News Letter 5846-002
3rd day of the First month 5846 years after creation
The First Month in of the first year of the third Sabbatical Year
The Third Sabbatical Year of the 119th Jubilee Cycle
March 20, 2010
Shabbat Shalom Brethren,
The New Sighted Moon has been seen. It is now Rosh Hashanah. It is the beginning of the New Year. This is now the third day of the first month. It is the beginning of a new Sabbatical Cycle; The Third Sabbatical Cycle. And Passover is just days away. We should all now be in full de-leavening mode, which is symbolic of removing the sin from our lives.
Our Triennial Torah reading schedule can now be found on the home page or at this link.
This Passover season will happen in the exact same order of days as it did when Yehshua was killed in 31 A.D. That is the 14th will be on Wednesday when Yeshua is killed at 3 PM. He had to be in the grave just before sunset as the 1st day of Unleavened Bread was about to begin. This year it was that year will be on Thursday. Friday will be the preparation day for the weekly Sabbath. Then the weekly Sabbath when Yehshua rose from the grave just before the Sabbath ended at Sunset. Exactly three days and three nights. Note it was three days and three nights just as Jonah was in the belly of the whale for three days and three nights. That is three 24 hour periods, and not parts of a day, or two days and one night as some would teach. This is an excellent example disproving the Friday Crucifixion fictional story.
A few weeks ago I told you what I thought was one of the reasons for the Severe Earthquakes in Haiti. By Now you have all heard of the devastating earthquakes in Chilli. And just how many of them are huge quakes over 5 on the rector scale. What is the connection? Have you asked? I urge you to go these two URLs to consider what they are saying. Something to think about.
And with the USA making the demands on Israel to stop building in the land of Israel. I would not be surprised to see a devastating disaster to come upon the USA especially this year as we enter the beginning of sorrows.
This week I want to give you something to talk about during the Passover meal with you brethren and family. I want you to understand what happened on this most momentous of occasions when we the people of Israel became a nation. This was the year 1379 BC when Israel crossed the Red Sea and is the actual beginning of the 70 weeks prophecy of Daniel. You can learn all about this in the Book The Prophecies of Abraham which can be ordered at the Sightedmoon Marketplace
We began a two month ad campaign to place this book in front of 60 million Christians who are searching the scriptures. Please pray for the success of this as we go forward.
I am in Israel this next two weeks meeting a number of people hopefully, so do keep us in your prayers as well.
This week I would like you all to read these two articles. One is explaining how the Israelites cross over the Red Sea on dry ground. The answer comes from your own bible believe it or not. The other article is a new one which explains what happened to Egypt after the Army of Pharaoh never came back. I found this fascinating as I pieced it together this past month. The Producer of the Exodus Conspiracy also found it amazing. So we will see if they include it in the movie.
I hope you all will watch the movie the Ten Commandments. I still find this a great story to watch. And Just as I was cheering for the Canadian team to win the Gold medal game at the Olympics, I still cheer for the Israelites when they cross the red Sea. And I do this even though I know who is going to win. So I admit to being a little crazy. It is a special time of year. Enjoy it with the ones you love.
To read this week’s News Letter go to to read Nefertiti and Askenaten: Now you know the rest of the story.
You can also go read Exodus Another study of the facts.
Because we are now beginning a new Sabbatical Cycle of 7 years and this is a most determining Sabbatical Cycle; I wanted to do the Torah readings based on the ancient tri annual reading schedule. Judy Andrews as I said has done all the leg work for us and has presented it for our benefit. I asked you all to print this out and so we will begin to read All of Gen 1, Joshua 1-4 Psalm 1 and Mat 1-2:18. I have said before that I felt that Yahweh has messages to give us by reading His Torah. I have heard how the Annual Torah readings occur at prophetic moments in time. It is my strong belief that by doing the 3 ½ year tri-annual reading which is twice going through the whole bible in 7 years time that Yahweh would again be speaking to us from His word. Having now done this reading in preparation for this News Letter, I am sure I am about to surprise some of you as I have surprised myself.
So here are My Comments;
Gen 1; the power of Yhwh’s spoken word. I have found a great deal of power just by writing out His words to you. They are powerful. Many of you have been moved and repented after reading His words. This is awesome.
The section on the making of lights is where we learn about the calendar. It is based on seeing a light. Not seeing nothing as those who follow the conjunction of the moon would have you believe. We are also told that a 24 hour period of time is the evening and the morning. The night and then the day time period.
The end of chapter one, we learn that everything that is green and comes from the earth or grown on a tree are for food. There is nothing here about the eating of flesh. Interesting. It is the fruits of the tree that we are to eat. This is going to come more to the forefront as we continue to read this week’s study. Watch what is about to happen. We are to eat the fruit of the tree for food.
Joshua 1-4 I like the admonition to Joshua to be strong and of good courage. We should all heed this command. He was told this four times for emphasis. Be Strong of good courage. Yahweh is with us, who can stand against us.
This is the story of the fall of Jericho and how Rahab the Harlot who saved the two spies and her own household. She would go on to be the Ancestress of Yeshua himself. I also want to point out that when the Ark went in the front of them that the rest of Israel had to walk behind it at a distance of 2000 cubits. This is the same measurement of the Holy Place around the temple.
When you walk this distance from the Temple you end up at the Crucifixion site on the Mount of Offence.
We just spoke of the Red Sea crossing and how the waters stood up as a heap. Here in Joshua the waters again are standing up as a heap near Adam beside Zeretan. I have no other clues as to whether this water was frozen as in the Red Sea crossing.
At some point I would like to find the 12 stones that were set up as a monument to this crossing. As far as I know they are still hidden near Gilgal. I find this interesting that we are reading this and this event took place on the 10th day of the first month just before Passover. One of the reasons I have wanted to do this triennial study was because I feel very strongly that Yahweh is going to show something according to this schedule and the only way to learn it and to see it is to read this each week and to watch what happens in the world. We are to Fear Yahweh and these 12 stones are a memorial of the greatness that is His alone.
Psalm 1. The first thing I noticed in reading this psalm is that just like Joshua was told by Yahweh we are told to meditate on this law day and night. Then the section on those who do so will be likened to a tree planted by the rivers of water. I have been looking for this verse for some time. And here it is. The Planting of a Tree is spoken of in the heart of the Torah which is what Acts refers to when The Apostles are speaking of what is required of the gentile converts. We wrote of this in:
- Newsletter 5845-038 The Doctrine of Balaam
You should go back and read this again at this time.
In the middle of this teaching the apostles give the following verse in Leviticus 19: 23 ‘And when you come into the land, and have planted all kinds of trees for food, then you shall reckon their fruit as uncircumcised. For three years it is as uncircumcised to you, it is not eaten. 24 ‘And in the fourth year all its fruit is set-apart – praises to ????. 25 ‘And in the fifth year you eat its fruit, so that it increases its yield to you. I am ???? your Elohim.
Now stop and think about this. Psalms says that those who meditate on His laws day and night shall be as a tree planted by the riverside. What is the river of life; Yahweh’s Holy Spirit which is symbolized by the Gihon Spring which gushed up from below the Temple.
We are the trees. So from this verse we can conclude that in a Sabbatical cycle the tree is to be planted in the first year of that cycle and for the first three years its fruit is to be uncircumcised. What does this word uncircumcised mean in regards to the fruit? I looked into the strong’s and found that it is #6189 and is Arel which to me is very close to Ariel which is a town in Shomron area of Israel. But it just says uncircumcision and I am left to think it is still not exposed or still hidden for three years.
When we combine this information with what I have been showing you about the end of the 2730 year curse upon Israel and how we can go home in the year of 2010, I conclude it all this way. (The 2730 years is the 70 Shabuwa of Daniel multiplied by 49 which brings you from 1379 BC when they came out of Egypt to 2045 when the 120th Jubilee year begins.)
We are likened to trees as Psalm tells us and we are to be planted in the land of Israel this year of 2010 the first year of the current Sabbatical cycle. For three years we will be covered or uncircumcised but in the fourth year we will be set apart to Yahweh.
In the book The Prophecies of Abraham I show you that Jacob was blessed by Isaac in the first year of the third Sabbatical cycle. I also showed you that Abraham was blessed by Yahweh with the Covenant in the Fifth year of that same third Sabbatical Cycle.
I feel very strongly that we have to be in the land this first year and we will be hidden for three years and then blessed in the fourth and fifth years. Exactly how this is to happen, I am still not sure. But we have to be there to receive the blessing.
Having prayed on this, two days later I awoke to realize the following in regards to the planting of the tree.
Production Trees that have been planted and cared for correctly, begin to produce olives about three years after planting and the first commercial crop arrives in year four. From Australian trials carried out on 14 varieties by the Department of Agriculture in Mildura, five year old trees produced an average of 27kgs of fresh fruit. Ten year old trees produced an average of 77kgs per tree. Fourteen year old trees produced an average of 128kgs per tree. Notice that it gives the most fruit in the 14th year. A friend had told me this just weeks ago.
The best time to plant an Olive tree is in the fall before the rainy season. And an Olive tree will produce fruit for thousands of years.
Here is what I gleaned from the scriptures about the Olive tree.
Zechariah 4: And the messenger who was speaking to me came back and woke me up as a man is awakened from sleep. 2 And he said to me, “What do you see?” So I said, “I have looked, and see: a lampstand all of gold with a bowl on top of it, and on the stand seven lamps with seven spouts to the seven lamps. 3 “And two olive trees are by it, one at the right of the bowl and the other at its left.” 4 Then I responded and spoke to the messenger who was speaking to me, saying, “What are these, my master?” 5 And the messenger who was speaking to me answered and said to me, “Do you not know what these are?” And I said, “No, my master.” 6 And he answered and said to me, “This is the word of ???? to Zerubbab?el, ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ said ???? of hosts. 7 ‘Who are you, great mountain, before Zerubbab?el? A plain! And he shall bring forth the capstone with shouts of “Favour, favour to it!” ’ ” 8 And the word of ???? came to me, saying, 9 “The hands of Zerubbab?el have laid the foundation of this House, and his hands shall complete it. And you shall know that ???? of hosts has sent Me to you. 10 “For who has despised the day of small beginnings? They shall rejoice when they see the plumb-line in the hand of Zerubbab?el. These seven are the eyes of ????, which diligently search throughout all the earth.” 11 Then I responded and said to him, “What are these two olive trees, one at the right of the lampstand and the other at its left?” 12 And I responded a second time and said to him, “What are these two olive branches which empty golden oil from themselves by means of the two gold pipes?” 13 And he answered me and said, “Do you not know what these are?” And I said, “No, my master.” 14 And he said, “These are the two anointed ones, who stand beside the Master1 of all the earth.” Footnote: 1See vv. 3 & 11, also Mt. 17:3-4, Rev. 11:3-10.
Speaking of John the baptiser, we read;
Like 1: 17 “And he shall go before Him in the spirit and power of Eliyahu, ‘to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,’ and the disobedient to the insight of the righteous, to make ready a people prepared for ????.”
Mathew 3:1. And in those days Yohanan the Immerser came proclaiming in the wilderness of Yehudah, 2 and saying, “Repent, for the reign of the heavens has come near!” 3 For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Yeshuau, saying, “A voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way of ????, make His paths straight.’
We are told of this in the very last page of the old testament in the book of Malachi 4: 1 “For look, the day shall come, burning like a furnace, and all the proud, and every wrongdoer shall be stubble. And the day that shall come shall burn them up,” said ???? of hosts, “which leaves to them neither root nor branch. 2 “But to you who fear My Name the Sun of Righteousness shall arise with healing in His wings. And you shall go out and leap for joy like calves from the stall. 3 “And you shall trample the wrongdoers, for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day that I do this,” said ???? of hosts. 4 “Remember the Torah of Moshe, My servant, which I commanded him in Horab for all Yisrael – laws and right-rulings. 5 “See, I am sending you ?liyah1 the prophet before the coming of the great and awesome day of ????. Footnote: 1Lk. 1:17. 6 “And he shall turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with utter destruction1.” Footnote: 1Zech. 14:11.
It is in Revelations that we learn about the end time Olive Trees.
And a reed like a measuring rod was given to me, and the messenger stood, saying, “Rise and measure the Dwelling Place of Elohim, and the altar, and those worshipping in it. 2 “But cast out the court which is outside the Dwelling Place, and do not measure it, for it has been given to the gentiles, and they shall trample the set-apart city under foot for forty-two months. 3 “And I shall give unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clad in sackcloth.” 4 These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that are standing before the Elohim of the earth. 5 And if anyone wishes to harm them, fire comes out from their mouth and consumes their enemies. And if anyone wishes to harm them, he has to be killed in that way. 6 These possess authority to shut the heaven, so that no rain falls in the days of their prophecy. And they possess authority over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they wish. 7 And when they have ended their witness, the beast coming up out of the pit of the deep shall fight against them, and overcome them, and kill them, 8 and their dead bodies lie in the street of the great city which spiritually is called Sed?om and Mitsrayim, where also our Master was impaled, 9 and some of the peoples and tribes and tongues and nations see their dead bodies for three and a half days, and not allow their dead bodies to be placed into tombs, 10 and those dwelling on the earth rejoice over them and exult. And they shall send gifts to each other, because these two prophets tortured those dwelling on the earth. 11 And after the three and a half days a spirit of life from Elohim entered into them, and they stood upon their feet, and great fear fell on those who saw them. 12 And they heard a loud voice from the heaven saying to them, “Come up here.” And they went up into the heaven in a cloud, and their enemies saw them. 13 And in that hour there came to be a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell. And in the earthquake seven thousand men were killed, and the rest became afraid and gave esteem to the Elohim of the heaven.
The two Olive trees are to be planted in the first year and they produce an abundance of fruit in the14th year. Looking at the Prophecies of Abraham we can see that the year of Israel’s return is in 2010. When we count forward 14 years we see that this is 2024 and is the beginning of the captivity of Israel and of the Judgment on the rest of the nations of world. This is also the time for the two witnesses. They begin their ministry in the year 2026 and are killed in 2030 at Passover. You really do need to read this book if you have not yet done so.
Now let’s go back to the part about the fruit being uncircumcised. The fruit is to be considered uncircumcised for three years. From 2010 to 2013. It is in 2014 that the all the fruit is Holy to Yahweh and 2015 that this fruit is eaten by the rest of us.
Leviticus 19: 23 ‘And when you come into the land, and have planted all kinds of trees for food, then you shall reckon their fruit as uncircumcised. For three years it is as uncircumcised to you, it is not eaten. 24 ‘And in the fourth year all its fruit is set-apart – praises to ????. 25 ‘And in the fifth year you eat its fruit, so that it increases its yield to you. I am ???? your Elohim.
In the book the Prophecies of Abraham I show you that in the year 2013-2014 Jerusalem is to be taken over by the King of the North. It is at this time that the fruit of those planted in Israel will be ready for the rest of mankind to eat. To learn about the fruit we just have to look in Galatians.
Galatians 5:18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under Torah. 19 And the works of the flesh are well-known, which are these: adultery,1 whoring, uncleanness, indecency, (Footnote: 1Only Textus Receptus contains adultery.) 20 idolatry, drug sorcery, hatred, quarrels, jealousies, fits of rage, selfish ambitions, dissensions, factions, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, wild parties, and the like – of which I forewarn you, even as I also said before, that those who practice such as these shall not inherit the reign of Elohim.(1 Footnote: 11 Cor. 6:10.) 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, trustworthiness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no Torah. 24 And those who are of Messiah have impaled the flesh with its passions and the desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
This is what each of us must be striving for. This is the fruit we are to be producing. Our hearts are still to this day still hardened and still uncircumcised.
This takes us right back to the beginning, To the Torah. Is this not what we were teaching you just the other week about the hardness of your hearts?
Deuteronomy 10: 12 “And now, Yisra’?l, what is ???? your Elohim asking of you, but to fear ???? your Elohim, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, and to serve ???? your Elohim with all your heart and with all your being, 13 to guard the commands of ???? and His laws which I command you today for your good? 14 “See, the heavens and the heaven of heavens belong to ???? your Elohim, also the earth with all that is in it. 15 “???? delighted only in your fathers, to love them. And He chose their seed after them, you above all peoples1, as it is today. Footnote: 1See also 7:6, 14:2, 26:18, Ps. 135:4 and Amos 3:2. 16 “And you shall circumcise the foreskin of your heart, and harden your neck no more. 17 “For ???? your Elohim is Elohim of mighty ones and Master of masters, the great ?l, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality nor takes a bribe. 18 “He executes right-ruling for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the stranger, giving him food and a garment. 19 “And you shall love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Mitsrayim. 20 “Fear ???? your Elohim. Serve Him, and cling to Him, and swear by His Name. 21 “He is your praise, and He is your Elohim, who has done for you these great and awesome deeds which your eyes have seen. 22 “Your fathers went down to Mitsrayim with seventy beings, and now ???? your Elohim has made you as numerous as the stars of the heavens.
Deuteronomy 30: 1 “And it shall be, when all these words come upon you, the blessing and the curse which I have set before you, and you shall bring them back to your heart among all the gentiles where ???? your Elohim drives you, 2 and shall turn back to ???? your Elohim and obey His voice, according to all that I command you today, with all your heart and with all your being, you and your children, 3 then ???? your Elohim shall turn back your captivity, and shall have compassion on you, and He shall turn back and gather you from all the peoples where ???? your Elohim has scattered you. 4 “If any of you are driven out to the farthest parts under the heavens, from there ???? your Elohim does gather you, and from there He does take you. 5 “And ???? your Elohim shall bring you to the land which your fathers possessed, and you shall possess it. And He shall do good to you, and increase you more than your fathers. 6 “And ???? your Elohim shall circumcise your heart and the heart of your seed, to love ???? your Elohim with all your heart and with all your being, so that you might live, 7 and ???? your Elohim shall put all these curses on your enemies and on those who hate you, who persecuted you. 8 “And you shall turn back and obey the voice of ???? and do all His commands which I command you today. 9 “And ???? your Elohim shall make you have excess in all the work of your hand, in the fruit of your body, and in the fruit of your livestock, and in the fruit of your ground for good. For ???? turns back to rejoice over you for good as He rejoiced over your fathers, 10 if you obey the voice of ???? your Elohim, to guard His commands and His laws which are written in this Book of the Torah, if you turn back to ???? your Elohim with all your heart and with all your being.
For further study you can go to http://www.bible-knowledge.com/fruits-of-the-Holy-Spirit.html to learn more about the fruits of the Spirit. We will have to look into these more often now.
Mat 1-2:18. Here we learn of where Rahab the Harlot fits into the genealogy of Yeshua which is what this weeks readings was about. Interesting. But also in this are things not told to you. For example this genealogy also shows you why my chronology is 76 years different than the Jewish one. You can read about this at:
- Newsletter 5843-006 This year of 5843 or the Jewish year 5767 Why the difference? The missing Kings.
Keep in mind this was written 3 year ago. We are now in the year 5846 After Creation which is the Jewish year of 5770 now.
But this week’s passage also shows us another teaching titled:
- Newsletter 5842-022 Conjunction or Sighted Which?
These are my thoughts on the scripture readings for this the first week of this sabbatical cycle.
On top of this or alongside of this I also wanted to go through the 613 laws that everyone is always talking about. We shall look at 7 of them each week and examine them. Some we are to keep and some we cannot keep because they pertain to the priests or to men or to women. But we will all know them.
Here are the first 7 for this week from Judaism 101.
1. To know that G-d exists (Ex. 20:2; Deut. 5:6) (CCA1). See What Do Jews Believe?.
Exodus 20:2 “I am ???? your Elohim, who brought you out of the land of Mitsrayim, out of the house of slavery.
Deuteronomy 5:6 ‘I am ???? your Elohim who brought you out of the land of Mitsrayim, out of the house of bondage.
2. Not to entertain the idea that there is any god but the Eternal (Ex. 20:3) (CCN8). See What Do Jews Believe?.
Exodus 20:3 “You have no other mighty ones against My face.
3. Not to blaspheme (Ex. 22:27; in Christian texts, Ex. 22:28), the penalty for which is death (Lev. 24:16) (negative).
Exodus 22:28 28 “Do not revile Elohim, nor curse a ruler of your people.
Leviticus 24:16 ‘And he who blasphemes the Name of ???? shall certainly be put to death, and all the congregation certainly stone him, the stranger as well as the native. When he blasphemes the Name, he is put to death.
(Note to those who follow the conspiracy teachings; Do not revile Elohim, nor curse a ruler of your people. Many of you need to repent from the things you are saying against your own leaders who the majority of you elected. What you do to the politicians is not right, nor respectful. If you do not like what they are doing then vote them out and then change what damage was done. Until then do not sin by cursing your rulers. They are set in place by Yahweh and answer to Him for their actions. But you do not sin by cursing your rulers!)
4. To hallow G-d’s name (Lev. 22:32) (CCA5). See The Name of G-d.
Leviticus 22:32 “And do not profane My set-apart Name, and I shall be set-apart among the children of Yisra’?l. I am ????, who sets you apart,
5. Not to profane G-d’s name (Lev. 22:32) (CCN155). See The Name of G-d.
Leviticus 22:32 “And do not profane My set-apart Name, and I shall be set-apart among the children of Yisra’?l. I am ????, who sets you apart,
6. To know that G-d is One, a complete Unity (Deut. 6:4) (CCA2). See What Do Jews Believe?.
Deuteronomy 6:4 “Hear, O Yisra’?l: ???? our Elohim, ???? is one!
7. To love G-d (Deut. 6:5) (CCA3). See What Do Jews Believe?.
Deuteronomy 6:5 “And you shall love ???? your Elohim with all your heart, and with all your being, and with all your might.
To read what Jews Believe you can go to http://www.jewfaq.org/beliefs.htm
What Do Jews Believe?
Level: Basic • Judaism does not have a formal mandatory beliefs
• The most accepted summary of Jewish beliefs is Rambam’s 13 principles of faith
• Even these basic principles have been debated
• Judaism focuses on the relationships between the Creator, mankind, and the land of Israel
This is a far more difficult question than you might expect. Judaism has no dogma, no formal set of beliefs that one must hold to be a Jew. In Judaism, actions are far more important than beliefs, although there is certainly a place for belief within Judaism.
The closest that anyone has ever come to creating a widely-accepted list of Jewish beliefs is Rambam’s thirteen principles of faith. Rambam’s thirteen principles of faith, which he thought were the minimum requirements of Jewish belief, are:
1. G-d exists
2. G-d is one and unique
3. G-d is incorporeal
4. G-d is eternal
5. Prayer is to be directed to G-d alone and to no other
6. The words of the prophets are true
7. Moses’ prophecies are true, and Moses was the greatest of the prophets
8. The Written Torah (first 5 books of the Bible) and Oral Torah (teachings now contained in the Talmud and other writings) were given to Moses
(Note Sightedmoon.com does not support or endorse the Oral Torah. I have left it here as part of the article, so please do not write me with all your emails about this)
9. There will be no other Torah
10. G-d knows the thoughts and deeds of men
11. G-d will reward the good and punish the wicked
12. The Messiah will come
13. The dead will be resurrected
As you can see, these are very basic and general principles. Yet as basic as these principles are, the necessity of believing each one of these has been disputed at one time or another, and the liberal movements of Judaism dispute many of these principles.
Unlike many other religions, Judaism does not focus much on abstract cosmological concepts. Although Jews have certainly considered the nature of G-d, man, the universe, life and the afterlife at great length (see Kabbalah and Jewish Mysticism), there is no mandated, official, definitive belief on these subjects, outside of the very general concepts discussed above. There is substantial room for personal opinion on all of these matters, because as I said before, Judaism is more concerned about actions than beliefs.
Judaism focuses on relationships: the relationship between G-d and mankind, between G-d and the Jewish people, between the Jewish people and the land of Israel, and between human beings. Our scriptures tell the story of the development of these relationships, from the time of creation, through the creation of the relationship between G-d and Abraham, to the creation of the relationship between G-d and the Jewish people, and forward. The scriptures also specify the mutual obligations created by these relationships, although various movements of Judaism disagree about the nature of these obligations. Some say they are absolute, unchanging laws from G-d (Orthodox); some say they are laws from G-d that change and evolve over time (Conservative); some say that they are guidelines that you can choose whether or not to follow (Reform, Reconstructionist). For more on these distinctions, see Movements of Judaism.
So, what are these actions that Judaism is so concerned about? According to Orthodox Judaism, these actions include 613 commandments given by G-d in the Torah as well as laws instituted by the rabbis and long-standing customs. These actions are discussed in depth on the page regarding Halakhah: Jewish Law and the pages following it.
Suggestions for Further Reading
As I said above, Judaism focuses more on actions than on beliefs, and books about Judaism tend to do the same. Most books emphasize holidays, practices and observances. The best summary of Jewish beliefs I’ve seen is Milton Steinberg’s Basic Judaism. This book presents and contrasts the traditional and modern perspectives, and shows that we have more in common than many of us realize.
To read about The Name of God you can go to http://www.jewfaq.org/name.htm
The Name of G-d
Level: Basic • The name of God should be treated with respect
• God has many names in the Bible
• A Name should not be written, so it will not be discarded disrespectfully
• The most important name is the four-letter name
• The pronunciation of the four-letter name is unknown
Please note: This page contains the Name of God. If you print it out, please treat it with appropriate respect.
The Significance of Names
In Jewish thought, a name is not merely an arbitrary designation, a random combination of sounds. The name conveys the nature and essence of the thing named. It represents the history and reputation of the being named.
This is not as strange or unfamiliar a concept as it may seem at first glance. In English, we often refer to a person’s reputation as his “good name.” When a company is sold, one thing that may be sold is the company’s “good will,” that is, the right to use the company’s name. The Hebrew concept of a name is very similar to these ideas.
An example of this usage occurs in Ex. 3:13-22: Moses asks God what His “name” is. Moses is not asking “what should I call you;” rather, he is asking “who are you; what are you like; what have you done.” That is clear from God’s response. God replies that He is eternal, that He is the God of our ancestors, that He has seen our affliction and will redeem us from bondage.
Another example of this usage is the concepts of chillul Ha-Shem and kiddush Ha-Shem. An act that causes God or Judaism to come into disrespect or a commandment to be disobeyed is often referred to as “chillul Ha-Shem,” profanation of The Name. Clearly, we are not talking about a harm done to a word; we are talking about harm to a reputation. Likewise, any deed that increases the respect accorded to God or Judaism is referred to as “kiddush Ha-Shem,” sanctification of The Name.
Because a name represents the reputation of the thing named, a name should be treated with the same respect as the thing’s reputation. For this reason, God’s Names, in all of their forms, are treated with enormous respect and reverence in Judaism.
The Names of God
I have often heard people refer to the Judeo-Christian God as “the nameless God” to contrast our God with the ancient pagan gods. I always found this odd, because Judaism clearly recognizes the existence of a Name for God; in fact, we have many Names for God.
The most important of God’s Names is the four-letter Name represented by the Hebrew letters Yod-Hei-Vav-Hei (YHVH). It is often referred to as the Ineffable Name, the Unutterable Name or the Distinctive Name. Linguistically, it is related to the Hebrew root Hei-Yod-Hei (to be), and reflects the fact that God’s existence is eternal. In scripture, this Name is used when discussing God’s relation with human beings, and when emphasizing his qualities of lovingkindness and mercy. It is frequently shortened to Yah (Yod-Hei), Yahu or Yeho (Yod-Hei-Vav), especially when used in combination with names or phrases, as in Yehoshua (Joshua, meaning “the Lord is my Salvation”), Eliyahu (Elijah, meaning “my God is the Lord”), and Halleluyah (“praise the Lord”).
The first Name used for God in scripture is Elohim. In form, the word is a masculine plural of a word that looks feminine in the singular (Eloha). The same word (or, according to Rambam, a homonym of it) is used to refer to princes, judges, other gods, and other powerful beings. This Name is used in scripture when emphasizing God’s might, His creative power, and his attributes of justice and rulership. Variations on this name include El, Eloha, Elohai (my God) and Elohaynu (our God).
God is also known as El Shaddai. This Name is usually translated as “God Almighty,” however, the derivation of the word “Shaddai” is not known. According to some views, it is derived from the root meaning “to heap benefits.” According a Midrash, it means, “The One who said ‘dai'” (“dai” meaning enough or sufficient) and comes from the fact that when God created the universe, it expanded until He said “DAI!” (perhaps the first recorded theory of an expanding universe?). The name Shaddai is the one written on the mezuzah scroll. Some note that Shaddai is an acronym of Shomer Daltot Yisrael, Guardian of the Doors of Israel.
Another significant Name of God is YHVH Tzva’ot. This Name is normally translated as “Lord of Hosts.” The word “tzva’ot” means “hosts” in the sense of a military grouping or an organized array. The Name refers to God’s leadership and sovereignty. Interestingly, this Name is rarely used in scripture. It never appears in the Torah (i.e., the first five books). It appears primarily in the prophetic books of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi, as well as many times in the Psalms.
Writing the Name of God
Jews do not casually write any Name of God. This practice does not come from the commandment not to take the Lord’s Name in vain, as many suppose. In Jewish thought, that commandment refers solely to oath-taking, and is a prohibition against swearing by God’s Name falsely or frivolously (the word normally translated as “in vain” literally means “for falsehood”).
Judaism does not prohibit writing the Name of God per se; it prohibits only erasing or defacing a Name of God. However, observant Jews avoid writing any Name of God casually because of the risk that the written Name might later be defaced, obliterated or destroyed accidentally or by one who does not know better.
The commandment not to erase or deface the name of God comes from Deut. 12:3. In that passage, the people are commanded that when they take over the promised land, they should destroy all things related to the idolatrous religions of that region, and should utterly destroy the names of the local deities. Immediately afterwards, we are commanded not to do the same to our God. From this, the rabbis inferred that we are commanded not to destroy any holy thing, and not to erase or deface a Name of God.
It is worth noting that this prohibition against erasing or defacing Names of God applies only to Names that are written in some kind of permanent form, and recent rabbinical decisions have held that writing on a computer is not a permanent form, thus it is not a violation to type God’s Name into a computer and then backspace over it or cut and paste it, or copy and delete files with God’s Name in them. However, once you print the document out, it becomes a permanent form. That is why observant Jews avoid writing a Name of God on web sites like this one or in newsgroup messages: because there is a risk that someone else will print it out and deface it.
Normally, we avoid writing the Name by substituting letters or syllables, for example, writing “G-d” instead of “God.” In addition, the number 15, which would ordinarily be written in Hebrew as Yod-Hei (10-5), is normally written as Teit-Vav (9-6), because Yod-Hei is a Name. See Hebrew Alphabet for more information about using letters as numerals.
Pronouncing the Name of God
Nothing in the Torah prohibits a person from pronouncing the Name of God. Indeed, it is evident from scripture that God’s Name was pronounced routinely. Many common Hebrew names contain “Yah” or “Yahu,” part of God’s four-letter Name. The Name was pronounced as part of daily services in the Temple.
The Mishnah confirms that there was no prohibition against pronouncing The Name in ancient times. In fact, the Mishnah recommends using God’s Name as a routine greeting to a fellow Jew. Berakhot 9:5. However, by the time of the Talmud, it was the custom to use substitute Names for God. Some rabbis asserted that a person who pronounces YHVH according to its letters (instead of using a substitute) has no place in the World to Come, and should be put to death. Instead of pronouncing the four-letter Name, we usually substitute the Name “Adonai,” or simply say “Ha-Shem” (lit. The Name).
Although the prohibition on pronunciation applies only to the four-letter Name, Jews customarily do not pronounce any of God’s many Names except in prayer or study. The usual practice is to substitute letters or syllables, so that Adonai becomes Adoshem or Ha-Shem, Elohaynu and Elohim become Elokaynu and Elokim, etc.
With the Temple destroyed and the prohibition on pronouncing The Name outside of the Temple, pronunciation of the Name fell into disuse. Scholars passed down knowledge of the correct pronunciation of YHVH for many generations, but eventually the correct pronunciation was lost, and we no longer know it with any certainty. We do not know what vowels were used, or even whether the Vav in the Name was a vowel or a consonant. See Hebrew Alphabet for more information about the difficulties in pronouncing Hebrew. Some religious scholars suggest that the Name was pronounced “Yahweh,” but others do not find this pronunciation particularly persuasive.
Some people render the four-letter Name as “Jehovah,” but this pronunciation is particularly unlikely. The word “Jehovah” comes from the fact that ancient Jewish texts used to put the vowels of the Name “Adonai” (the usual substitute for YHVH) under the consonants of YHVH to remind people not to pronounce YHVH as written. A sixteenth century German Christian scribe, while transliterating the Bible into Latin for the Pope, wrote the Name out as it appeared in his texts, with the consonants of YHVH and the vowels of Adonai, and came up with the word JeHoVaH, and the name stuck.