Eating the Messiah

“While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.” Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins” (Matthew 26:26-28, NIV).

Many who are in the process of doubting the validity of Yeshua as Mashiach have pointed to this passage and condemned it as a pagan rite, foreign to Judaism, recalling the Torah’s prohibition against eating unclean meats and consuming blood. My question is this: Is Yeshua telling us to literally partake of his flesh and blood? My answer is an adamant “no” (no matter what the Roman church says about transubstantiation). Yeshua is not cutting himself or doing any kind of bloodletting ceremony in which his disciples will actually participate in some form of cannibalism. If this is not the case, then it would be good to search for any similar language in Torah that might help us to better understand his intent for these expressions. We have such an expression in parashat Shelach.

“Only do not rebel against the LORD, nor fear the people of the land, for they are our bread; their protection has departed from them, and the LORD is with us. Do not fear them.” (Numbers 14:9, NKJV)

In this passage, the New King James (as well as the KJV) preserve the idiom for us by saying “for they are our bread.” The Hebrew attests to this with the phrase כִּי לַחְמֵנוּ הֵם (literally, “for your bread are they”).

How is this passage intended to be understood? The NIV renders it as “we will swallow them up.” The NASB says, “they will be our prey.” These hit on the basic meaning of this phrase. Just as this phrase is not to be understood literally, neither are the words of the Master. When he tells his disciples to “eat his fleash” and “drink his blood,” he is telling them that they must “consume” him—that he must become their all. He is their connection to the Father. He has become their spiritual sustenance by which they receive their spiritual nourishment. Modern chasidism is replete with correlations to this concept, for which there is too little time to spend explaining here. However, if you would like to understand more about this concept, check out this excellent audio teaching by R’ Manis Friedman for an incredible insight into the relationship between a rebbe and his chasid, and think about your relationship to your rebbe – The Rebbe, Yeshua HaMashiach.

Shalom,
-darren

My Son’s Health (Follow Up)

I have intended on posting this for several days, but haven’t been able to find the time…

A little over a month ago I posted a note about my eldest son (age seven) who has been suffering for the last two years with breathing difficulties. I had rejoiced that he had actually made it through one night without having to use his inhaler (although he ended up having to use it the next morning). After that he fell back into the same pattern of having to use it at least once a night and sometimes during the day. We were finally able to get into the allergy / asthma clinic and he was finally able to get some relief.

He appears to have severe asthma, complicated by severe allergies. They did a prick test (where they put all of the different allergens on your back) and out of the 45 items for which he was tested, he was allergic to 33 of them. They prescribed 5 different medications in an attempt to get his breathing and bronchial inflammation/spasms under control and want to see him again next month (at which time he will also see a respiratory therapist). We have been giving him only three of the prescriptions, and only half the dosage of the main one (an inhaled steroid – yuk).

This past Monday night marked one full week that he has been able to go without his inhaler. Not during the night, not after playing hard out in the yard, not at all. It has been a night and day experience, for which we are very thankful to our Heavenly Father. Although we are not excited about the medications he is taking, we are very thankful for the results. We will be looking into alternative methods of keeping this under control long term, but for now, this is a quick fix that is working amazingly well.

Thank you, again, for your prayers! I can’t wait until we reach the one month mark, rather than just the one week mark! Please continue to keep him in your prayers for complete healing, and us for wisdom. Baruch Hashem for His blessings, and for friends like you.

-Darren

Jewish Worship

I’ve owned the book Jewish Worship by Abraham Millgram for about a decade now, and cherish it as one of my most treasured discoveries. Although it is out of print, you can purchase a hard copy of it on Amazon. But I just stumbled across an online version of it that makes me soooo excited! Although not 100% of its 600+ pages are freely available, several chapters are. Here’s the link for anyone interested:

Jewish Worship by Abraham Millgram etext