We've Moved!

Apr 20, 2011 at 6:22 PM


Yinon Blog has moved as of April 18, 2011. Old posts and comments will remain here and will also be ported over to our new site.

To read Yinon Blog (old and new posts), go to: MessianicJudaism.me/Yinon

And check out our collaborative site MessianicJudaism.me featuring three other great blogs:

Rabbi Stuart Dauermann: MessianicJudaism.me/Agenda
Rabbi Derek Leman: MessianicJudaism.me/Musings
Messianic Jewish Issues: MessianicJudaism.me/Media

It's Here!

Apr 18, 2011 at 4:54 PM

It's finally here ... and just in time for Passover!

As of today, Yinon Blog has moved over to our new home at MessianicJudaism.me/Yinon.

Old posts, images, and links will all still be available here, but ALL NEW CONTENT will be found at our new blog site.

There will also be other content at MessianicJudaism.me, including some News & Views about Messianic Jewish issues, a new blog by Rabbi Dr. Stuart Dauermann (The Messianic Agenda), and the very popular blog, Messianic Jewish Musings by Rabbi Derek Leman will also be moving over to the new site.

So check us out at our new home ... and Happy Passover!


Passover, Elijah, and Shabbat HaGadol

Apr 14, 2011 at 10:15 PM

Shabbat HaGadol

This week is Shabbat HaGadol, the Great Shabbat that occurs at the beginning of the week in which Passover will be observed (Passover begins Monday evening). There are five special shabbatot leading up to Passover. Each special Shabbat has special readings that are read in addition to the weekly portion. The exception is Shabbat HaGadol. Instead of an additional reading from the Torah, Shabbat HaGadol is highlighted by only a special Haftarah reading from Malachi which concludes with the words:

“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet, before the coming of the great and awesome day of HaShem” (Mal. 3:23).

Jewish tradition teaches us that Elijah is a messianic figure who will usher in Mashiach and the Messianic Age. This is purposely fitting at this season because Passover is our reliving and retelling of our redemption from Egypt. Both Jewish tradition and the New Testament portray Elijah as representing the coming of messianic redemption. That is why the figure of Elijah is so connected with Passover. Passover today commemorates our connection with not only our physical redemption from slavery, but our spiritual redemption as well.

The Besorah of Luke associates the personification of Elijah with John the Immerser:

“And it is he who will go as a forerunner before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers back to the children, and the disobedient to the attitude of the righteous; so as to make ready a people prepared for the L-rd" (Luke 1:17).

So John the Immerser was a fulfillment of this week’s special Haftarah reading from Malachi 3:23 in preparation for the incarnation and revelation of Yeshua the Messiah. Yet, the role of Elijah is still not complete, for there is an expectation that Elijah himself will yet return ahead of our glorious Mashiach. This is the reason Elijah is referenced so often in Jewish tradition, especially during Passover. During the Seder there is a whole place setting (or in some homes, simply a cup) that is specifically set aside. It is left untouched in the messianic hope that each year we will open the door during our Passover festivities, and welcome in Elijah, who will in turn usher in the return of our Messiah.

Next week during the Seder, we will proclaim, “Eliyahu HaNavi … Come quickly and speedily with Messiah the Son of David.” As we sing those words this Passover, let us also remember the words associated with Shabbat HaGadol - “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet, before the coming of the great and awesome day of the HaShem.”

May we all merit the return of Mashiach and see that day fulfilled speedily and soon!


Some Big News!

Apr 13, 2011 at 9:35 AM

Some exciting things are happening here at Yinon. One of them arrives next week … we’re moving! Yes, that is right. Next week Yinon Blog will be moving to our new home at MessianicJudaism.me.

Old posts, images, and links will all still be available here. You will not have to change any links you currently maintain to yinonblog.blogspot.com (or yinonblog.com). It will simply happen that new content after next week will post to MessianicJudaism.me/Yinon.

There will also be other content at MessianicJudaism.me, including some News & Views about Messianic Jewish issues, a new blog by Rabbi Dr. Stuart Dauermann (The Messianic Agenda), and the very popular blog, Messianic Jewish Musings by Rabbi Derek Leman will also be moving over to the new site.

For more on this exciting announcement, check out Rabbi Derek's announcement today.

Stay tuned for more info …


Welcoming Mashiach

Apr 12, 2011 at 10:10 AM

John 12:1-26

The week before Pesach, after Yeshua had come from the house of Lazarus (whom he had previously raised from the dead) in Beit-Anyah, he traveled on to Jerusalem. Hearing that Yeshua was coming, the people began to run out to meet him. As he entered the city, riding on a donkey, the people waved palm branches and shouted “Hosha-Na, Hosha-Na! Baruch HaBa B'Shem HaShem! Melech Yisrael! - Deliver us! Blessed is He who comes in the Name of HaShem, the King of Israel!”

Upon seeing the crowds coming to greet him, Yeshua knew exactly what was taking place, and its significance. For at the same time, through another gate into the city, the same familiar scene was taking place. The Passover Lambs were being brought into the city, being led up to the Temple Mount. As they were brought into the city, the people were singing and dancing, and waving palm branches, shouting, “Hosha Na! Baruch HaBa B'Shem HaShem!”

The Passover lambs represented the atonement made on behalf of the Jewish people, and the shedding of whose blood brought deliverance from the plague of death. As Yeshua entered the city, and was met with the same recognition, there was a deep understanding of the event taking place. This was proclamtion to Yeshua's Messiahship and to his beeing seen as the Deliverer of the Jewish people. Riding on a donkey, a messianic symbol in Biblical times, Yeshua was fulfilling prophesies of what was to happen. He knew that it was now time to reveal himself to the world. In this Besorah reading, John testifies of this. How Yeshua, responding to his disciples Andrew and Philip, proclaimed:

“The time has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Yes, indeed! I tell you that unless a grain of wheat that falls to the ground dies, it stays just grain; but if it dies, it produces a great harvest (John 12:23-24).”

During that final week of preparation before Passover, Yeshua, as the Passover lamb, was prepared to be sacrificed. Like the Passover lamb whose blood brought redemption to the people, Yeshua too knew that his blood would bring redemption to Israel. And when the High Priest slaughtered the lamb, announcing “it is finished,” that Yeshua too, as Israel's Highest Priest, would also declare “it is finished,” proclaiming the ultimate deliverance from the plague of spiritual death.

As Yeshua's elect, we must constantly, on a daily basis acknowlege his Messiahship in our lives. We too must cry out, “Hosha-Na! - G-d, please save us!” We must be desperate to see G-d work in our lives, and in our congregations and synagogues to bring about ultimate redemption! Zol shein zein d'geula, Moshioch zol shoin cumin -How lovely redemption shall be, for Mashiach is on His way!


The Leper Scholar

Apr 8, 2011 at 2:41 PM

Parashat Metzora

Our Torah portion this week is a continuation on the theme of tzara’at. Last week I discussed how tzara’at is not what we often think it is. Although it is commonly to understand these passages as dealing with an actual skin disease, Jewish tradition teaches that tzara’at is not leprosy at all, but a serious spiritual caused by Sinat Chinam – hatred without a reason.

Interestingly, there is a wealth of Jewish tradition that makes a connection between tzara’at and the Messiah. After all, the rabbis teach us that everything in the Torah concerns Mashiach. Therefore, the rabbis recognized that even within the spiritual malady of tzara’at were hidden signs of Mashiach:

This tradition of connecting tzara’at and Mashiach begins with a particular verse from last week’s parasha, in Leviticus 13:12-13:

יב וְאִם-פָּרוֹחַ תִּפְרַח הַצָּרַעַת בָּעוֹר וְכִסְּתָה הַצָּרַעַת אֵת כָּל-עוֹר הַנֶּגַע מֵרֹאשׁוֹ וְעַד-רַגְלָיו--לְכָל-מַרְאֵה עֵינֵי הַכֹּהֵן.

12 If the tzara’at breaks out all over the skin, so that, as far as the cohen can see, the person with tzara’at has sores everywhere on his body, from his head to his feet;

יג וְרָאָה הַכֹּהֵן וְהִנֵּה כִסְּתָה הַצָּרַעַת אֶת-כָּל-בְּשָׂרוֹ--וְטִהַר אֶת-הַנָּגַע: כֻּלּוֹ הָפַךְ לָבָן טָהוֹר הוּא.

13 then the cohen is to examine him, and if he sees that the tzara’at has covered his entire body, he is to pronounce the person with the sores as ritually pure - it has all turned white and he is clean.

Referring particularly to verse 13, the Talmud States (b. Sanhedrin 97a):

“The Son of David (Mashiach) will only come when every government becomes heretical. Rabah said, ‘Where do we see this in Scripture? From the verse “He has turned completely white, he is ritually pure.’”

Rashi further expands on this verse and notes, “Just as when the affliction has spread throughout the entire skin and the person is ritually pure, so too, when all the governments have become heretical, the redemption will come.”

Recognizing that the Messiah must be afflicted, and familiar with suffering, the rabbis went even further - and one of the ways they identified Mashiach in the Talmud is with the title, The Leper Scholar:

“The Rabbanan (rabbis) say that Mashiach’s name is The Leper Scholar of the House of Rabbi, for it is written, ‘Surely he has borne our grief and carried our sorrows, yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten and afflicted by G-d (b. Sanhedrin 98b).’”

The rabbis obviously recognized that this does not mean that Mashiach would literally be afflicted with tzara’at but that this was a memtaphor. This connection between tzara’at and Mashiach is not unique to rabbinic literature. Rather, Yeshua himself is described in the Besorah as having compassion for the metzora (the person with tzara’at), and healing them:

“And it happened when he was in a certain city, a man covered with tzara’at saw Yeshua, and he fell on his face and implored him, saying, ‘L-rd, if you are willing, you can make me clean.’ Then Yeshua put out his hand and touched him, saying, ‘I am willing, be healed.’ And he commanded him to tell no one, ‘But go to the cohen and make an offering for your cleansing, as a testimony to them, just as Moshe commanded (Luke 5:12-14).”

Those with tzara’at were healed, and their healings were part of the sign of his being the Mashiach. Yeshua taught that we must forgive, and not let Sinat Chinam eat away within us:

"And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins" (Mark 11:25).

"Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven" (Luke 6:37).

According to the sages, tzara’at is the physical effect of sin. It is a spiritual disease that must be kept in check. To specifically avoid tzara’at, we must avoid slander and baseless hatred. All of us have spiritual sores and wounds, which if left untreated, can fester into something much worse. That is why we must learn to forgive and let go of any kind of judgment and hatred we might have against another person. Sinat Chinam – baseless hatred will destroy us, but forgiveness and healing can set us free!

We must learn how to go before our great great High Priest, Yeshua our Messiah (Hebrews 5), and let him inspect us. For through him, not only will we find healing and wholeness, but redemption as well.


Yad L'Achim Exposed - Parts II & III

Apr 5, 2011 at 3:06 PM

Last Thursday I posted a link to the first part of a special investigative report aired on Israel's Channel 1 News about the anti-missionary organization, Yad L'Achim. The group is responsible for regular acts of harassment and violence against religious minorities in Israel, especially Messianic Jews.

This three part special report is an important step for religious rights in Israel, particularly with raising awareness toward Messianic Jews. Here are the second and third parts which have now aired:

Part II



Part III



Watch. Sign. Share.

Apr 4, 2011 at 11:35 AM


The time has come to run toward free and fair elections in Congo!

In the last 10 years 5.4 million Congolese have died and 200,000 women have been raped in our world's deadliest war since WWII. In November Congo will be holding only the third election in the country's history. Human rights groups, political experts, and concerned individuals around the world are joining Congolese in calling for free and fair elections. For far too long the world's deadliest war, and many of the other issues affecting the people of Congo have been largely ignored by our government. It is time the U.S. appoints a special envoy to Congo! We absolutely need to monitor the elections, work to end the war, and speak of for the people of this great country.

Please join us in signing this petition (it literally only takes one minute). This petition is not like all petitions. If it's successful, it could actually be a huge step towards peace in a war torn land.

Please sign it, share it, and help us reach 200,000 signatures in 5 days! Sign the Petition HERE!

To find our more about Congo or the upcoming elections visit the FALLING WHISTLES website (http://www.fallingwhistles.com/).

Help end the war in Congo and be a whistle blower for peace!


A Misunderstood Condition

Apr 1, 2011 at 12:16 PM

Parashat Tazria

I used to teach in a Hebrew School at a large Reform Synagogue. One of my responsibilities was to prepare young adolescents for their B’nai Mitzvah. It never ceased to happen that every year some twelve year-old would get completely bummed out upon discovering that their entire Torah portion was about physical impurities and leprosy. Often they would try everything imaginable to get the rabbi or cantor to let them choose another Torah portion. But usually to no avail.

Although the majority of this week’s Torah portion focuses on leprosy, this is really not the most accurate translation and understanding of the Hebrew word Tzara’at. Although it is common to understand these passages as dealing with an actual skin disease, Jewish tradition teaches that tzara’at is not leprosy at all, but a serious spiritual condition.

According to the sages, tzara’at is a spiritual malady. It is believed that tzara’at is the result of Sinat Chinam – hatred without a reason. Therefore, tzara’at is the direct result of unforgiveness and hatred. Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch demonstrates that tzara’at cannot possibly be what we commonly understand as leprosy today. This conclusion is due to two things: First, the physical symptoms for leprosy are different from the Torah’s description. Second, the confinement procedures and rules for a person with tzara’at make absolutely no sense. For example, a person with tzara’at which covers their entire body is not ritually impure. But a person who is only partially covered with tzara’at is ritually impure (13:13).

Another example has to do with tzara’at within a home or dwelling (14:26). The Torah states that before a house can be declared ritually pure, all its contents must be removed. Otherwise they become unclean. However, if there was truly a worry about tzara’at being a contagious skin disease, it is irrational to exclude the household items from the quarantine.

The Talmud further states that if the symptoms of tzara’at appear on a newlywed or during a festival, the priest is not even to examine the person so as not to interfere with the celebrations. Therefore, if the purpose was to actually prevent the spread of disease, it would be important to enforce the laws of tzara’at so as not to spread it any further during these greater times of mingling and festivities.

Yeshua himself taught, “Do not judge, so that you won’t be judged! For the measure with which you judge others is how you too will be judged (Matthew 7:1-2).” According to the sages, tzara’at is the physical effect of sin. It is a spiritual disease that must be kept in check. To specifically avoid tzara’at, one must avoid slander and baseless hatred.

All of us have spiritual sores and wounds, which if left untreated, can fester into something much worse. That is why we must learn to forgive and let go of any kind of judgment and hatred we might have against another person. We must learn how to go before our great High Priest, Yeshua our Messiah, and let him inspect us. For through him, not only will we find healing, but wholeness and redemption as well.


-This commentary also appears in this week’s The Set Table (www.thesettable.org).