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Commentary - Year 2 Sabbath 35

Leviticus 14:1-57   -   2 Kings 7:1-16   -   Psalm 79  -   Ephesians 4:1-32
 

 

Kislev 4, 5763 / Nov  9, 2002

Kislev 2, 5766 / Dec   3, 2005

Kislev 2, 5769 / Nov 29, 2008

Heshvan 29, 5772 / Nov 26, 2011

Heshvan 29, 5775 / Nov 22, 2014

 

Torot haMetzora / Torah of the Metzora    SCRIPTURES (should be read first)

 

For display in today's lesson, we will use a sprig of thyme, tied with a red red thread, onto a 1"x6"x6' cedar board. We also need two imitation birds, a bowl, and a setup for running water.

 

In an ancient Talmudic story (from memory), a certain man came to his priest, asking how he could rectify his having made evil statements about another person. The priest told the man to go home and bring his pillow, which he did. Then the priest told him to open it and shake all the feathers to the wind, which he did. Then the priest told him to go and gather all the feathers back; the man complained that it was impossible. The priest said that such was the situation with the evil words he had spoken.

 

A slanderer whom God has under the discipline of the disease tzaraat is called a metzora (both words being from the root tzara – one who spreads slander). Tzaraat is a state of spiritual impurity (tumah), with physical manifestations: no other impurity takes effect upon the declaration of a priest, and no other impurity can be temporarily ignored as a matter of convenience, such as for a wedding or festival. Only a metzora is excluded from the entire camp, and contaminates everything in a building he enters. (Note that tozia ra (slander) includes truth and lies.)

 

Leviticus 13 is concerned with the diagnosis and discipline of the metzora – the one who is stricken for slander. Leviticus 14 deals with the healing and return of the niddah – the quarantined slanderer, who repents.

 

When God heals him, he must go through an eight-day two-stage process of purification. A priest who is himself a niddah – one who is quarantined as a metzorah – is not eligible to rule on a healing, since the Torah requires that the priest who rules must go out of the camp to rule.

 

The root cause of the sinner’s gossip or slander is haughtiness – contempt for others. His purification therefore symbolically displays his repentance, going from haughtiness to humility.

 

The first stage of involves a ritual with two birds, performed outside the camp, after which he could enter the camp. Because the punishment came for gossip and slander, twittering, chirping birds are used in the ritual as symbols. The slaughter is not a karban – offering. The birds must be of a kosher kind, but not of those species that may be used for offerings.

 

The tall, wide cedar tree symbolizes haughtiness. Crimson dye comes from a small creature whose identity is uncertain, showing lowliness; likewise, thyme (often translated hyssop) is a lowly plant.

 

As the gossip / slanderer has “slain” his victims, with his words of life-destruction running far and wide, so now the better of two birds must be slain, its life-blood being spread with water.

 

A sprig of the small thyme plant is tied with a scarlet thread to a large cedar board. {Sample presented} They are dipped into the bloody water. The live bird is also dipped into the blood, and then thrown to freedom over the open field: the death-cry of the blood is carried far. The slaughtered bird is buried after the ritual.

 

The healed metzora is sprinkled seven times with the blood, and then must go to a mikvah (baptistery) and put on clean clothes. He is afterward allowed into the camp, but may not go into his house (he may not cohabit with his wife) until his cleansing is completed seven days later.

 

The final stage of his purification, on the eighth day, requires an unusual three atonements: two male lambs, plus a ewe lamb. The third offering, a guilt offering, is brought by someone who has used something dedicated to God – stolen from the Temple; the implication is that the slanderer has taken something from God.

 

Loaves made from three omers (about 5 pounds per each of three animals) of fine flour and olive oil, plus one log (about 1 pint) of olive oil, are also offered.

 

Acting out today’s portion:

A person, who spoke in a manner defaming another’s character, has been quarantined from society, and is now repentant. His tzaraat has been healed. A priest must go outside the camp to meet him.

The priest would send for two kosher (but not sacrificial type) birds, a bowl, a cedar plank, a scarlet thread, and a sprig of thyme / hyssop.

Look at these two (stuffed imitation) birds, whose chirping represents the slander or gossip that was spread by the penitent. The better of these birds will be slaughtered in the bowl, its (red dye) life-blood being spread by running water, like the life of the slander victim. The live bird is dipped in the blood, and then released to fly away (stuffed bird carried by the presenter), the death-cry of the victim’s blood going afar.

This (fence board) plank from a great proud cedar tree has a thin red thread around its lower end, to which an insignificant sprig of thyme is tied. This symbol of haughtiness to humility is dipped in the bloody water. The penitent is sprinkled seven times with the blood.

The penitent must now immerse in a mikvah, and put on clean clothes. Afterward, he may enter the camp, and seven days later may enter his house.

 

It was the year 5608 (1848). The city of Vilna was in the grips of a terrible epidemic. The killer cholera was sweeping through the city and the surrounding countryside and the Jewish community was in turmoil. As in all times of trouble, Jews gathered to pray to Yahweh. Their leaders exhorted them to search their hearts and repent, each one for his particular sins. People were urged to give charity and be especially kind to one another.

 

Most people genuinely repented and improved. There were some, however, who instead of examining their own faults and sins, eagerly examined those of their neighbors.

 

One such Jew came to R’ Yisrael Salanter during this time. He had something to confess. He whispered in the rabbi’s ear of some sin he saw in a fellow Jew.

 

“Rabbi, who knows if it is not that very sin which is causing our plague? Something must be done about that person,” he said.

 

As usual, R’ Yisrael listened patiently and when his visitor fell silent, he said, “As you know, the Torah instructs us to send the metzora from all three camps (of the kohaniim, leviim, and the rest of the people, Yisrael). Our sages tell us that tzaraat is the punishment sent upon a tale-bearer, the baal lashon hara (lit. – possessor of evil speech). Some people think that this sin only applies to lies one says about another. That is not so. A person who searches out other people’s faults and sins is certainly considered a baal lashon hara, too. We tell him, ‘If you think that you are expert at discovering sins, go out of the camp. There, where you will be isolated for many days, you won’t be able to uncover another’s sins. But you will certainly be able to discover and see your own.   From “Tales of Tzaddikim - Vayikra” (Artscroll Youth Series)

___________________

 

A house with tzaraat:

A man carries some responsibility for what goes on in his house – that is: what his family does (see Job 1:5, 1 Timothy 2:4, 12). When a house becomes contaminated with apparent tzaraat on its walls, there is a seven-day period for taking care of the problem in the family. If the contamination is still spreading – because of slander still going on – then the affected stones must be removed and replaced. If the contamination returns, the house must be torn down.

 

Gossip and slander will destroy one’s house – that is his family. God requires repentance. That is the purpose of discipline – to bring repentance.

 

We all meet people who look for double meanings of statements made in general conversation: when we are speaking of something entirely different, they will seek to twist it to have a sexual meaning, to make a joke of our statement.

 

The sages teach us to speak with double meanings of another kind, as well as to look for double meanings in what we hear. We should always have our minds upon God. When we speak of our worldly needs, our words should be chosen to instill devotion to God. When we hear others speak, we should understand the words as if they were holy – to find God’s message to us. (“Jewish Spiritual Practices” by Yitzhak Buxbaum)

 

Everything that happens to us, including everything we hear, should be considered as a message to us from God for that particular time. All things work together for good for those who love God – those who are called for His purpose (Romans 8:28).

____________________

 

R’ Mordechai of Pinchov did not have two pennies to rub together. Small wonder, then, that his wife would beg him, whenever he went to his Rebbe, the Chozeh of Lublin, to speak of their sorry plight and ask for advice and a blessing. But as soon as he entered the Rebbe’s room, the world of here and now vanished. He forgot all about his wife’s pleas and had only eyes and ears for the Rebbe. They would spend hours in exploring the intricacies of the Torah, the Talmud, and Chasidus. All worldly things were as mere shadows compared to their eternal wisdom.

 

And so R’ Mordechai returned to Pinchov each time invigorated in spirit. He glowed. But when he entered the house and his wife greeted him with the question, “Well, did you speak to the Rebbe about parnasah this time?” R’ Mordechai would strike his forehead. He had completely forgotten again!

 

When they had sold everything they possibly could and were down to their last crust, she again came crying to R’ Mordechai, “You must go to the Chozeh again. You must beg him to pray for us. This time, however, I want to make sure that you do not forget. I will accompany you!”

 

And indeed, the next time he visited Lublin, he entered the Rebbe’s study and blurted out the words immediately, before they could slip his mind, “Rebbe! I can bear it no longer.” He went on to describe the squalor and poverty in his home, begging the Rebbe to pray for him.

 

“I did not realize that things were so bad. Why did you never mention this to me before!” he said in a note of complaint. “You should not have allowed things to reach such a terrible state!”

 

R’ Mordechai hung his head in shame. “I felt it was not right to bother the Rebbe with such material matters. Besides,” he added, lowering his voice, “I always thought that, in His divine intuition, the Rebbe would know of my condition.”

 

The Chozeh smiled and said, “The Torah differentiates between tzaraat upon a person and tzaraat that afflicts a house. With regard to a person it says, ‘And if a man has on his skin a tzaraat lesion . . . and the priest shall see the spots (Leviticus 13:2-3).’ This implies that a person need not tell the priest what happened. It is enough to come to the priest. He will see it without your telling him and know what to do.

 

In contrast, with regard to plague spots on the wall of a house, the Torah states, ‘And the owner of the house shall come and tell the priest thus: such a spot did I see in my house.’ The Torah explicitly states that in connection with things that concern the house one must tell the priest exactly what is wrong with the house, before he can begin to treat it.”   From “Tales of Tzaddikim - Vayikra” (Artscroll Youth Series)

 

So we see how the specific rules of Leviticus 14 are applied to broader situations. (Until reading this story, I had not picked up the difference in the situations of a plagued man and a plagued house: how one is seen but the other must be told. Also, we see here that “house” symbolizes the family (the family was poor).

_____________________

 

Ephesians 4:

“Therefore, laying aside falsehood, speak truth, each one of you, with his neighbor, for we are members of one another” – v.25.

 

If we have found faith in Yeshua, we have a new life, and should walk accordingly. We should be repentant of our former ways of defaming others, and practice speaking truth and acting in love. We are to seek redemption for the faithless and for help other believers to grow in grace and overcome sin.

 

29 Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear. 30 Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Messiah also has forgiven you” – v.29-32.

 

Readings:

"Blessed are You, Yahweh our God, King of the Universe,

Who chose us from among all peoples by giving us Your Torah.

Blessed are You, Yahweh, giver of the Torah."

 

Reader 1Amen. 1 Then Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, 2 "This shall be the law of the metzora in the day of his cleansing. Now he shall be brought to the priest, 3 and the priest shall go out to the outside of the camp. Thus the priest shall look, and if the plague of tzaraat has been healed, 4 then the priest shall give orders to take two live clean birds and cedar wood and a scarlet string and hyssop for the one who is to be cleansed. 5 The priest shall also give orders to slay the one bird in an earthenware vessel over running water. 6 As for the live bird, he shall take it together with the cedar wood and the scarlet string and the hyssop, and shall dip them and the live bird in the blood of the bird that was slain over the running water. 7 He shall then sprinkle seven times the one who is to be cleansed from the tzaraat and shall pronounce him clean, and shall let the live bird go free over the open field. 8 The one to be cleansed shall then wash his clothes and shave off all his hair and bathe in water and be clean. Now afterward, he may enter the camp, but he shall stay outside his tent for seven days. 9 It will be on the seventh day that he shall shave off all his hair: he shall shave his head and his beard and his eyebrows, even all his hair. He shall then wash his clothes and bathe his body in water and be clean.

Reader 2Amen. 10 Now on the eighth day he is to take two male lambs without defect, and a yearling ewe lamb without defect, and three-tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil for a grain offering, and one log of oil; 11 and the priest who pronounces him clean shall present the man to be cleansed and the aforesaid before Yahweh at the doorway of the tent of meeting. 12 Then the priest shall take the one male lamb and bring it for a guilt offering, with the log of oil, and present them as a wave offering before Yahweh. 13 Next he shall slaughter the male lamb in the place where they slaughter the sin offering and the elevation offering, at the place of the sanctuary-- for the guilt offering, like the sin offering, belongs to the priest; it is most holy. 14 The priest shall then take some of the blood of the guilt offering, and the priest shall put it on the lobe of the right ear of the one to be cleansed, and on the thumb of his right hand and on the big toe of his right foot. 15 The priest shall also take some of the log of oil, and pour it into his left palm; 16 the priest shall then dip his right-hand finger into the oil that is in his left palm, and with his finger sprinkle some of the oil seven times before Yahweh.

Reader 3Amen. 17 Of the remaining oil which is in his palm, the priest shall put some on the right ear lobe of the one to be cleansed, and on the thumb of his right hand, and on the big toe of his right foot, on the blood of the guilt offering; 18 while the rest of the oil that is in the priest's palm, he shall put on the head of the one to be cleansed. So the priest shall make atonement on his behalf before Yahweh. 19 The priest shall next offer the sin offering and make atonement for the one to be cleansed from his uncleanness. Then afterward, he shall slaughter the elevation offering. 20 The priest shall offer up the elevation offering and the grain offering on the altar. Thus the priest shall make atonement for him, and he will be clean. 21 But if he is poor and his means are insufficient, then he is to take one male lamb for a guilt offering as a wave offering to make atonement for him, and one-tenth of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil for a grain offering, and a log of oil, 22 and two turtledoves or two young pigeons which are within his means, the one shall be a sin offering and the other an elevation offering. 23 Then the eighth day he shall bring them for his cleansing to the priest, at the doorway of the tent of meeting, before Yahweh. 24 The priest shall take the lamb of the guilt offering and the log of oil, and the priest shall offer them for a wave offering before Yahweh.

Reader 4Amen. 25 Next he shall slaughter the lamb of the guilt offering; and the priest is to take some of the blood of the guilt offering and put it on the lobe of the right ear of the one to be cleansed and on the thumb of his right hand and on the big toe of his right foot. 26 The priest shall also pour some of the oil into his left palm; 27 and with his right-hand finger the priest shall sprinkle some of the oil that is in his left palm seven times before Yahweh. 28 The priest shall then put some of the oil that is in his palm on the lobe of the right ear of the one to be cleansed, and on the thumb of his right hand and on the big toe of his right foot, on the place of the blood of the guilt offering. 29 Moreover, the rest of the oil that is in the priest's palm he shall put on the head of the one to be cleansed, to make atonement on his behalf before Yahweh. 30 He shall then offer one of the turtledoves or young pigeons, which are within his means. 31 He shall offer what he can afford, the one for a sin offering and the other for an elevation offering, together with the grain offering. So the priest shall make atonement before Yahweh on behalf of the one to be cleansed. 32 This is the law for him in whom there is an infection of tzaraat, whose means are limited for his cleansing."

Reader 5Amen. 33 Yahweh further spoke to Moses and to Aaron, saying: 34 "When you enter the land of Canaan, which I give you for a possession, and I put a mark of tzaraat on a house in the land of your possession, 35 then the one who owns the house shall come and tell the priest, saying, 'Something like a mark of tzaraat has become visible to me in the house.' 36 The priest shall then command that they empty the house before the priest goes in to look at the mark, so that everything in the house need not become unclean; and afterward the priest shall go in to look at the house. 37 So he shall look at the mark, and if the mark on the walls of the house has greenish or reddish depressions and appears deeper than the surface, 38 then the priest shall come out of the house, to the doorway, and quarantine the house for seven days. 39 The priest shall return on the seventh day and make an inspection. If the mark has indeed spread in the walls of the house, 40 then the priest shall order them to tear out the stones with the mark in them and throw them away at an unclean place outside the city. 41 He shall have the house scraped all around inside, and they shall dump the plaster that they scrape off at an unclean place outside the city.

Reader 6Amen. 42 Then they shall take other stones and replace those stones, and he shall take other plaster and replaster the house. 43 If, however, the mark breaks out again in the house after he has torn out the stones and scraped the house, and after it has been replastered, 44 then the priest shall come in and make an inspection. If he sees that the mark has indeed spread in the house, it is a malignant mark in the house; it is unclean. 45 He shall therefore tear down the house, its stones, and its timbers, and all the plaster of the house, and he shall take them outside the city to an unclean place. 46 Moreover, whoever goes into the house during the time that he has quarantined it, becomes unclean until evening. 47 Likewise, whoever lies down in the house shall wash his clothes, and whoever eats in the house shall wash his clothes. 48 If, on the other hand, the priest comes in and makes an inspection and the mark has not indeed spread in the house after the house has been replastered, then the priest shall pronounce the house clean because the mark has not reappeared.

Reader 7Amen. 49 To cleanse the house then, he shall take two birds and cedar wood and a scarlet string and hyssop, 50 and he shall slaughter the one bird in an earthenware vessel over running water. 51 Then he shall take the cedar wood and the hyssop and the scarlet string, with the live bird, and dip them in the blood of the slain bird as well as in the running water, and sprinkle the house seven times. 52 He shall thus cleanse the house with the blood of the bird and with the running water, along with the live bird and with the cedar wood and with the hyssop and with the scarlet string. 53 However, he shall let the live bird go free outside the city into the open field. So he shall make atonement for the house, and it will be clean." 54 This is the law for any mark of tzaraat -- even for a scale, 55 and for the tzaraat in a garment or house, 56 and for a swelling, and for a scab, and for a bright spot-- 57 to teach when they are unclean and when they are clean. This is the torah of tzaraat.

 

"Blessed are You, Yahweh our God, King of the Universe,

Who in giving us Yeshua, the Living Torah, has planted everlasting life in our midst.

Blessed are You, Yahweh, giver of the Torah."

______________________

 

"Blessed are You, Yahweh our God, King of the Universe,

Who selected good prophets, delighting in their words which were spoken truthfully.

Blessed are You, Yahweh, Who chose the Torah, Your servant Moses, Your people Israel,

and the prophets of truth and righteousness."

 

2 Kings 7:1-16

Reader 8 Amen. 1 Then Elisha said, "Listen to the word of Yahweh; thus says Yahweh, 'Tomorrow about this time a measure of fine flour will be sold for a shekel, and two measures of barley for a shekel, in the gate of Samaria.'" 2 The royal officer on whose hand the king was leaning answered the man of God and said, "Behold, if Yahweh should make windows in heaven, could this thing be?" Then he said, "Behold, you will see it with your own eyes, but you will not eat of it."

3 Now there were four men with tzaraat at the entrance of the gate; and they said to one another, "Why do we sit here until we die? 4 "If we say, 'We will enter the city,' then the famine is in the city and we will die there; and if we sit here, we die also. Now therefore come, and let us go over to the camp of the Arameans. If they spare us, we will live; and if they kill us, we will but die."

Reader 9 Amen. 5 They arose at twilight to go to the camp of the Arameans; when they came to the outskirts of the camp of the Arameans, behold, there was no one there. 6 For the Lord had caused the army of the Arameans to hear a sound of chariots and a sound of horses, even the sound of a great army, so that they said to one another, "Behold, the king of Israel has hired against us the kings of the Hittites and the kings of the Egyptians, to come upon us." 7 Therefore they arose and fled in the twilight, and left their tents and their horses and their donkeys, even the camp just as it was, and fled for their life. 8 When these men with tzaraat came to the outskirts of the camp, they entered one tent and ate and drank, and carried from there silver and gold and clothes, and went and hid them; and they returned and entered another tent and carried from there also, and went and hid them. 9 Then they said to one another, "We are not doing right. This day is a day of good news, but we are keeping silent; if we wait until morning light, punishment will overtake us. Now therefore come, let us go and tell the king's household."

Reader 10 Amen. 10 So they came and called to the gatekeepers of the city, and they told them, saying, "We came to the camp of the Arameans, and behold, there was no one there, nor the voice of man, only the horses tied and the donkeys tied, and the tents just as they were." 11 The gatekeepers called and told it within the king's household. 12 Then the king arose in the night and said to his servants, "I will now tell you what the Arameans have done to us. They know that we are hungry; therefore they have gone from the camp to hide themselves in the field, saying, 'When they come out of the city, we will capture them alive and get into the city.'" 13 One of his servants said, "Please, let some men take five of the horses which remain, which are left in the city. Behold, they will be in any case like all the multitude of Israel who are left in it; behold, they will be in any case like all the multitude of Israel who have already perished, so let us send and see." 14 They took therefore two chariots with horses, and the king sent after the army of the Arameans, saying, "Go and see." 15 They went after them to the Jordan, and behold, all the way was full of clothes and equipment which the Arameans had thrown away in their haste. Then the messengers returned and told the king. 16 So the people went out and plundered the camp of the Arameans. Then a measure of fine flour was sold for a shekel and two measures of barley for a shekel, according to the word of Yahweh.

 

Psalm 79    (To be sung.)    A Psalm of Asaph.

O God, the nations have invaded Your inheritance; they have defiled Your Holy Temple; they have laid Jerusalem in ruins. 2 They have given the dead bodies of Your servants for food to the birds of the heavens, the flesh of Your godly ones to the beasts of the earth. 3 They have poured out their blood like water round about Jerusalem; and there was no one to bury them. 4 We have become a reproach to our neighbors, a scoffing and derision to those around us. 5 How long, O Yahweh? Will You be angry forever? Will Your jealousy burn like fire? 6 Pour out Your wrath upon the nations which do not know You, and upon the kingdoms which do not call upon Your name. 7 For they have devoured Jacob and laid waste his habitation. 8 Do not remember the iniquities of our forefathers against us; let Your compassion come quickly to meet us, for we are brought very low. 9 Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of Your name; and deliver us and forgive our sins for Your name's sake. 10 Why should the nations say, "Where is their God?" Let there be known among the nations in our sight, vengeance for the blood of Your servants which has been shed. 11 Let the groaning of the prisoner come before You; according to the greatness of Your power preserve those who are doomed to die. 12 And return to our neighbors sevenfold into their bosom the reproach with which they have reproached You, O Lord. 13 So we Your people and the sheep of Your pasture will give thanks to You forever; to all generations we will tell of Your praise.

 

Ephesians 4:1-32

Reader 11Amen.  1 Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, 3 being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all. 7 But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Messiah's gift. 8 Therefore it says, "When He ascended on high, He led captive a host of captives, and He gave gifts to men." 9 (Now this expression, "He ascended," what does it mean except that He also had descended into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He who descended is Himself also He who ascended far above all the heavens, so that He might fill all things.) 11 And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Messiah; 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Messiah.

Reader 12Amen.  14 As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; 15 but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Messiah, 16 from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love. 17 So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, 18 being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart; 19 and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness.

Reader 13Amen.  20 But you did not learn Messiah in this way, 21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Yeshua, 22 that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, 23 and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth. 25 Therefore, laying aside falsehood, speak truth each one of you with his neighbor, for we are members of one another. 26 Being angry, do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and do not give the devil an opportunity. 28 He who steals must steal no longer; but rather he must labor, performing with his own hands what is good, so that he will have something to share with one who has need. 29 Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear. 30 Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Messiah also has forgiven you.

 

"Blessed are You, Yahweh our God, King of the Universe,

Rock of Ages, righteous throughout all generations.

You are the faithful God, promising and then performing, speaking and then fulfilling,

for all Your words are true and righteous.

Faithful are You, Yahweh our God, and faithful are Your words,

for no word of Yours shall remain unfulfilled;

You are a faithful and merciful God and King.

Blessed are You, Yahweh our God, Who are faithful in fulfilling all Your words."


© 2005  Beikvot HaMashiach
(Followers of the Messiah)