Weekly Scripture Commentary

Shabbat Naso

"The Second Census"

The previous Parashah ends with a census being taken from the families of Kohath from the tribe of Levi, ahead of the families of Gershon, the first born. This is to signify the reverence for the Ark, for which the Kohathites were responsible. But, to emphasize the equality of the two families, the Scripture further says in this week's Parashah, "Naso gam-hem," "take also a census," literally "raise up as well," i.e., give honor as well to the families of Gershon. The Kohathites carried the most sacred parts of the Tabernacle, while the Gershonites carried the less sacred. But by saying, “as well,” the Torah makes the point that both tasks are necessary for the Tabernacle and both should be done with equal joy. This is an implied message to people who may not have the ability of doing certain jobs for the Kingdom of God. It is easy for such people to be discouraged, but to this, the Torah responds that whether one bears the exalted Ark or only the curtains, every role is significant, because each is a unique participant in the sacred service and worship of Yehovah, just as the apostle Shaul writes in 1 Corinthians 12:

"To each is given the disclosure of the Ruach HaKodesh for the common benefit. To one, through the Ruach HaKodesh, is given a word of wisdom; to another, according to the same Ruach HaKodesh, a word of knowledge; to another, by the same Ruach HaKodesh, faith; to another, by the one Ruach HaKodesh, gifts of healing... All these things are activated by the one and same Ruach HaKodesh, distributing individually to each one as He determines. For even as the body is one, and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so is Moshiach. For also in one Ruach HaKodesh we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or freedman, and all were given to drink, as it were, from one Ruach HaKodesh. For the body is not one, but many members. But the members should have the same deeds of loving-kindness and caring for one another."

The parallelism between the Scriptures describing the hearts of men in the process of building the Tabernacle and the hearts of men in the process of building the Ekklesia, the new spiritual Temple, is striking. Please compare the two Scriptures below:

"It was on the day that Moshe had finished setting up the Tabernacle that he anointed it, and sanctified it, and all its instruments, both the Altar and all its utensils, and had anointed them, and sanctified them. The leaders of Israel, the heads of the house of their fathers, who were the leaders of the tribes, and who were those who were counted, brought offerings. And they brought their offering before Yehovah."Numbers 7:1

"And they were constantly devoting themselves to the Moshiach Shluchim's (apostles') teaching and to the Messianic Chavura (fellowship), to the shared meals with breaking bread and to prayer. All were filled with awe, and many wonders and signs through Moshiach's Shluchim were taking place. And all those who had believed were together and they were having all things in common. And they were selling their properties and possessions and were distributing tzedakah to everyone as someone had need. And day by day, devoting themselves with one mind in the courts of the Beit HaMikdash, and from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart praising Yehovah, and having favor with all the people."Acts 2:42-47

Moshe finished erecting the Tabernacle, anointed it, and sanctified it, so, too, our Messiah finished erecting the Ekklesia, the New Holy Tabernacle in His body, anointed it, and sanctified it by sending the Holy Spirit, the Ruach HaKodesh. And just as the people of ancient Israel responded to the awesomeness of the earthly Tabernacle bringing offerings from their overflowing hearts, so too the believers seeing the awesomeness of the new Tabernacle, the Ekklesia, brought gifts above and beyond their abilities with hearts overflowing with joy.

May God teach us to have again this awe of His New Tabernacle, of His Ekklesia, and be together, Jews and Gentiles, two loaves of fine flower as the Shavuot offering, with gladness and sincerity of heart, praising God for He had mercy on all of us, Jews and Gentiles, while we were sinners. And, as sanctified utensils of this New Tabernacle, spread the Good News to Jews and Gentiles alike, using the gifts that the Ruach HaKodesh gave to each, because each member of the body is an important instrument for the Kingdom.

The blessings come by being together, by not forsaking the assembly (Hebrews 10:25), just as the Israelis received blessings when assembled in the Tabernacle. God used the priestly blessing as a conduit for blessing the people: "May the Lord bless you, and keep you. May the Lord make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you. May the Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you (His) Shalom" (Numbers 6:24).

Shabbat joy, peace, and blessings! Shabbat Shalom!

Sisterhood

Coming up this Shabbat at Ben David

May 26 - Message by Doug Friedman:

Title:

“Why God Allows His Followers to Suffer in this World”

Join us this Shabbat morning as we continue our study in 2 Corinthians and uncover multiple reasons why God permits even those who know Him and faithfully serve Him to suffer afflictions in this world.

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.

Sukkot

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 - April 14 - Yom HaShoah

With guest speaker Rochelle Dreeben author of "One Dark Night"

Coming up at Ben David

December 30 - Message by Shmuel Oppenheim:

Title:

“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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