Weekly Scripture Commentary

Shabbat HaGadol

The Shabbat before Passover is called Shabbat HaGadol, the Great Shabbat, because of the great miracle that happened on that day. The Jewish people were commanded by Moses to take a lamb and tie it to their bedposts on the 10th day of Nissan, five days before they were to leave Egypt. According to tradition, the 10th of Nissan in the year of the exodus was a Saturday. It was considered a great event, in fact a miracle, that the Israelites could on that day select a lamb for sacrifice without being punished by their Egyptian masters, who, at other times, would have stoned them for such a daring act since the Egyptian god Khnum, a ram, was one of the earliest Egyptian deities, originally the god of the source of the Nile River.

Passover is coming up in a few days and Yeshua asked us to do one thing to remember Him, that is, to observe the Passover. Yeshua said, "Do this in memory of Me" and that “this” means partake of the elements of Passover - symbols of His body. He said, "Until I come again observe the Passover in remembrance of Me," because after He comes again, He will have fulfilled Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur - the Fall Holy Days, and then we will be observing the Festival of Sukkot to celebrate His presence among us. But until He comes again what we will do in remembrance of Him is to observe Passover, or the Lord's last Seder, because that is what He had fulfilled for us as the sacrificial Lamb of God. Therefore, Yeshua asks us to proclaim His death through the Passover observance.

God gave the Israelites the commandment to observe the Passover on the 14th of Aviv at nightfall. This year, it falls on this coming Friday night, March 30. We now call this holiday, "The Festival of Freedom." But the Israelites were still slaves in Egypt on that night and, even though they left the next day, they got only as far as the desert. Not much freedom there. Therefore, Passover has to have a deeper meaning because from the human perspective it could only be called the Festival of "Expected" Freedom. Indeed we have seen its meaning amplified in the atoning sacrifice, the death and resurrection of Yeshua, and that is the real freedom, not the physical freedom but the spiritual one, the freedom from the slavery of sin. Without knowing Yeshua the Festival remains just a prototype of a sacrifice, or worst, a religious exercise void of its context.

Let's take these few remaining days till Passover and prepare our hearts to partake the elements as the Apostle Shaul is entreating us, "Clean out the old leaven so that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened, for Messiah our Passover has been sacrificed."

Parashah Tzav

This Parashah continues to discuss the offerings mentioned in the previous chapters: elevation-offering, meal-offering, peace-offering, sin-offering and guilt-offering. However, this Torah portion speaks of these offerings as they relate to Aaron and his sons, also, it adds the teachings of a new offering, the inauguration-offering. Every offering had a two part element, one part to be a fire offering of a satisfying aroma to Yehovah, and another part to be eaten by the person who brought the offering or by the Kohanim.

But among these offerings there was a unique one, the peace-offering. The peace-offering could have been either a thanksgiving-offering or a feast-offering. What was interesting about the thanksgiving-offering was that it had be an offering of three elements: unleavened bread, leavened bread and a blood offering. The instruction for this thanksgiving-offering was that it must be eaten completely on the day of its offering and not leave any of it until morning.

"And this is the Torah of the sacrifice of peace offerings, which he shall offer to the Lord. If he offers it for a thanksgiving (todah), then he shall offer with the sacrifice of thanksgiving unleavened cakes mixed with oil, and unleavened wafers anointed with oil, and cakes mixed with oil, of fine flour, fried. Besides the cakes, he shall offer for his offering leavened bread with the sacrifice of his peace offerings for thanksgiving. And of it he shall offer one out of each offering for an offering to the Lord, and it shall be the priest’s who sprinkles the blood of the peace offerings. And the meat of the sacrifice of his peace offerings for thanksgiving shall be eaten the same day that it is offered; he shall not leave any of it until the morning." Vayikra 7:11-15

From this the sages taught that giving thanks to God is a daily activity; never let a day pass without giving thanks to Him. The symbolism of the two kinds of loaves is that the worshiper recognizes that he owes everything - his food and his well-being - to God, but that the unleavened bread, the matzah, symbolizes the worshiper's rededication to God, as matzah is a symbol of a life without sin. The sages also taught that after the coming of Messiah and the perfection of the world - new heaven and new earth, there will be no further need for atonement offerings because people will no longer sin, but that there will always be thanksgiving-offerings. People will thank God because they will realize that everything that God does is ultimately good.


Coming up this Shabbat at Ben David

March 3 - Message by Doug Friedman:


“Unmasking Another Secret in the Book of Esther"

There are many unusual things about the Book of Esther, the most widely-mentioned one being the fact that this book is the only book in the entire bible that nowhere mentions God. While He, Himself, is never mentioned, His handiwork has is unmistakable. Yet, there are other revelations about God and the way He works that even an astute reader may miss when reading and even studying it in detail. Come and learn about another one that has been hiding right in front of us!

Simchat Torah

October 14 - Simchat Torahtorah
The Joy of the Torah - Morning Service
Concluding the annual Torah reading and beginning anew.
Join us celebrating God's word.

Rosh HaShanah

Wednesday, September 20 - Erev Rosh HaShanah Messianic Service at 7:00pm.rosh
Rosh HaShanah, also known as the Jewish New Year, is called in the Bible, The Feast of Trumpets, or, in Hebrew, Zicharon Teruah, the Day of Memorial of Blowing.
Rosh HaShanan (literally, Head of the Year) occurs on the first day of the Jewish month of Tishrei, this year, on Thursday, September 21.
Please join us for the evening service on Wednesday, September 20, at 7:00pm and celebrate this Biblical Holy Day and its Messianic significance.

Yom Kippur

September 30 - Yom Kippur Messianic Serviceykippur
Yom Kippur, or the Day of Atonement, occurs on the tenth of Tishrei, Saturday, September 30 this year.
Join us for this Messianic Service at 10:30am.


October 7 - Sukkot Service at 10:30am:sukkot
join us for a Sukkot celebration.
- Morning Service and Oneg in the Sukkah.

Sisterhood Event Oct-21

October 21 - Sisterhood Eventtorah
Has the Lord been good to you? Have you experienced His grace and blessings in your life? Psalm 105:1-3 Instructs us to:
“Give thanks to the Lord! Proclaim His Name; Make known His deeds among the people. Sing to Him, sing psalms to Him; Talk of all His wondrous works. Glory in His Holy Name; Let the hearts of those rejoice who see the Lord.”
If you answered “yes” to the questions above, then we hope that you will join us as we gather to say Toda Adonai in worship and fellowship. Let us proclaim His great Name and declare His wondrous works in our lives.
Join us after the morning service at 12:30pm for a giving thanks luncheon. Lunch donation: $5.

Hanukkah Celebration

December 16 - Hanukkah Celebration at 4:00pm
Come, celebrate Hanukkah with us.
- Menorah Lighhting
- Dancing
- Children’s Activities
- Dreidel Playing
- Traditional Foods
- Latkes & Sufganiyot

PLEASE NOTE: There will be no morning service.

Coming up at Ben David - Purim

March 3 - Purim Celebration:

Join us for a fun filled Purim Celebration: costumes, parade, children's program, joyful music, insightful sermon, and an Oneg with delicious hamantaschen. Purim is the last event of the biblical calendar and symbolizes the ultimate victory over evil.

Hamantaschen Baking Contest:

Bring two dozen of your homemade hamantaschen before the service to enter the contest. Prizes will be awarded at the Oneg.

Coming up at Ben David - Passover

March 31 - Community Passover Seder:

Join us for our annual Community Seder at Embassy Suites Hotel.

This would be a wonderful time to invite family and friends as Doug will leads us through the traditional elements of the Passover explaining how Yeshua the Messiah fulfilled the Scriptures as the promised Lamb of God. We will be sharing the reading of the Haggadah and learn about the Jewish roots of Yeshua's Last Seder, enjoy beautiful holiday music, Davidic dancing, and partake of a sumptuous Seder dinner.

To make your reservation, please click on "Passover" menu tab above and follow the directions. Or, pick a flier from our congregation.

For more information please call (714) 974-3107 or e-mail at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Coming up at Ben David

December 30 - Message by Shmuel Oppenheim:


“Hineni: Here I Am!”

Rabbi Oppenheim will address the subject of what God asked of Abraham, what God was willing to do, and what He did.

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