Rabbi Paul L. Saal is the founding spiritual leader of Congregation Shuvah Yisrael. He received smicha (ordination) through the Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations and served over a decade on its Steering Committee. He is the current vice president of the Messianic Jewish Rabbinical Council. Rabbi Saal is a trustee and affiliate faculty member of the Messianic Jewish Theological Institute. He is a former editor of Kesher:A Journal of Messianic Judaism and is the author of many published theological papers and articles. He and his wife Robbie are the parents of four daughters and one grand daughter and reside in West Hartford, CT since 1994.
A number of years ago, while taking a leisurely walk with my wife and in-laws, we happened upon a very understated and unpublicized public demonstration.
Among messianic Jews, much has been said concerning the parallels between the sacrifices of the paschal lamb and that of Yeshua. After all, the paschal lamb was the essential sacrifice which God commanded the children of Israel to make before liberating them from bondage to the Pharaoh of Egypt and bringing them to Sinai where they would enter into a covenant of service to Him.
We most often think of patience or savlanut as the capacity to deal with frustrating delays or obstacles that interfere with our plans or objectives.
There's an old saying that goes, "If the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning is eat a live frog, then nothing worse can happen for the rest of the day!"
Just this morning as I was finishing a Yoga session I casually overheard an interesting and perhaps telling conversation. As I was coming out of the locker room I passed a common area where one of the instructors was “holding court” with a few students.
I find that one of the most enigmatic stories in the Besorot for the modern reader is that of Yeshua quieting a storm. The account is found in Matthew 8, Mark 4 and Luke 8. Though there are some small differences, the accounts are largely the same.
Several years ago I had the opportunity to attend one of the last public appearances of one of the most renowned philosophers of the last half of the 20th century. At the outset there must have been 3000 academics, philosophers and theologians who assembled in the auditorium in Toronto to hear the famous man.
This week we embarked upon our annual reading of Bamidbar. The Fourth Book of the Torah is so named since it begins “Vay’daber Adonai el-Mosheh b’midbar Sinai (And the LORD spoke to Moses in the wilderness of Sinai).”
Often when we speak of the righteousness of God we conjure up images of perfection. After all, God directed Moses, “Speak to the entire assembly of Israel and say to them: You shall be holy, for holy am I, Hashem your God” (Vayikra 19:2). Unfortunately our efforts often fall short of God’s highest standards and can leave us feeling inadequate.
“Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone on the face of the Earth.” (Numbers 12:2-4) It was this statement that first made me wonder if Moses did in fact write the entire text of Torah that is attributed to him.