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Reaching Out in Love to Widows and Orphans

Teaching Letter

Why Christians Should Study Torah and Talmud

{image_1}Perhaps this title intrigued you, but you aren’t sure why. After all, isn’t Torah (Gen.–Deut.) really something Jewish? And, isn’t the Talmud a set of writings by Jewish rabbis collected two hundred years after Yeshua (Jesus) lived? And if so, why would a Bible-believing Christian care about the insights and comments from Jewish rabbis, scholars, and sages? You may be worried that your Christian friends might think it strange if you began studying Jewish writings, or your Jewish friends might be offended if they learned you were studying “their stuff.” Let me suggest four reasons why the study of Torah and Talmud can be valuable for Bible-believing Christians.

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The Salt Of The Covenant

{image_1}Every Friday night, I enjoy a Shabbat (Sabbath) meal with Jewish friends in my neighbourhood. It is the highlight of my week.

The Elements of
 a Shabbat Meal
{image_2} Wine symbolizing Joy
 
{image_3} Challa (braided bread) symbolizing the double provision of manna
 
{image_4} The lighting of the candles  to remember and observe the Sabbath
 

When I first experienced a Shabbat meal, while in America, I learned about the symbolism of each part of the meal: the two candles, symbolic of the commands to both remember (Exod. 20:8) and observe (Deut. 5:12) the Shabbat; the wine, the joy of Shabbat; the two loaves of challah (Shabbat braided bread) reminded Jews of God’s double provision of manna in the wilderness on Shabbat (Exod.16:22); the table, a picture of the Temple’s altar; and the father officiating as the priest of the home.

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Yeshua and the Parables

{image_1}Everyone loves a great story! Although we often think of storytelling in terms of its educational and entertainment value for children, the ability to tell and to comprehend a good yarn has served teachers and parents, pastors and preachers, psychiatrists and bartenders very well throughout the ages.

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Bearing Fruit in God’s Kingdom

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Throughout the Bible, God uses simple, everyday illustrations to communicate spiritual truth. Frequently these illustrations are taken from the agrarian lifestyle common in biblical times. These teachings were meant to bring clarity and insight to the readers in an easy-to-understand manner. Unfortunately, we live 2,000 years after the events of the Bible, and most of us are not involved in growing our own food. Even if we are farmers, the methods have changed dramatically over the centuries. We read Scripture through our own cultural eyeglasses, and often miss truths because we simply don’t understand the illustrations.

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Walking God’s Way

{image_1} My husband, Tom, and I frequently walk in the evening after work for exercise and just to spend a little time together in conversation, which we enjoy because it is our time. We live in Gilo, a southern neighborhood In Jerusalem, which is the highest point in the city. No matter how hot the day is, there is almost always a cool breeze in the evening. Recently, I was reading in Ephesians chapter five and noticed a repeated theme of walking. It was an emphasis of how we live or “walk” out our lives, that led me on a trek through the Scriptures to see the connections between walking and God.

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Replacement Theology

“How odd of God to choose the Jews; but not so odd as those who choose the Jewish God but spurn the Jews.”—William Norman Ewer & T. E. Brown “I say then, God has not rejected His people, has He? May it never be! For I too am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, of

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Discipleship and the Hebraic Worldview

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Webster’s Dictionary defines a disciple as “one who believes the teachings of a master.” Further, Mr. Webster states, the disciple may help to “disseminate those teachings.” The primary thrust of this definition that is commonly held in most circles today, including the Church, is that discipleship requires little more than intellectual assent. So it seems that to be a disciple of Yeshua (Jesus), all I have to do is believe what He said.

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Hebraic Roots: The Origin Of Immersion

The history of immersion has been submerged in muddy waters. One matter is certain: baptism means immersion, and immersion was the original way to baptize. Whether there were other ways to satisfy the mode of immersion, and whether the subject should be a babe or a believer are matters of historical and contemporary debate. A consensus on origins would be nice, but one does not appear forthcoming. Gordon Lathrop noted: “Behind the word-service stands the synagogue; behind the Christian meal stand the meal-patterns of hellenistic Judaism. There is no such consensus about the origins of Christian baptism” (Lathrop, 505).

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The Return to Zion—Aliyah in God’s Plan for Israel

{image_1}We are living in a special time in history! It is a time when God is fulfilling His Word to Israel in the sight of the whole earth. He is bringing the Jewish people back to Israel—over one million in the past 15 years. We are seeing Bible prophecy being fulfilled with our own eyes. Those of us who live in Israel not only read about Bible prophecy, or see it being fulfilled on the daily news, but also reach out and touch it, as we hug new immigrants from around the world. The prophet Jeremiah talked about this day when he said, “‘Therefore behold, the days are coming,’ says the Lord, ‘that it shall no more be said, “The Lord lives who brought up the children of Israel from the land of Egypt,” but, “The Lord lives who brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north and from all the lands where He had driven them.” For I will bring them back into their own land which I gave to their fathers’” (Jeremiah 16:14–15).

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