Couple quick notes…

Counting hours to our flight to Israel!!  Can’t wait!!  Do, please, keep us and our purpose in prayer.  Especially, May 25-28!!

Ray Gardner contacted me yesterday evening.  He has been having computer issues.  As soon as they are cleared up, he’ll be getting me more Torah Portion Study notes.  Hang on, they are coming!!

shavuos-recipesFound a cool blog:  I love and use multiple Artscroll volumes, but the real eye catcher was the nice selection of recipes on the blog… all of which are in the cookbooks I did not know they had!!  Enjoy.

‘…to God who appeared to you…’

5_large-stone-for-a-pillowNext Shabbat I have the pleasure of teaching the Portion at the fellowship we are currently attending, so this morning I was reading ahead and pondering anew Vayishlach.  While there are several terrific pieces I plan to study as I prepare, verse 35:1 reminded me of a post I put on here about two weeks ago, “Ya’acov saw Elohim (God) face to face…”  It is a passage that affirms Ya’acov’s very personal encounter with the Living One.

וַיֹּ֤אמֶר אֱלֹהִים֙ אֶֽל־יַעֲקֹ֔ב ק֛וּם עֲלֵ֥ה בֵֽית־אֵ֖ל וְשֶׁב־שָׁ֑ם וַעֲשֵׂה־שָׁ֣ם מִזְבֵּ֔חַ לָאֵל֙ הַנִּרְאֶ֣ה אֵלֶ֔יךָ בְּבָרְחֲךָ֔ מִפְּנֵ֖י עֵשָׂ֥ו אָחִֽיךָ׃

As we did before, here is the Schottenstein Interlinear Chumash‘s rendering,

35:1 God said > to – Jacob >> Arise > -go up > [to] Beth-el > and dwell > there >> and make > there > an altar > to the God > Who appeared > to you > when you fled > from > Esau > your brother.  (Capitalized ‘Who’ is their emphasis)

Continue reading “‘…to God who appeared to you…’”

Ya’acov saw Elohim (God) face to face…

And, the kicker is that He was in the form of a man…  The Hebrew could not be clearer.  In Hebrew, from Genesis 32:24, 30:

(32:25) ויותר יעקב לבדו ויאבק אישׁ עמו עד עלות השׁחר׃

(32:31) ויקרא יעקב שׁם המקום פניאל כי־ראיתי אלהים פנים אל־פנים ותנצל נפשׁי׃

The Schottenstein Chumash translates these verses as follows:

v24    Left alone > was Jacob > by himself > and a man wrestled > with him > until > the rise > of the dawn.

v.30    So Jacob called > the name > of the place > Peniel >> For > I have seen > the Divine (Elohim) > face- > to- > face, > yet saved > was my life.  (Parenthesis mine)

The only thing I really wish right now is that I had an electronic version of the Schottenstein to search and find how many (or, how few) times they translate אלהים (Elohim) as ‘Divine’ instead of the usual rendering of ‘God.’  I do notice that at least within this story they are consistent in translating v.28 as having ‘struggled with the Divine…’

Bottom line: For those who say God can not take the form of a man, nor can He be seen, this short passage is the death knell.  The Hebrew is crystal clear if simply read in the p’shat.


“Now the Lord appeared to [Abraham]…”

Over the course of the last 18 months or so, a topic I have explored from multiple angles is the visible presence of Yehovah in the Tanakh and the connections to the Messiah.  We’ve looked at ‘the Angel of the Lord,’ ‘the Memra,’ and the ‘Metatron.’abraham_and_the_angels

Recently, I was challenged on whether or not God can be seen.  And, while I agree that there are verses indicating His altogether set apartness, there also is the clear statement of Scripture, over and over, that God does indeed reveal Himself to His creation in a form that man can relate to.  Consider Genesis 18 in this week’s Parsha.  The text begins,

18 Adonai appeared to Avraham by the oaks of Mamre as he sat at the entrance to the tent during the heat of the day.

No explanation.  No apologetics.  No tap-dancing.  The text is starkly clear: Yehovah appeared to Avraham!!

But this isn’t the first time.  Just go look at Genesis 17:1!  No explanation there, either, but it is possible in the context of 17 to spiritualize the event as if it were a vision until one gets to verse 22.  The CJB says,

22 With that, God finished speaking with Avraham and went up from him.

The Schottenstein Edition Interlinear Chumash is a little more accurate when it translates,

And He finished speaking with him and God ascended from upon Abraham.

Still, no such explanation in Genesis 18.  Rather, we find that clearly, one of the three men is Yehovah!!  Read, Continue reading ““Now the Lord appeared to [Abraham]…””