Bread (referred to as "Passover Week" in the Jewish tradition). I updated the weekly Torah portions accordingly.
04.24.05 I reworked some of the material for Passover, though (sadly) I didn't have enough time to get the Haggadah online as I had hoped. Next year in Jerusalem, then!
I added the following new material to the site over the last couple of days:
This week's Torah portion is a bit different, since it is Passover/Unleavened Bread week. I am unsure how I will present Torah snapshots of all the (daily) readings, but I hope to at least get a list of the readings online sometime tomorrow night.
I hope you all had a good Passover and are filled with great hope regarding your future state with the LORD. A friend of mine remarked to me the other day that it all comes down to one thing: knowing Jesus as your Lord and Savior. How true, how simple, and how vital to all that matters! Our personal relationship with the risen Lord is the touchstone of all that we are or ever hope to be. He is the answer to our dream of love fulfilled! Let's make it a priority to earnestly practice the presence of the Lord Jesus, Yeshua our Mashiach, in our daily lives. May God bless you as you call upon Him in the Name of our beloved Mashiach!
04.20.05 I updated the Chag HaMatzot (Feast of Unleavened Bread) page. I am quite unsure if I will be able to get the Haggadah online before Saturday, I am sorry to say.
04.19.05 I stayed up late again, hoping to get material online for Pesach (in case you haven't noticed, I am trying to add material in conjunction with the Hebrew calendar throughout the year). I made some progress. I reworked some of the Introduction to Passover material, created a new page providing an overview of the Passover Seder, lighting the Holiday candles for Passover, and the Kadesh portion (first cup) portion of the Seder itself. I also made numerous other changes to the Passover start page and some other pages as well.
Passover is loaded with meaning, and my first goal is to accurately present the information for those who are blood bought by the True Passover Lamb of God - Yeshua our beloved Mashiach! He alone saves us from the plague of our sinfulness and shame.
Keep me in your prayers -- I need God's grace to do this work.... Todah!
04.18.05 I've really been trying hard to get Passover material online in time for the holiday this year, but I don't think I will be able to pull it off. There's just too much material and too little time. I've been up late into the nights trying (so late you wouldn't believe me if I told you), but I think it's just not going to happen this year, I am very sorry to say....
However, I am going to get as much Passover material online as I can, and perhaps I will begin to put some of the Haggadah online before Satuday at sundown.
I did manage to write a brief overview of Passover, but it's really not complete and I was sidetracked by other things (such as the timeline graphic I created for the Passover Season). If you have it in your heart, please say a prayer for me. Thank you.
04.17.05 I updated the weekly Torah portion and Hebrew Word of the Week pages. Note that this week's reading, Acharei Mot ("After the death") is incredibly prophetic. First, it occurs during Shabbat HaGadol, which (this year) occurs on the same day as it originally occured in the Torah. Second, it is Passover. Third, the Torah portion concerns atonement and details the High Priestly work of Yom Kippur. In each of these matters the Lord Yeshua the Mashiach is the fulfillment of all that the Torah of Moses foreshadowed! That is, after the death of Yeshua we are heirs to a new covenant with God by the blood of the true Lamb of God!
04.16.05 Made some further refinements to the Shabbat blessings pages.
04.15.05 I updated the online Shabbat Seder, both on the Hebrew for Christians web site as well as the downloadable PDF file. In addition to making a few corrections to my typing, I added a new forward to the booket that strongly maintains that Shabbat observance is entirely optional for the believer in Yeshua the Mashiach. Optional -- but educational, too. If you haven't downloaded the PDF booklet, please do so and look it over. I embedded the Hebrew fonts so you should have no problems with the content.
04.13.05 I added an online Shabbat Seder for those of you who wish to begin observing the most important of all the Jewish Holidays. In addition, I made a printable PDF file so that you can use the pages for reference and study. I sincerely hope you will find this material useful and that it will help you draw closer to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob through the grace of our Lord Yeshua the Mashiach.
04.12.05 It's my birthday today. Thank you, LORD God of Israel, for the gift of life and for the gift of Thy salvation through Yeshua the Mashiach, blessed be He.
I added a new download to the glossary pages so that you can print Hebrew vocabulary cards. Special thanks to Mr. Russell Montgomery for taking the time to format my glossary pages for flashcard output. Todah rabbah, chaver.
I also added a rather prosaic page regarding cleaning your house for Passover. Though this is pretty dry material, it's a big deal for many Jews as they ready themselves for the holiday of Pesach.
04.11.05 I stayed up late to update the weekly Torah portion and the Hebrew Word of the Week pages for the coming week of the new year. Meanwhile, I am working hard to get more information about Passover online this week.
My wife and I have been under attack from the evil one recently, and I earnestly solicit your prayers for our protection and for grace from the LORD. I am certain that the enemy does not want this work to prosper, so I appeal to you - if you are born from above and one of the Mashiach's - to please offer up a word of prayer for this ministry. Thank you.
04.10.05 Happy New Year to you! Tonight was the official start of the Biblical New year (which begins on Nisan 1 (rather than the Rabbinical New Year (Rosh Hashanah) which begins on Tishri 1)). If you haven't already done so, tomorrow night go out and look for the new moon! It should appear as a sliver in the night sky.
I updated several pages in the Spring Holidays section of the site, and I am busy putting together material for Passover (Erev Pesach begins on Saturday, April 23rd this year).
I am also working on the coming week's Torah portion and Hebrew word of the week, though it has been tough finding time to do this while writing about Passover. I hope to get the new Torah reading summary online sometime tomorrow, if God so wills.
04.09.05 I wrote another piece on Passover preparation: Bedikat Chametz - the search for Chametz. There is great insight in the search for "leaven" and how we are made a new "lump" by means of the sacrifice of Yeshua as our Passover Lamb. I hope you will take a few minutes to read this material....
04.07.05 I am beginning to put together the material for Passover (Pesach) for the site, though it is an ENORMOUS undertaking and most likely will not be completed before the holiday begins (on April 23rd). On account of the limited amount of time I will have to develop this material, I will most likely focus on more common parts of the Seder so that you can read from your Haggadah in Hebrew with some confidence. Please pray for Godspeed in this work. Thank you.
04.06.05 I wrote an article on Shabbat HaGadol - the "Great Sabbath" that precedes Passover. I hope that by reading this you will be better prepared for the coming of Pesach in just a couple of weeks! (I also added information about Ta'anit Bechorim, or the fast of the firstborn son, since it is a prelude to Pesach as well.)
04.05.05 I wrote a very brief piece on Rosh Chodashim, or the Biblical New Year's Day (which occurs on Nisan 1 or April 10th this year). This is a highly significant date on the Hebrew calendar that marks the beginning of the divine calendar and mo'edim.
04.04.05 I updated the weekly Torah portion and the Hebrew word of the week pages to keep up with the Jewish reading schedule. I am currently developing material for Passover and Rosh Chodesh Nisan (biblical New Year's Day).
04.03.05 I am creating a page about how to perform basic Hebrew word studies.
Please note that this is a work in progress. I hope to make this a resource for many of you who are just learning Hebrew but who wish to learn more about how to research particular words found in the biblical text. If you are interesting in learning more about the frequency, scope, and meaning of particular Hebrew words for a given passage of Scripture, you will want to read this material (I hope to have a first draft completed by the end of this week).
The weekly Torah Reading and Hebrew Word of the Week pages will be updated later this week, since I had a very busy weekend and couldn't find the time to devote to them. Please check these updated pages soon.... IY"H I will get to them!
My son Josiah Yisroel
March 2005 Updates
03.29.05 I cleaned up some of the Hebrew blessings pages by making the audio a little clearer (I hope). I would love to get a professional microphone and mixer to record the audio, but I can't afford it presently.
I am considering adding a "blog" section to the site where I can ruminate about politics, world affairs, and the coming of the LORD, among other things.... Let me know if you'd be interested in this.
03.28.05 Added the audio to the Mourner's Kaddish page.
03.28.05 I added the Mourner's Kaddish (Kaddish Yatom) to the site today. Later tonight I hope to add the audio. Ikvot Meshikha!
03.28.05 I completed the weekly Torah snapshot and the Hebrew word of the week. If you are not yet attuned to the rhythm of the regular Torah readings, you don't know what you're missing! It's a wonderful way to stay current with the Jewish understanding of Scripture - while seeing how Jesus our Mashiach is the fulfillment of all the Torah!
03.27.05 I finished the Torah Portion for next week and am currently writing the Hebrew Word of the Week article.
03.27.05 Happy Resurrection Day! He is Risen; Risen indeed!
The Lord Jesus, our Mashiach, is alive today and "ever lives to make intercession" for us as our great Kohen Gadol before the Father. When He was raised from the dead, He demonstrated that He is Lord even over the power of death and that the extent of His salvation and rule extends below the grave even unto the dust of death itself. Thank you, LORD God of Israel, for your salvation through Yeshua our Master and Savior!
03.26.05 I added a new Hebrew meditation on the Lamb of God (in anticipation of Pesach, which will arrive within a month!). I also enhanced the readability and made a few corrections to the Hebrew Meditations section of the site.
03.24.05 I added audio to the Friday Night Kiddush page. Presently I am writing another short Hebrew meditation for Zola Levitt Ministries which I will post later.
H A P P Y P U R I M ! ! !
03.24.05 I updated and enhanced the Friday Night Kiddush page. Later tonight I hope to add audio for the blessings. With God's help I will be putting together an erev Shabbat seder, that is, an order of service for performing a Shabbat home ceremony.
03.22.05 I added some additional information about the connection between Purim and Yom Kippur in the the Purim article. In addition, also added a Purim Blessings page.
03.21.05 I stayed up ALL night writing the first draft of the Purim article -- so that you might be able to read about Purim (and the Fast of Esther) before the actual Jewish holiday occurs. There may be some typos in the first draft, so I might revise it a bit tomorrow or shortly thereafter. But please take a moment of your time to familiarize yourself with this very special mo'ed Adonai (appointed time of the LORD).
03.20.05 I finished the Hebrew Word of the Week entry. Tomorrow I hope to get the article on Purim online. It's late (again); I work tomorrow; off to bed!
03.20.05 I finished the Torah Portion summary for the week and am presently writing the Hebrew word of the week entry. I hope to get time to write a short article about Purim tonight, too.
03.20.05 I added the audio portion to the Birkat Hamazon, or the blessing recited after eating a meal.
03.20.05 I completed the simplified readings for the Lord's Prayer. Now all six parts are online for you (the links appear at the bottom of each page, near the Transliteration of each verse). If you are an absolute beginner to Hebrew, you might want to try these pages to help you sound out each word in the "tefillat talmidim," or the Disciple's Prayer given by Yeshua our Mashiach, blessed be His Name.
I hope to get started on the Torah portion for the week, though time is short and I have had a busy weekend. If it pleases God, I will get to it later this evening...
03.19.05 For those of you who are entirely new to reading Hebrew, I added some additional simplified readings of the Shema and simplified readings for the Lord's Prayer (part 1). If I get some positive feedback about this sort of thing, I will continue to create pages with slow, easy Hebrew, with each word of a verse clearly broken down into syllables, and then the word itself spoken in regular reading speed. Finally, I will recite the entire verse at regular speed. Let me know what you think of this method!
03.17.05 I updated the Names of God and Jewish Holidays sections and also added additional printer-friendly pages to various locations on the site. I am still recovering from my recent site crash, so some of the links might not be operational. I will soon be writing a short article on Purim, since this is one of the most joyful and celebratory of the Jewish holidays. I also hope to add audio to the Birkat Hamazon blessing I added yesterday.
03.16.05 I added the first part of the Birkat Hamazon, or the blessing recited after eating a meal to the Blessings pages. I also made a number of minor updates to the site, including some changes in the grammar section.
03.14.05 I finished up the Weekly Torah reading summary as well as the Hebrew word of the week entry (based on the Torah portion).
03.13.05 I added additional reading practice for U-type vowels. With God's help, I will add Sheva reading practice as well as slowed-down versions of basic texts from the Tanakh (such as the Shema, the Lord's Prayer, and so on). Pray for this work.
I will try to get the weekly Torah portion commentary done later tonight or tomorrow, as well as the Hebrew word of the week based on the weekly parashah.
03.12.05 I added additional reading practice for O-type vowels. I hope to add U-type and the Sheva readings soon. The LORD Jesus is coming back soon, in case you are wondering, too....
03.11.05 I am continuing to correct site errors due to the crash and to upload revised pages to the site (hopefully this is fully transparent to you and you won't find any broken links!) Meanwhile, I am adding some additional reading practice for the vowels. For example, tonight I added some additional reading practice for A-type vowels. I also added additional reading practice for the E-type and I-type vowels. With God's help, more will come, as I have a new sense of purpose to share Hebrew for all who wish to learn this beautiful and spiritual language -- entirely for free.
SYSTEM CRASH UPDATE
03.10.05 I am repairing the site from the crash.... No new content while the repair process continues. I hope to be finished within one week. Meanwhile, most links are working, as I am trying to make the problems inconspicous to site visitors.
03.09.05 IMPORTANT NOTICE
My web application has crashed and I am presently rebuilding the site. I will attempt to keep the current pages intact as long as possible, but you may notice some broken links over the next couple of weeks.
03.08.05 I finished up the Weekly Torah reading and the new Hebrew word of the week (Pekudei). I also made a few other changes to areas of the site.
I have not been feeling too well again lately: very tired and spiritually oppressed. The LORD is faithful to buffet us when we need it, but I covet any prayers you might wish to express for me and my little family. Todah.
03.07.05 I wrote a (short) Hebrew meditation on Psalm 32:1 - and the keywords of pesha (rebellion), chata'ah (sin), and avon (perversity), and how the Mashiach Yeshua "took up" our sin by becoming the Sin Bearer of the world. Praise God for His awesome grace to those of us made "crooked and perverse" on account of our sins....
I am a day or so behind on the weekly Torah portion, so please be patient.... I hope to get to it sometime early this week.
03.03.05 I wrote much of the new article on Rosh Chodesh, or the blessings that attend to the appearance of the "new moon" and the start of the Jewish month. For this page I undertook the laborious task of creating a Flash file using various NASA photographs of the moon. The movie attempts to show an entire lunar phase (lunation) in rapid motion in order to illustrate how the moon is illuminated throughout the month. There is a great deal of prophetic significance in the New Moon, and I hope to write about that later. Meanwhile I need to add the Kiddush Levanah blessing which is recited under the canopy of the night sky as a separate part of the Rosh Chodesh celebration.... Check back for updates!
03.02.05 I added new material on Ta'anit Ester, or the Fast of Esther, that occurs the day before Purim. I am also presently writing an article on Rosh Chodesh that I hope to have finished tonight, God willing.
February 2005 Updates
02.28.05 I updated the Sabbath Candle Lighting Blessing page by enhancing the readability and correcting some errors. I also added a new simple blessing recited upon seeing an ocean or great lake.
02.27.05 I updated the weekly Torah Reading Commentary for Parashat Vaiyakhel and added the new Hebrew word for the week. Keeping abreast of the Torah readings is a great way to empathize with the Jewish people as they study the Scriptures, and will make you a more sensitive witness to them. Remember: God loves the Jewish people and has a plan for them to be restored in His greatness. Sha'alu shalom Yerushalayim!
02.25.05 I added the blessing recited during the Torah Processional today, as well as updated some glossary entries.
02.25.05 I significantly revised the blessing recited when the Holy Ark is opened by adding audio and a further blessing that is customarilty recited at this point in the Torah portion of the synagogue service. I also nearly finished the Torah Processional blessings, but it got way too late for me again (nearly 4:00 am), and I have to work tomorrow morning..... IY"H I will soon have the Torah portion of the Jewish Prayer service completed.
02.24.05 I added the blessing recited when the Holy Ark is opened to the site today. This recitation occurs as part of the Torah Service that occurs on Mondays, Thursdays, and Shabbat at the synagogue.
02.23.05 I added Brit Chadashah Blessings which are recited before and after reading the Brit Chadashah (i.e., New Testament) by many Messianic Jewish believers. These blessings correspond to the Torah and Haftarah blessings recited by Jews before the public reading of the Torah of Moses and the words of the Prophets (nevi'im).
02.22.05 I added a new Hebrew daily blessing thanking the LORD for the way of salvation in Yeshua, the Mashiach.
02.20.05 I made numerous site changes, and added the weekly Parashah nutshell as well as the new Hebrew Word of the Week (which I am now calling the Parashah Keyword). I made additional updates to the grammar section.
02.18.05 I decided to make the Hebrew Word of the Week correspond with the Weekly Torah readings, since this is logical and provides a means of further exploring some of the concepts embedded within the weekly parashah. IY"H I will now be updating the Word of the Week on a consistent basis... (Adonai, ozeir li).
02.17.05 I added Unit 9.3 on Stative Verbs to the online grammar tonight. I also updated the Introduction to Verbs section by adding a few things.
02.16.05 I fixed a few errors in the grammar section and also improved the transliteration scheme for Hebrew vowels. I made numerous cosmetic changes to pages in the grammar and also added additional printer-friendly pages.
02.15.05 I have been updating the Hebrew Names of God material by adding some additional Names and some special graphics (flash files). I also am making many of these pages "printer-friendly" now.
02.14.05 I added Psalm 23 in Hebrew so that you can practice reciting your Hebrew while reviewing a beloved Psalm. Please note that the sound files are rather large so the page might load a bit slowly.... If you don't see all the Hebrew text, be sure to click on your browser's refresh button. I also updated the weekly Torah portion and Names of God sections of the site.
02.11.05 I have added a (beta) version of a free online discussion forum for any site visitor here who wants to discuss biblical Hebrew. Sign up -- it's free and you can immediately begin posting questions to others who are studying Hebrew!
02.10.05 I am added products and books to the new online store. Purchasing any of these materials will help me with the costs associated with running the site. I will be adding to the Hebrew grammar sections soon, IY"H, though I have a busy weekend scheduled. Hatslahah, and may the LORD God of Israel be your portion forever!
02.07.05 I am going to be opening an online store for the best in Hebrew software products! Stay tuned... Also, I am updating the Hebrew Names of God sections and adding printer-friendly pages.
02.06.05 I updated the Introduction to the Hebrew blessings and the Types of Hebrew blessings pages. There is a lot more to be said about the vast legacy of the Jewish berachot, but this will have to suffice for now as I am busy working on other areas of the site.
I was sick with the flu the last few days, but B"H, I am better. The LORD God of Israel is our Healer (Adonai Rophekha)! "He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds." Psalm 147:3
02.05.05 I removed some of the "Advanced Information" material from the Hebrew consonants pages since I am beginning to write a book on the subject, IY"H. After the book is published I will put this material back online and also offer you a discount to purchase the new book for your own research and interest. Please pray for this work.
02.02.05 I added the Hebrew blessing upon seeing a king, which likely was exclaimed when the crowds witnessed Jesus perform a miracle in their midst (e.g., Matt. 9:1-8).
02.01.05 I added the conclusion of the Lord's Prayer in Hebrew to the site today.
January 2005 Updates
01.31.05 I updated the material on writing the Hebrew Names of God. I also finished writing the last part of the Lord's Prayer in Hebrew, but won't get it online until later tonight. I have been feeling dizzy today with a bad headache. Please pray for my strength.
01.30.05 I had a very busy weekend, but I managed to update the Hebrew Gematria page (in the Hebrew grammar section). I also updated the weekly parashah and made some other (minor) changes to the site.
My mother seems to be doing better, B"H, and I want to thank those of you who enquired of her welfare. The LORD God is faithful and good to us all.
01.29.05 I added Advanced Information regarding the letter Lamed tonight. I also added an overview of the different Hebrew Script Styles used by STA"M scribes when they write Hebrew for sacred purposes.
01.27.05 Continuing the theme of the "mysteries of the Hebrew Alphabet," I updated the letter Kaf page with Advanced Information today.
01.26.05 I updated the letter Yod with Advanced Information. See how Yod shows the LORD as the One who upholds all things by the Word of His power.
01.25.05 I updated the letter Tet with Advanced Information. See how Tet represents your inner life: are you surrendered to the yoke of the Messiah or are you living inwardly as a serpent?
01.24.05 I updated the letter the letter Chet with Avanced Information. You will be amazed to learn that embedded in this letter is a picture of being yoked to the Messiah Yeshua!
01.23.05 Baruch HaShem - my mother is doing better after her second surgery. For any of you who might have prayed, please accept my sincere thanks.
I updated the letter the letter Zayin with Advanced Information. Some really amazing insights are to be found in the Hebrew Alphabet! Take a look?
01.22.05 Added Advanced Information to the the Letter Vav (part of the "Mysteries of the Alphabet" material I am adding to the Hebrew Consonants pages). I also updated the weekly parashah.
01.21.05 PRAYER REQUEST!
My mother had a heart attack this morning.... She went through open-heart surgery and is now in ICU. Please pray for Jocelyn and ask the LORD to show her His favor.
Regarding the website, I significantly updated the article, "Should Christians be Torah Observant?" by making a strong distinction between the idea of torah (as instruction) and covenant. If you haven't read this piece yet, please do!
01.20.05 I created more user-friendly pages for Unit One of the online grammar, including some updates to the Unit Review and Exercises. I also updated the short article "Jesus and the Alphabet." A special thanks goes to Rey Iway for a donation to the Hebrew for Christians ministry, too!
01.19.05 I created printer friendly pages for the exercises of the first three units of the online Hebrew grammar and made some additional tweaks to some pages.
01.18.05 I updated the Hebrew Alphabet start page as well as made a few additional notes about the first five letters, Aleph through Hey. I also resumed work on the grammar portion of the site by adding a new unit on the Qal Perfect for Strong Verbs. Check it out! I also updated the Tu B'Shevat page for the upcoming holiday.
My health has been poor lately -- doubtless in part because I am staying up late at nights working on this web site while working my regular job. If any of you wish to encourage my efforts, please consider making a donation.
01.17.05 On further reflection, I decided to move some of the information about the "mysteries of the Hebrew alphabet" to the individual pages that teach the basics of the various letters (e.g., Aleph). After all, some of this material does indeed point to Yeshua as the LORD and Master, and therefore has merit. However, I am limiting the amount of this information, since study of the otiyot can lead to mystical speculations (and even to Tarot) which is certainly not God-honoring.
01.16.05 Sometimes the only way forward is backward. Despite a few days of hard work, I decided to remove the "Mysteries of the Hebrew Letters" section from the web site. After praying about it, I came to the conclusion that such speculation leads directly to occultic thinking that does not glorify the LORD in the truth. Medieval Kabbalah is not the way to know the saving power of our LORD and Savior Yeshua.
01.15.05 I am very sick -- went to the hospital today. I have lost my voice and am having difficulty breathing... I was put on antibiotics and an inhaler. Going back to bed now.
01.13.05 I wrote a short article called Blessing the Jewish People that attempts to promote a sense of appreciation for the gift of the Jews to us all. Later tonight I hope to resume work on the Mysteries of the Hebrew Alphabet series I am doing....
01.12.05 I added the Mystery of the Letter Dalet (part four of the Mysteries of the Hebrew Alphabet series) to the site this morning. I am at home sick today.
01.11.05 I stayed home in bed today -- with a bad cold/flu -- but I managed to add a new page to the site called the Mystery of the Letter Gimmel (this is part three of the Mysteries of the Hebrew Alphabet series I am presently doing).
01.10.05 I am feeling a bit under the weather and am fighting a cold presently.... However, I managed to add the Hebrew Names of God for the Holy Spirit as revealed in the Brit Chadasha. I also am beginning a new series on the Mysteries of the Hebrew Alphabet. So far I have Aleph and Bet done, and IY"H tomorrow I will get some more letters online.
01.09.05 I wrote a short (and non-scholarly) page on the history of the Hebrew language. This page is merely meant to provide an overview of how the writing system evolved from the proto-Canaanite pictographs to modern Hebrew text.
01.07.05 - I wrote an brief article on Chayei Olam ("eternal life") for the Articles section.
01.06.04 I created a small online tutorial to help you become familiar with the Rashi Script, that is, the script Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki (aka Rashi) used while providing commentary on the Torah. Knowing Rashi script is helpful if you are going to study any Torah from the Jewish tradition and is considered a basic component of Jewish education.
01.05.05 I added a few more Hebrew blessings to the site, including: the Hebrew blessing said when smelling fragrant oil (which also may be said when anointing with oil for healing), the blessing recited when thanking God for a personal miracle, and the Birkat HaGomel blessing thanking God for deliverance from life-threatening situations.
01.04.05 I wrote an article on Tu B'Shevat, which occurs on January 25th on our Gregoian calendar this year.
01.03.05 I added a new blessing (or prayer) recited after attending a synagogue service. Here is yet another opportunity for you to both practice your Hebrew reading while learning more about Jewish culture! Hatslahah!
01.02.05 I have begun working on the Hebrew verbs section and put a draft of the Hebrew Verbal System Overview online. This is just a draft, and I will add more to this page, but it's a start. Note that I am unsure if I will be able to include a full course on Hebrew verbs, since it is very involved and will take hundreds of pages to develop. And since there are so few supporters of this web ministry the effort just might not be worth the trouble.... Status: Pending.
01.01.05 I updated the Hebrew Gematria page in section 8 of the Hebrew grammar. I also began working on the first unit of the Qal Perfect, Unit 9.1.