The following are lessons that I have learned from:
1. The Jews as I have participated in their Torah study and in their services.
2. Studying the Hebrew language.
- by Tom Irvine 
The Jews number the Ten Commandments in a different manner than Christians do. The first commandment according to the Jews is to remember the mercy that the Lord showed the children of Israel by leading them out of Egypt (verse 2).
Exodous 20
[1] And God spake all these words, saying,
[2] I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
[3] Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
[4] Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:
[5] Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
[6] And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
[7] Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
[8] Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
[9] Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
[10] But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
[11] For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
[12] Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.
[13] Thou shalt not kill.
[14] Thou shalt not commit adultery.
[15] Thou shalt not steal.
[16] Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
[17] Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's.
The Hebrew name for Jesus is: Yeshua, which means "He who saves."
(See Matthew 1:19-21)
Hosanna - means "please save."
Jesus Christ was the Son of God..... Jesus was a Jew.... Ergo, God the Father is Jewish.
I actually heard a Jewish lady make this observation at a Jewish Torah study. Neither the Rabbi nor anyone else took up stones to throw against her. Rather they all politely listened. This lady did not intend to bear witness of Jesus in the Evangelical Christian sense, but her statement was nevertheless remarkable in that it showed that at least some Jews are beginning to believe in Jesus Christ.
The Jews were redeemed from Egypt because:
1. They kept their Hebrew names.
2. They retained their Hebrew language.
3. They did not reveal their secrets - (They would leave with many of Egypt's possessions, Exodus 3:21-22 & 11:2).
4. They did not abandoned circumcision.
[2] The LORD is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father's God, and I will exalt him.
Exodus 15
This verse foreshadowed the Temple.
The Haggadah commands us, “In each and every generation, a person is obligated to see him or herself as though he or she personally came out of Egypt.”
(The Haggadah contains the order of the Passover Seder, which is a ritual feast).
God through his miraculous power enabled the children of Israel to "pass over" the Red Sea (or Sea of Reeds) on dry ground. He then drowned Pharoah's army in this sea. But God cried because he so cherished life that he had never wanted to kill the Egyptians.
The Jews must be compassionate to others because they remember the injustices that their forefathers suffered while slaves in Egypt.
Exodus 16
[14] And when the dew that lay was gone up, behold, upon the face of the wilderness there lay a small round thing, as small as the hoar frost on the ground.
[15] And when the children of Israel saw it, they said one to another, It is manna: for they wist not what it was. And Moses said unto them, This is the bread which the LORD hath given you to eat.
[16] This is the thing which the LORD hath commanded, Gather of it every man according to his eating, an omer for every man, according to the number of your persons; take ye every man for them which are in his tents.
[17] And the children of Israel did so, and gathered, some more, some less.
[18] And when they did mete it with an omer, he that gathered much had nothing over, and he that gathered little had no lack; they gathered every man according to his eating.
[19] And Moses said, Let no man leave of it till the morning.
[20] Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto Moses; but some of them left of it until the morning, and it bred worms, and stank: and Moses was wroth with them.
This implies that some of the people gathered more manna than they needed, perhaps because they did not trust that he Lord would give them more on the next day.
Exodus 16 - First reference to the Sabbath since the Creation
[14] And when the dew that lay was gone up, behold, upon the face of the wilderness there lay a small round thing, as small as the hoar frost on the ground.
[15] And when the children of Israel saw it, they said one to another, It is manna: for they wist not what it was. And Moses said unto them, This is the bread which the LORD hath given you to eat.
[16] This is the thing which the LORD hath commanded, Gather of it every man according to his eating, an omer for every man, according to the number of your persons; take ye every man for them which are in his tents.
[17] And the children of Israel did so, and gathered, some more, some less.
[18] And when they did mete it with an omer, he that gathered much had nothing over, and he that gathered little had no lack; they gathered every man according to his eating.
[19] And Moses said, Let no man leave of it till the morning.
[20] Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto Moses; but some of them left of it until the morning, and it bred worms, and stank: and Moses was wroth with them.
[21] And they gathered it every morning, every man according to his eating: and when the sun waxed hot, it melted.
[22] And it came to pass, that on the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for one man: and all the rulers of the congregation came and told Moses.
[23] And he said unto them, This is that which the LORD hath said, Tomorrow is the rest of the holy sabbath unto the LORD: bake that which ye will bake to day, and seethe that ye will see the; and that which remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning.
[24] And they laid it up till the morning, as Moses bade: and it did not stink, neither was there any worm therein.
[25] And Moses said, Eat that to day; for to day is a sabbath unto the LORD: to day ye shall not find it in the field.
[26] Six days ye shall gather it; but on the seventh day, which is the sabbath, in it there shall be none.
[27] And it came to pass, that there went out some of the people on the seventh day for to gather, and they found none.
[28] And the LORD said unto Moses, How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws?
[29] See, for that the LORD hath given you the sabbath, therefore he giveth you on the sixth day the bread of two days; abide ye every man in his place, let no man go out of his place on the seventh day.
[30] So the people rested on the seventh day.
[8] He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?
Micah 6
[4] And in thy majesty ride prosperously because of truth and meekness and righteousness; and thy right hand shall teach thee awesome things.
Psalms 45 This is a Messianic Psalm. We should also follow the example of Jesus Christ in truth and meekness and righteousness.
According to a story in the Talmud, God offered the Torah to all the nations of the earth, and the Jews were the only ones who accepted it. According to another story, the Jews were offered the Torah last, and accepted it only because God held a mountain over their heads!
Another traditional story suggests that God chose the Jews because they were the lowliest of nations, and their success would be attributed to God's might rather than their own ability.
Shavuot 2009 starts on Thursday night, May 28 and continues through Saturday, May 30. The Hebrew dates are the 6th and 7th of Sivan. 

The holiday of Shavuot commemorates the receiving of the Torah at Mt. Sinai. The 10 commandments and the biblical book of Ruth are read on Shavuot.

Jews, the world over, observe the age old custom of remaining awake all night learning Torah in preparation for receiving the Torah in the morning. One reason for this is that the morning of the receiving of the Torah at Mt. Sinai, G-d had to awaken the Jews as they did not rise early to receive the Torah. To rectify this mistake, Jews have accepted upon themselves to remain awake t he entire night of Shavuot.

Passover freed us physically from bondage, but the giving of the Torah on Shavuot redeemed us spiritually from our bondage to idolatry and immorality.
The Jews have carried the Torah with them as they have escaped from burning villages.
Midrash Exodus Rabbah 25:12 - Rabbi Levi said: If Israel kept the Sabbath properly even for one day, the Son of David would come.
Advice from Sadie, a 100-year old Jewish woman.
I asked her, "What is the secret of Jewish longevity?" She replied, "A zest for life."
She also declared, "It is a beautiful world, who would want to leave it?"
Jacob's name was changed to Israel, which means "Struggled with God."
The "Honey" in the "Land of Milk and Honey" actually refers to the fruit of a date palm rather than to bee honey. The dates are processed into a honey syrup. (Exodus 3:8)
Forgiveness and "letting go" are two different things.
We "let go" for our own sanity. We forgive those who ask for forgiveness in order to release them from their guilt.
Bethlehem means "House of Bread."
John 6
[32] Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven.
[33] For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.
[34] Then said they unto him, Lord, ever more give us this bread.
[35] And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.
Hebrew Terms for God
Adonai - Hebrew for "Lord"
Elohim is plural, meaning "Gods."
El is the singular form of Elohim.
God is rendered as Elohenu (or Eloheinu) in the Shema.
"Tzuri" or "Tsuri" means "my rock" (usually reserved for God)
Additional Hebrew Terms
Berakhah - prayer of blessing.
B'nei Mitzvah - plural of Bar Mitzvah
Chesed - "mercy", kindness, charity, love.
Chumash - five books of Moses, also called by the Greek name Pentateuch.
Etz Chaim - tree of life.
Haggadah - a book containing the liturgy for the Seder service on the Jewish festival of Passover.
Hallelujah, Halleluyah, or Alleluia - Let us praise the Lord
Hosanna (Hoshea na) - Please save or save now.
Kadash - sacred or holy.
Kaddish - liturgical prayer, consisting of three or six verses.
L'Chayim - To life.
Mazal Tov - Congratulations.
Mezuzah - A mezuza is affixed to the doorpost of Jewish homes. It is inscribed with specified verses from the Torah, specifically from the Shema prayer, which begins with the words "Hear, O Israel." See Deuteronomy 6:4-9 & 11:13-21.
Mikra - another name for Tanakh.
Minyan - a quorum of ten adults.
Mitzvah - religious commandment.
Seder - a ceremonial dinner that commemorates the Exodus from Egypt and includes the reading of the Haggadah and the eating of symbolic foods, generally held on the first night of Passover by Reform Jews and Jews in Israel and on both the first and second nights by Orthodox and Conservative Jews outside of Israel.
Selah - There different interpretations of this term. One is that it is an exclamation to measure and reflect upon what has been said. An alternate definition is "forever." Selah is also the name of a city from the time of David and Solomon.
Shabbat - Sabbath
Shatnez - a garment containing both interwoven wool and linen
Tallit - prayer shawl
Tanakh - Hebrew Bible - consisting of the Torah, Nevi'im and Ketuvim.
Torah - meaning "Instruction" - the five books of Moses.
Tzedakah - Charity
The term "Shema" is used by extension to the whole part of the daily prayers that commences with Shema Yisrael and comprises Deuteronomy 6:4–9, 11:13-21, and Numbers 15:37–41.
Sh'ma Yis'ra'eil Adonai Eloheinu Adonai echad.
Hear, Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One.
Barukh sheim k'vod malkhuto l'olam va'ed.
Blessed be the Name of His glorious kingdom for ever and ever.
Recordings of the Shema
My recording of the Shema
Prayer before Torah Study
Blessed are you Lord our God king of the world who sanctifies us with commandments and commands us to study Torah. (The Law to Live by)
More Prayers
Barukh atah Hashem, Eloheynu, melekh ha-olam.
Blessed art thou LORD, our God, King of the Universe
Dos Pintele Yid
However, the better response is summed up by a famous Yiddish expression, "dos pintele Yid," which signifies the existence of an indefinable special Jewish spark in every Jewish soul that can be re-ignited under the right circumstances. The expression is often used to refer to someone who has grown distant from the faith or the fold. For instance, you might overhear two elders saying something like: "Did you hear? Kirk Douglas got in touch with his pintele Yid and came back to Yiddishkeit."
Pintele Yid is a popular concept that is based on a rabbinic Torah commentary. In chapter 29 of Deuteronomy, Moses tells the people of Israel: "Neither with you only do I make this covenant and this oath; but with him that stands here with us this day before the Lord our God, and also with him that is not here with us this day." The rabbinic interpretation of this verse is that the soul of every Jew ever to be born in the future was present at Mt. Sinai. Therefore every Jew has a "Jewish spark" because every Jewish soul, no matter how estranged, potentially retains the subconscious memory of standing at Mt. Sinai and receiving the Torah.
The pintele Yid is very much in evidence every Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur when millions of Jews who don't normally attend synagogue take days off from their busy schedules to sit quietly in the sanctuary, sing prayers and atone for their sins.
It simply confirms that most Jews have a spiritual spark inside of them that doesn't go away, even if they have wandered far from Yiddishkeit. Moreover, it is just waiting to be ignited.
We all yearn for more meaning in our lives, for an uplifting spiritual relationship with God, for a sense of identity and connection to the past. This yearning is often beneath our conscious awareness, repressed, inchoate. For some of us, the spiritual spark ignites into a substantive relationship with God. For others, it still remains a potential.
The question is, who or what is going to light our fire?
Reference: George D. Hanus, Dos Pintele Yid , World Jewish Digest, September 2008.
Hallelujah, Halleluyah, or Alleluia
Halleluyah is a Hebrew word meaning "praise the Lord." A more literal meaning is "Let us praise the Lord."

It appears in the Bible mainly in the Psalms but also in Revelations 19.

Halleluyah is composed of two root words.

Hallelu is praise.

Yah is the the Lord. It is actually an abbreviation of YHWH which is the Hebrew name of God. The English equivalent of YHWH is Yahweh or Jehovah.
L'shanah tovah - for a good year. Greeting for Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.
Shatnez (or Sh'atnez/Shaatnez) is the Jewish law derived from the Torah that prohibits the wearing of a garment containing both interwoven wool and linen (linsey-woolsey); any such fabric is referred to in Judaism as shatnez.
Leviticus 19:19 - Ye shall keep my statutes. Thou shalt not let thy cattle gender with a diverse kind: thou shalt not sow thy field with mingled seed: neither shall a garment mingled of linen and woollen come upon thee.
Early writers, like Maimonides, argued that the prohibition was a case of the general law (Leviticus 20:23) against imitating Canaanite customs. Maimonides wrote that: "the heathen priests adorned themselves with garments containing vegetable and animal materials, while they held in their hand a seal of mineral. This you will find written in their books."
Parshat Vayikra covers many of the offerings that were brought before G-d, each of them brought as a consequence of an action or sin committed. Among the listings of possible sacrifices, one description of a sacrifice stands out: The Torah says, "When a leader sins, and does something he/she shouldn't do, and becomes guilty..." (4:22). All other descriptions begin with "And IF a person." Why is the Torah assuming a leader WILL sin? And if a person sins, aren't they automatically guilty? Why the redundant terminology?

The commentary offers an insight that helps explain this Passuk (verse). He explains that powerful and important people are more likely to be observed sinning and thus must be more careful. But the Passuk goes on to tell us that s inning isn't bad until the person becomes "guilty", by not doing anything about what they have done. The commentary adds a beautiful exclamation point to this lesson. The word meaning "will (sin)" is "asher", which is similar to the word "ashrei", which means "praised". Why would a sinner ever be praised? When a person admits that they are wrong, their sins turn into praises, revealing their true character. In our lives, we struggle to admit even to ourselves when we're wrong, and it's even harder when others observe us. 

To be a true leader is to admit when we're wrong, both to ourselves and to others.

By Rabbi Shlomo Ressler
Parshat Korach relates the story of Korach, Datan, Aviram and 250 members of the shevet (tribe) or Reuven challenging Moshe’s choice for Kohen Gadol (high priest). The end result was that the 250 members were burned by a heavenly fire, and the other 3 were miraculously swallowed by the earth. From a motive perspective, Korach makes the most sense, because he felt slighted for not having been chosen himself. But why would 250 people follow him to their certain death, with apparently little to gain?

The answer can be found in Rashi, the great medieval commentator, who writes that just as Korach's family camped on the southern side of the Mishkan (Tabernacle), so did the tribe of Reuven. Rashi quotes the words of Chapters of the Fathers, "woe to an evil person, and woe to his neighbor." The 250 people met their death simply because they were influenced by their neighbors (without so much as personal gain as a motivator)! This points to the awesome influence that friends, neighbors and associates have on us. So who do we surround ourselves with? Do we have positive friends and neighbors? Are WE positive friends and neighbors to others?
Reference: Numbers 16

Numbers 24

[1] And when Balaam saw that it pleased the LORD to bless Israel, he went not, as at other times, to seek for enchantments, but he set his face toward the wilderness.
[2] And Balaam lifted up his eyes, and he saw Israel abiding in his tents according to their tribes; and the spirit of God came upon him.
[3] And he took up his parable, and said, Balaam the son of Beor hath said, and the man whose eye s are open hath said:
[4] He hath said, which heard the words of God, which saw the vision of the Almighty, falling into a trance, but having his eyes open:
[5] How goodly are thy tents, O Jacob, and thy tabernacles, O Israel!
[6] As the valleys are they spread forth, as gardens by the river's side, as the trees of lign aloes which the LORD hath planted, and as cedar trees beside the waters.
[7] He shall pour the water out of his buckets, and his seed shall be in many waters, and his king shall be higher than Agag, and his kingdom shall be exalted.
[8] God brought him forth out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn: he shall eat up the nations his enemies, and shall break their bones, and pierce them through with his arrows.
[9] He couched, he lay down as a lion, and as a great lion: who shall stir him up? Blessed is he that blesseth thee, and cursed is he that curseth thee.


After a whole ordeal trying to curse the Jews, Bilam (Balaam) finally ends up blessing the Jews instead. So what does a person whose power lies in his word utter, after so much suspense? He says “How good are your tents, O Yaakov, your dwelling places, Israel” (24:5). Is it Yaakov or Israel? Is it the tents or the dwelling places (assuming they are different) that are good? It is pretty ambiguous for someone presumably articulate.

To understand this, we need to analyze the context of the three blessings he imparted in the following Pessukim (verses): 1) You should stay near water (reference to Torah), 2) G-d will help you crush your oppressors, and 3) Those that bless you will be blessed, and those that curse you will be cursed.

It seems that there is a natural progression throughout these blessings:
If we 1) stay close to the Torah, 2) G-d will help us defeat our enemies, and 3) we will be blessed upon blessings. That’s why the blessings start with the statement that it’s all because of our homes (tents), that leads to our communities (dwellings), from Yaakov as an individual to Israel as a nation. If we introduce the Torah in our own controlled-environment homes, it will not only help ourselves and our communities, but will also lead to the many blessings that follow!

Etz Chaim ('Etz ?ayyim) (Hebrew: ?? ????, "Tree of Life") is a common term used in Judaism. The expression, found in the Book of Proverbs, is figuratively applied to the Torah itself: "It [the Torah] is a Tree of Life to those who cleave to it".

Etz Chaim is a common name for yeshivas and synagogues as well as for works of Rabbinic literature.

The term Etz Chaim, (plural: ??? ???? Atzei Chaim), is also used to describe each of the wooden poles to which the parchment of a Sefer Torah is attached.

In kabbalah, Etz Chaim is a mystical symbol used to understand the nature of God and the manner in which He created the world.

Deed over Creed

Christianity, it is often been said, is a religion of creed.  As the New Testament puts it, "Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved."  Judaism differs because it places deed over creed.  Here again, because God is a God of law, He is more concerned with what you do than with you think.

As Moses Medelsshon (1729-1786), the German philospher and biblical scholar, pointed out: "There is not in the Mosaic Law a singe command. 'Thou shalt believe' or 'not beleive.'  Faith is not commanded.  Only actions are."

-Rabbi Benjamin Blech

Receive a Free Copy of the Holy Bible

The free Bible offer is for residents of Canada and the United States.
If you live in another country and cannot afford a Bible, then please contact:
Tom Irvine at: 

Tom Irvine's Profile | Create Your Badge
Tom Irvine's Facebook profile

Receive a Free Copy of the Book of Mormon
Jewish and Mormon Fellowship
Inspirational and Religious Books
Mere Christianity  by C.S. Lewis
The Screwtape Letters  by C.S. Lewis
Living a Life that Matters  by Harold S. Kushner

Other Vibrationdata Pages: HomeBibles | Search